Classic Blue: the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2020

Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 Classic Blue

It’s the cool, calm and reassuring colour we need during these difficult and perplexing times. Classic Blue is Pantone’s Colour of the Year. But what does that mean? Who is Pantone and why do they get to say what’s popular? And, more importantly, why should a business owner in Australia care about it? 

Read on to learn about the Pantone Colour of the Year and why Pantone colours are so important for your branding.

What is Pantone? 

It’s not the haircare brand you’re thinking of! 

Pantone is a design behemoth and the creators of the Pantone Colour Matching System. Since the 1960s, graphic designers, printers and even interior designers have used Pantone to perfectly match colours. Before then, it was difficult to get your printer to match colours. By creating a highly specific standard for colours, Pantone made itself the global authority on colour.

Pantone’s Colour Matching System specifies an exact replica of each shade of colour with the use of a colour catalogue in a fan format.  Every colour, in every tone and tint, was given a number to classify it.

This means that when you have your logo printed on promotional items such as pens, business and desk items, drinkware, bags to name just a few, you can be confident of getting the perfect shade for your brand’s colours.  

“When it comes to colour, Pantone is the global leader. If it were in tech it would be Google, if it were a car it would be Mercedes, if it were in fashion it would be Chanel.” ~ Niky Rovis, Account Director, Scotland Harrisson 

Why is the Pantone Matching Colour System guide important?

As members of the Promotional Products industry, we can’t do much without Pantone matching!     

We use it to guide our colours for replicating your brand logo in embroidery, screen printing and pad printing. It is the industry-standard colour matching system used by all promotional product manufacturers and suppliers. This PMS guide can accurately specify the colour of your logo or trademark to ensure that your branded products meet the expectations of your corporate colour palette and corporate identity. If you have specific colours as part of your corporate identity, you need Pantone matching to get the colours exactly right. 

How many Pantone colours are there? 

A visit to any printer or designer is not complete without checking the Pantone swatch book to check ideal colours. There are nearly 2,000 colours listed for printing on paper, plastic, metals, textiles and fabrics.

Pantone colour chart catalogue fan deck

Why does colour matter in corporate branding? 

Colour is a vital part of your corporate identity. Why is Colour Psychology important in Marketing? We all know the golden arches of McDonald’s, the green Woolworth’s apple or the Cadbury purple. Colour helps you remember a brand and creates an evocative response. 

Studies show that a brand with consistent colour across its marketing increases brand recognition by 80 percent. Colours have a psychological impact: 

  • green is sustainable, refreshing and natural
  • pink is feminine, soft and warm
  • red is bold, active and strong (many food brands use red because it makes you hungry!)
  • yellow is vibrant, cheerful and inspiring
  • blue is calm, authoritative and reassuring

How does Pantone’s Colour of the Year work? 

Since 2000, the company has released the colour of the year. Over the past two decades, the announcement has become increasingly influential. These days, creatives of all kinds are influenced by the decision. This includes: 

  • fashion designers
  • interior decorators
  • stylists
  • artists
  • jewellers
  • cosmetic brands and makeup artists 
  • paint, textile and plastic manufacturers
  • (of course) graphic designers
  • product designers of all kinds – cars, games, computers, stationery…everything! 

Anyone who works with colour will consider it when planning future collections or projects. So, it’s a big deal!

Products in Pantone Classic Blue Colour of the Year 2020

What’s good about Classic Blue for 2020?

Blue conveys wisdom, depth, sincerity and stability. Think about many of the classic tech brands or professional firms. IBM, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ford, Dell and HP.  Here in Australia, brands like ANZ, Mirvac, Telstra, and even ASIC use blue to convey trust and authority. 


Australian companies with blue logos


Blue is universally popular. Choosing a classic shade of blue is a deliberately conservative choice. In times of political and environmental turmoil around the world, it conveys comfort and reliability. According to colour psychologists, it generates a primal association with sustenance and vitality, because it is the colour of the sky and water. 

Pantone Colour of the Year Blue Sky with sunlight streaming through clouds

 Should I incorporate the Colour of the Year into my branding?

It’s not as simple as that. If you did that, you’d have to change your branding every year. If your logo is red and black, for example, it would be unwise to bring a contrary colour into the palette. 

But if your brand includes this shade, you can bring it to the forefront this year. If Classic Blue complements your branding, you can use it in a myriad of ways: 

  • social media photos
  • blog post feature images 
  • branded promotional materials
  • printed material like your annual report, brochures or postcards 
  • advertising campaigns 
  • at exhibitions and events 
  • in videos as a backdrop
  • in staff wardrobes

Remember, the shade will change next year. So, if blue clashes with your palette then leave it out. It’s more important to be consistent with your branding than embrace a shade that’s popular in the short term. Who knows what the colour will be next year?

You can expect to see a lot of blue this year. If you like tennis and watched the recent APT Cup you will have noticed the deep shade of blue for the event’s branding,  a great colour to engage and connect players from a diversity of countries in this international competition. The ‘Australian Open True Blue’ colour of the courts is also a striking sea of blue.

How do I use the Pantone Colour of the Year in promotional merchandising? 

If your brand includes this shade, using it for corporate gifts or promotional products is a great way to stay on trend in 2020. Because it’s a classic and much-liked hue, it increases your opportunities to use it in your merchandise. Provided it complements your branding, there’s plenty of products you can produce in classic blue. The good thing? Most of your customers will love them. Shutterstock recently found that blue is Australia’s favourite colour. Plus, blue is often listed as a preferred shade by both men and women, giving it broader appeal. 

Classic Blue looks great in a myriad of applications, including: 

 Promotional products in Pantone Classic Blue Colour of the Year 2020

Need more tips for using Promotional Products for your Brand awareness? 

We can give you expert advice. Contact our friendly team and we’d be delighted to discuss your requirements. 

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