Cover Very Peri, the Pantone Colour of the Year (Image: Pantone)

It's not just a colour, it's a sign of the times. Design Intervention founder Nikki Hunt shares her thoughts on Very Peri, Pantone Colour of the Year 2022, and how it reflects the growing importance of metaverse environments and other digital experiences

The dawn of a new year typically represents a chance to reset. But, this year, as a world beyond the pandemic is within sight, the passage to 2022 marks a more significant and exciting transition. For nearly two years, we have been stuck in a Groundhog Day loop. Work-from-home mandates and travel restrictions have caused time to stand still, and we are aching for something fresh.

Tapping into this sentiment, Pantone has selected an original hue, Very Peri, for their Colour of the Year. Instead of choosing a colour from its wide library of shades, Pantone has created a totally new one; this is a first in the 23-year history of the Colour of the Year programme.

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The Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri is a vibrant shade of periwinkle blue. It combines the soothing familiarity of blue with the dynamism of red. It is novel and totally unexpected and is meant to symbolise the transition into a new post-pandemic era. 

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Enter the Metaverse 
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world. It has ushered in new ways of living, turbo boosted the adoption of exciting technologies, and even introduced new words into our everyday lexicon. How many of us had heard of Zoom in 2019? Today, it is part of our daily lives. Beyond the pandemic, much of our interactions will remain online, as a Matrix-style metaverse looms and the boundaries between offline and online blur. 

Responding to this digital influence, Pantone chose a colour that is seen in high contrast gaming; they partnered with Microsoft for this year’s launch, where the colour was unveiled as digital art, as well as the traditional swatch. Expect the colour to soon appear in a range of Microsoft apps.  

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Will the colour transcend from the screen into our homes? Well, Pantone claim that the shade, with its lavender undertones has roots in the natural world. Perhaps, they are banking on the similarity with colours used in the Avatar movie set. The sequel to the 2009 film is scheduled for a 2022 release date, and is arguably one of the most anticipated movie releases of this decade. 

Or maybe, they are betting on a nostalgic association with a beloved childhood treat, such as the Milka milk chocolate bars, that bear such a distinctive purple packaging. 

As a designer, I customarily employ colour to create a mood. Lavender can help conjure an atmosphere of serenity, or visually cool a sunny room. But the shade selection is vital and I choose tones with a large dollop of grey to impart a gentle softness. 

The “Veri Peri” shade, however, has an unnatural harshness that I find difficult to live with. It may look great as a highlighter on my next Powerpoint document but I can’t imagine painting it across my bedroom wall. 

I do love that Very Peri is original and unexpected. The colour is playful, imaginative, and spirited. While I may not be ready to use this precise hue in my designs, I am inspired to embrace these new concepts as I look forward to the fresh and exciting year ahead. 

Tatler Asia
Above Nikki Hunt, founder of Design Intervention

About the Author
Nikki Hunt is the founder of Design Intervention, a multi-award-winning practice based in Singapore. The interdisciplinary firm has won many accolades for its inspiring work, which range from architecture to interior design as well as product design. The studio celebrates the mood-lifting benefits of good design in all spaces, whether in stunning homes or the interiors of beautiful restaurants and other commercial venues that the team has crafted.

“We believe that design, like nutrition and fitness, is an essential tool for better living,” says Hunt. “At Design Intervention, we employ the transformative power of design to affect mood, influence behaviour and improve our well-being.”

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