Reef-er Madness

Houstonia Reacts: 10 Things We Think of When We See Living Coral, Pantone's 2019 Color of the Year

Pantone: "It's optimistic, joyful, and light-hearted." Us: "It's mom jewelry, lipstick, and Chad's polo shirt."

By Abby Ledoux December 7, 2018

What do you see?

"This is not the coral I thought it would be." So said Houstonia associate editor Morgan Kinney upon being confronted with Pantone's 2019 Color of the Year, revealed on December 6.

Pantone swatch 16-1546, also known as Living Coral, is described by the color authority as a "life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone," and it's clear the annual designation was meant to cheer us all up in the coming year. See: "The Pantone Color of the Year selection is more than a culmination of recent color trends—it is a reflection of a concerted cultural moment," Pantone's announcement reads. "As we continue to seek immersive experiences that offer intimacy and genuine connection, Living Coral symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful, lighthearted pursuits."

Yeah. It's been...a year.

So, as we usher out 2018, we turn to the "vibrant yet mellow" Living Coral for "warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment."

Where color psychologists see optimism and warmth, we detect maybe just a hint of something else. Here's what a handful of Houstonia staffers see in the hue that's supposed to color our next 12 months.

  • "Mom jewelry." –Nicki Koetting, digital editor
  • "Human entrails." –Morgan Kinney, associate editor
  • "Chad's polo." –Brian Kennedy, custom publications art director

    Image: Brian Kennedy

  • "1980s lipstick. Revlon, baby!" –Gwendolyn Knapp, associate editor
  • "This ring I had in college." –Laura Furr Mericas, custom publications editor
  • "A Pottery Barn beach house." –Marianna Corcoran, associate publisher
  • "The color I wish my gums were." –Timothy Malcolm, dining editor
  • "Toenails on a Caribbean vacation." –Abby Ledoux, lifestyle editor
  • "A beautiful color on [Abby Ledoux]." –Lydia Becker, media manager
  • "[Actual] coral. Have you ever been snorkeling and seen dead coral? It's like the apocalypse." –Cathy Matusow, editor-in-chief
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