These New Pantone Colors Were Created to Raise Awareness About Coral Reefs

Last December, Pantone released its 2019 Color of the Year, Living Coral — a bright hue dedicated to the vibrancy of underwater ecosystems. But if you've kept up with the news over the last few years, many coral reefs, like Australia's Great Barrier Reef, have been suffering due to climate change.

In order to bring more awareness to this phenomenon, Pantone has joined forces with partners Adobe Stock and The Ocean Agency on a new initiative called Glowing Glowing Gone, which promotes the global change to protect coral. For the project, Pantone has named three new hues: Glowing Yellow, Glowing Blue, and Glowing Purple.

The three colors are based on a rare — and sad — natural phenomenon that The Ocean Agency captured on camera for the 2017 Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Coral. As a last-ditch effort to protect themselves against increasing water temperatures and overexposure to sunlight, corals release fluorescent chemicals to create a sort of "sunscreen." If these chemicals fail to protect the corals the organisms die and become bleached.

"One of the biggest trends we are seeing today is the desire to spend time in nature and concerns about the long-term sustainability of our planet, something which is manifesting itself into the color stories proliferating throughout design," Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told Adobe.

While the hues are beautiful, here's to hoping we won't have to see them in their natural habitat for much longer! We'd much rather see Living Coral any day.


Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.