In a decade-long major study conducted by pioneering UC Berkeley psychologists Drs. Stephen E. Palmer and Karen Schloss, it was uncovered that an individual’s proclivity towards a particular color can actually be determined through object-association. By using a methodology that averages preferences, the study measures the degree to which a person shows an affinity for quotidian objects they associate with the color in question.

In Palmer’s upcoming book Reversing the Rainbow: Reflections on Color and Consciousness, he investigates our collective disposition towards certain found objects in daily life that then can determine our affinity for certain colors. Sensory knowledge is tied to memory and sociality, and while no one thing is a definite predictor of our preference for color, it is determined instead by a summary of all the things we’ve experienced in our lifetime.

Although color favoritism is subject to malleability when placed in various contexts, a cross-cultural investigation of visual perception revealed the color that most edged out the rest of the hues of the rainbow was blue, due to a consistent prevalence of positive blue associations, like that of a clear sky and clean water.

In tune with these discoveries, the Pantone Color Institute, the major influencer in all aspects of color design and trends, named its annual 2020 Color of the Year (COY): classic blue. As the leading color matching system, Pantone remains the expert in how color affects not only design but also consumerism, offering designers, marketers, creators and brands a chance to work together and build a powerful color presence.

The extensive color trending research conducted by the Pantone Color Institute takes into consideration all aspects of society including, fashion, marketing, social media and even politics. The Pantone COY is a color trend forecast for the consumer, which means that it’s intended to be used for consumer products and designs, as well as any promotional items created for clients.

When posting your Classic Blue inspired visual marketing designs on social media, don’t forget to use the dedicated hashtag #COY2020 and get extra (and unexpected) exposure.