What Purple, The 2018 Color of the Year, Has To Do With The Washington Post and The New York Times Rivalry And A Subliminal Political Message for The Coming Year

amethyst-tealightThe Color Purple has a history in our family before the 1985 outstanding movie with Whoopi Goldberg.  In 1982, our youngest daughter was three.  She always demanded her own way since birth, but at age three she decided she would only wear the color purple.  At the time, she had a few clothing items in purple, and she refused to go out of the house unless she wore one of these.  As she was our youngest, she wore us down quickly.  We succumbed.  This Grandma bought clothing dye and dyed every item, sneakers included, purple.  No more tantrums.  When we look at pictures of our youngest dressed in purple, we know exactly how old she was when the picture was taken.

Now, I have learned that purple, Ultra Violet to be exact, has been designated the color of the year for 2018 by the Pantone Color Institute.  It is wonderful to have light news for once, and, how the color purple may lift our spirits, be highlighted in our makeup, our clothing and our homes this year. Or so I initially thought.

To find out more about the Pantone Color Institute and how and why they have the privilege of the color of the year, I first went to their website.

Interestingly, as of the middle of January 2018, their website still highlights the 2017 color of the year, Greenery.  Their website explains much of what they do:

“The Pantone Color Institute helps companies make the most informed decisions about color for their brands or products. Whether it is color trend forecasting, brand color development, custom color solutions, or product palette selection, the Pantone Color Institute can guide you through the development of a color strategy that fits your company’s unique needs.”

Much more information about the Pantone Color Institute can be found on one of my favorite websites, Wikipedia.     Wikipedia quotes Pantone as saying “that color ‘has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.’ “  Now,  I really became interested. . . .in how our present culture is expressed by the choice of purple as the 2018 color of the year.

I learned that Pantone began in New York City in the 1950s as a commercial printing company, but later developed  the Pantone Color Matching System, “ largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.”  Aha, businesses take note of the color of the year as designated by the Pantone Color Institute since they began doing so in 2000.

How do they determine the color?  Wikipedia gives us the answer:

“Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year; for example, the color for summer 2013 was chosen in London in the spring of 2012. The color purportedly connects with the zeitgeist; for example, the press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of 2011 said “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.”The results of the meeting are published in Pantone View ($750), which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products.”

The use of the word, “zeigest” is very significant to this year’s choice of Ultra Violet by experts.  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “[s]cholars have long maintained that each era has a unique spirit, a nature or climate that sets it apart from all other epochs.”  Zeigest is defined on google, “the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.”  I can identify that 2018 may be an “Ultra” everything year.

Also significant is that this is not the first year in recent history that purple was the designated color of the year.  Purple appeared, in 2014, in a different hue, Radiant Orchid.  At an interview in 2014, the choice of the color purple was then explained by Leatrice Eiseman, the person behind Pantone’s Color of the Year, Executive Director of the Pantone Color:

“. . . .a kind of a magical color that denotes creativity and innovation. Purple is just that kind of a complex, interesting, attracting kind of color… [The] back-story to purple is that it inspires confidence in your creativity, and we’re living in a world where that kind of creative innovation is greatly admired. In the world of color, purple is an attention-getter, and it has a meaning. It speaks to people. . . .”

Why is the Twitter bird blue and not purple?

Even though the Pantone website is not updated to reflect Ultra Violet as their 2018 color of the year (still reflecting Greenery for 2017) as of the writing of this post, December 7, 2017 in a New York Times article, Vanessa Friedman, writes “The Future Is … Purple.”

followed  December 9, 2017, by Valencia Prashaddec  in the The New York Times article, “The Rich and Royal History of Purple, the Color of 2018,This was reprinted in part on the New York Times, Back Story page, on January 9, 2018, by the same author.

First, The New York Times writers taught me more about the color purple.  I probably should have done the research when our daughter was three and maybe have been a better parent imparting something educational rather than having taught her tantrums were successful in getting her own way. But without the internet, how could I have easily done it?  They say:

“In Phoenician times, purple dye was made from the mucus of sea snails in the coastal city of Tyre, in what is now Lebanon. Because the color was difficult and expensive to produce, it became associated with power and royalty, from ancient Rome to the kingdoms of Europe. In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth I decreed that only members of the royal family could wear the color.

In 1856, a British chemist, William Henry Perkin, made the color more accessible when he accidentally created a purple dye while trying to concoct a treatment for malaria. . . . On the other hand, rather than a warning, the color is an invitation to many who practice mindfulness, that movement that trains your mind on the present moment. An internet search will show the movement’s fondness for the color, which has often been connected with meditation (even when your flight is delayed) and spirituality.”

Next, we come to the “ultra” (exceptional) themes and messages.

Leatrice Eiseman is still executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, and she is quoted in the New York Times describing the 2018 version of the previous 2014 color purple.

“It’s also the most complex of all colors, because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.”

It “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking. . . . It is found in the cosmos (think of all those swirling purple nebulae!), the wellness movement (amethyst crystals!) and was a favorite color of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who used to wear a purple cape when he was trying to be creative. Ditto Wagner, who liked to surround himself with purple when he was composing. Also, of course, Prince. . . .”

The last quote from Leatrice Eiseman resonates:

“We wanted to pick something that brings hope and an uplifting message”

So, if we combine the Executive Director of the Pantone Color’s 2014 and 2018 messages from above in quotes and puts her quotes about the color purple (some paraphrased and re-ordered) in chronological order below by this Grandma, we glean from the leading experts how the 2018 color of the year, Ultra Violet, connects with the zeitgeist, exceptionally defining the spirit or mood of this particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of this present time, as to what to expect or strive for in 2018 if we bring the color purple into our lives:


Purple is a complex, interesting, attracting kind of color.

Purple inspires confidence in your creativity, and we’re living in a world where that kind of creative innovation is greatly admired.

Purple is an attention-getter, it has a meaning, and it speaks to people.


Purple is in the cosmos in all those swirling purple nebulae.

Purple takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.

 Purple communicates creativity, originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.

Wow!  Read 2014 and 2018 together again as a political message for 2018!  Are we presently in a purple swirling energy field?  Can purple bring divergent political parties (note the colors that make purple) together to create something new that is truly creative, original, ingenious and visionary in 2018? Is the choice of purple to help us become uplifted and hopeful?

Did the experts who gathered to select a deep color of purple, Ultra Violet, for Pantone Color Institute intentionally and significantly address the present political climate?

This Grandma reads both the New York Times and Washington Post every morning, and the Washington Post first, even before seeing the outstanding movie, “The Post,” with its feminist twist.  Did the New York Times scoop the Washington Post again by the subliminal political message through its news coverage of Ultra Violet as the color of the year for 2018?

When and what did the Washington Post give us on this “ultra” important “violet” political subliminal political message for 2018?

Two days after the third article in The New York Times on the 2018 color of the year, January 11, 2018, the Washington Post gave us, “Pantone’s 2018 color of the year — and 10 ways you can decorate with it,” by Megan McDonough.

The Washington Post provides design sources on how to use purple in our homes in 2018.  I say we should especially stick with the five star rated authentic Amethyst tealight “emanating light through the semi-transparent quartz for an ethereal ambience” from zgallerie.com for $34.95, by far the least expensive decorating recommendation.   For even more reasons than the subliminal messages given above, I think I will incorporate Amethyst crystals in my home and life to help with mindfulness, meditation and spiritual thinking to train my mind on the present moment to help me get through 2018 with hopefulness and









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