It's crazy to think that a color can represent the state of the world. But Pantone's annual Color of the Year 2018 seems to do exactly that. At my company, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, the big reveal is an important moment: their color choice guides consumer choices, our marketing materials, and affects the products we offer our clients.
This year's color, UltraViolet, is a vibrant combination of red and blue. Pantone's executive director Leatrice Eiseman says the purple hue "communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future."
As an entrepreneur, though, I'm more interested in the process than the actual color. Over the years, Pantone has developed a solid selection system that's nimble, holistic and calculated. In a way, it even enables them to predict the year ahead.
To choose the color, the Pantone Color Institute looks at the year as a whole, considering everything from economics and politics to the environment and pop culture. They meet as a team to share ideas and to visualize what the next year will look like, and their decision sets trends across industries.
This is a tactic entrepreneurs can use to plan for the future of their businesses. Every year, the WOW 1 DAY PAINTING team meets to strategize for the year ahead. We've learned that our success is highly correlated to how well we react to external factors, like consumer behavior or the economic climate. This kind of thinking has guided our decision-making, including a total rebrand in 2012 that transformed our outlook for success.
Instead of consolidating our vision into a single color, we capture it in a Painted Picture: a hyper-detailed snapshot of where our business will be in the next 4 years. Similar to the Pantone color, the Painted Picture is a prediction of years to come, and it's fluid enough to be able to react to external changes and business needs.
At the end of the day, a color can't really predict the future. But Pantone has remained an industry leader by developing an intelligent process for constant reinvention year after year. They've leveraged their expertise to establish authority not only with their customers, but the entire design world. Every entrepreneur can benefit from taking a page out of the Pantone playbook.