Pantone Color of the Year: Catersource Event Industry Experts Chime In

This past week, Pantone officially announced Living Coral as its 2019 color of the year, a move that has the potential to impact how customers make decisions and purchases for their own events and celebrations in 2019 and beyond.

Photo courtesy Lin and Jirsa Photography by Nahids Global Events

“With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a response chord,” expands Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a company statement.

Photo courtesy BarrieAnnePhotography - Perfectly Posh Events

Early responses from the industry have been enthusiastic.  Terrica Skaggs, Chief Event Planner & Designer of Cocktails & Details® shares- “I absolutely adore the color this year— I see it dominating in fashion and beauty as this is a color that perfectly complements any skin tone. Likewise, it is easily available in a myriad of floral palettes. This is a shade that can be demure and romantic or fierce and bold.”

Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography

Meryl Snow of SnowStorm Solutions, was equally thrilled on the culinary side. “I'm obsessed with this color,” she enthused. “It screams joyful amusement and yet it's very sophisticated and elegant. We are thrilled that we’re able to incorporate the Pantone color on the plate and in culinary tablescapes as well.”

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So how can Living Coral make an impact in next year’s events? The big question is whether Living Coral should take centerstage or play a supporting role within a broader palette.

Photo courtesy Lori Serocki Photography - Blooms by the Box

Jamie Quickert, Director of Catering with Cuinaire, says, “I see this as being a particularly powerful accent color, popping up in bouquets and floral arrangements, as well as garnish on drinks and dishes. Like all Pantone colors, they should be used in limitation for just a pop of joy and excitement.”

Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography

The Flower Guy Bron’s  Bron Hansboro, The Flower Guy Bron notes that the hue can tastefully be incorporated into florals, but cautions, “When designing with such distinct tones, it’s very important to consider how you are going to blend other like tones with it. Try to avoid stark contrasts like white and coral. This will create a polka dot effect which will compromise the integrity of the piece. Instead, consider blending similar tones like pinks and oranges to balance and curate your colors.”

Photo courtesy Duke Images by Nahids Global Events

Photo courtesy Momental Designs

For Brittny Drye, Editor-in-Chief of Love Inc, she foresees event professionals taking more of a literal interpretation with the recommendation in 2019.  “Texture-wise, I think people may take the color of the year quite literally and start bring coral into their decor. Those natural textures are big right now, and I think incorporating coral clusters at place settings and escort card displays could really add an element of texture and creativity that can go beyond just a nautical-theme.”

Photo courtesy Set Free Photography by Tracie Domino Events

Most notably this year, there is encouraging discussion surrounding how Pantone came to select the hue as the one to watch in 2019.  

Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography

Quickert expands, “While I personally love coral, I am more excited about the thought process behind this pick. When introducing the color, Pantone cited the ‘need for optimism and joyful pursuits.’ Events in history have had the unique ability to bring magic, beauty and joy into people’s lives. We don’t just create events, we create authentic and immersive experiences. It’s a good reminder to all of us to stay focused on the things that matter.”

All of the experts quoted in this article will be at Catersource 2019! What are you waiting for? Click here to register!

Meghan Ely

President, OFD Consulting, Richmond, VA

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo: Melody Smith Portraits