“How to implement Pantone’s “Living Coral” into your daily business.” 

ast December, we received an e-mail from the commercial director of a major flower importer and exporter in Holland. He was finalizing his company’s exhibition at January’s IPM ESSEN 2019, a large horticulture tradeshow in Germany. We were completing design ideas and floral needs for the entryway to their space that we would be creating. In this e-mail, he asked what we thought of creating the installation using Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year – “Living Coral” (Pantone 16-1546). He immediately followed that thought with, “[I have] no idea if we can find a good assortment [of fresh flowers].”

A leading Dutch flower supplier for the world was not certain that there would be the volume of coral-colored flowers needed to create the design he wanted. A new trend color coming into the market is sometimes a challenge. Flower farms throughout the world will not have enough time to plan, obtain the seed crop, plant, grow and harvest enough coral-colored flowers before 2018 is over.

So where does “Living Coral” come from? “To arrive at the selection each year, color experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production; traveling art collections and new artists; fashion; all areas of design; popular travel destinations; and new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color; relevant social media platforms; and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.”

Yes, Pantone’s research includes “all areas of design,” but it does not focus on flowers. We do! Pantone did not spend a year or more in research to tell the floral industry what color flowers we should be using. Flowers are our focus; they are how we move through the business of life.

What can we do about it? “Living Coral” does not need to be the featured color in your designs to take advantage of consumers’ awareness of the hue created by Pantone’s worldwide marketing efforts. As an accent or in combination with other “happy” colors, additions of accessories in “Living Coral” hues will show consumers that you are in the know. Coral-colored containers, linens, ribbons, picks, wraps, yarns and wool all offer you ways to use this top new trend color in your everyday creative activities.

An example of how to use coral this year is shown in our curated Florists’ Review’s 2019 Christmas Trends, in the December 2018 issue. Coral is used as both a focal and an accent in two trends, “Cabana Chill” (Design Master “Coral” Colortool Spray) and “Cranberry Bliss” (Design Master “Coral Bright” Colortool Spray).

A quick internet search of Pantone’s color palettes for spring-summer 2019 (see below) reveals “Living Coral” along with “Fiesta” (a festive orange red), “Turmeric” (an enlivening orange), “Mango Mojito” (a golden yellow) and other bright, happy colors. Orange is exciting, and peachyorange (coral) is perfect for wedding season.

The all-white wedding that has been infused for so long with blush tones – and then more pinks – added peach into its collection over the past few years. “Living Coral” offers creative floral wedding salespeople opportunities to suggest to clients enriching their events with coral and, dare we say, orange. Fearless trend-aware brides can take coral into even bolder and more daring realms.

Coral bridges the gap between many color harmonies. It can remain as the softer side of the blush family, or it can turn up the volume all the way to rich red. Expressing one’s individuality while not looking to be like the rest of the social media world can give “Living Coral” a unique movement in the expected wedding colors.

Pantone Palettes with “Living Coral”

Pantone suggests creating sophisticated color harmonies with “Living Coral” using the hues in these five curated palettes. “Living Coral” can be featured prominently or incorporated only as an accent.

Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, and Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, are the creative directors behind Schaffer Designs, a floral event company. Bill and Kris are diverse contributors in the floral industry, specializing in not only trend translations, education, product development, and showroom and tradeshow design but also commissioned floral installations as well as being award-winning authors. Email bill@schafferdesigns. com and/or kris@schafferdesigns.com.