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Are you ready to embrace the transformative tone of an unconventional shade?

January 20, 2023  By John Blyth

Vibrating with vim and vigour is how Pantone has described its colour of the year, Viva Magenta 18-750. The unconventional shade for an unconventional time is ‘powerful and empowering’. Rooted in nature, it descends from the red family and is expressive of a new signal of strength. Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.

Pantone goes on to say it is an assertive, but not aggressive, carmine red that does not boldly dominate but instead takes a ‘fist in a velvet glove’ approach. Exuding dynamism, the transformative red tone is capable of driving design to create a more positive future.

The strong colour echoes Pantone’s forecasted spring and summer 2023 top 10 standout colours for London Fashion Week including Cherry Tomato, Blazing Yellow, Electric Blue Lemonade and Pink Cosmos. They integrate tradition and innovation marrying the need for brightness and vibrant positivity with quieting tinted tones. They embrace the freedom to colourfully express individuality without constraint.


Vivid colours form the foundations of some key trends set to dominate 2023. Among the ones that caught my eye are the following.

1. Acidic hues

This is not just about bright, sharp colours, it’s about colours that hurt your eyes. They are arresting and striking. They grab your attention. It is a trend rooted in science. It takes inspiration from testing acidic substances. The more acidic a substance, the brighter the colour gets.

2. Colourful retro

Bright colour pallets will combine with idyllic retro imagery as the 1990s revival and vintage visual trends of 2022 continue. Everything from posters to packaging will be imbued with a sense of nostalgia.

3. Silver chrome

This moody and dark trend subverts the status quo with its distorted, melted metallic look. The shade of silver can range from a dark or dull tone to a shiny silver metal. This colour trend is about stirring anti-establishment expression and pushing back on norms.

4. Rich jewel colours

The rich jewel colours of 2023 are elegant, tonal and sensual. They are ushering in an interesting and chic era for colour in graphic design. Inspired by 1930s palettes, rich crimson, burnt orange, forest green or powdery lavender, offer a cosseting and indulgent quality. They allow colour to do the talking for high end-branding or luxury packaging design.

5. Condensed typography

Simple neutral colour schemes or black and neon can be combined with condensed typography to create two very different results – to temper drama or escalate it. In 2023, in line with the move toward Metaverse and futuristic styling, condensed fonts and compact typography will take centre stage.

Strong, vibrant colours that stir emotions are shaping the palette for 2023. Combined with the leading design trends they deliver an energized tone for the coming year. For print service providers the accurate recreation of the shade, depth, and nuances of a colour is vital. Consistent repeatability is essential.

John Blyth is marketing and communications manager, Ricoh Europe.

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