Everything's Just Peachy; Pantone's 2024 Color of the Year Is Peach Fuzz
by Rudy Sanchez on 12/07/2023 | 4 Minute Read
For 25 years, the color experts at Pantone have anointed a color of the year meant to inspire and be the color zeitgeist for the next 365 days. Pantone’s proclamation is widely anticipated by many, sparking discussion with designers and creatives everywhere.
And this year, Pantone clearly has gentle on its mind, naming Peach Fuzz as the 2024 color, or, for the swatch and number enthusiasts out there, 13-1023. It’s not supposed to remind you of those awkward middle or high school days when you tried oh so hard to rock a mustache, but rather, according to Pantone, Peach Fuzz invokes a “feeling of tenderness” and “a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration.” It's almost certainly a lighter, calmer hue than last year’s Viva Magenta. Instead of going for “vibrant vim and vigor,” Pantone is signaling a future year where we’re seeking comfort, compassion, and a more peaceful (er, peach-ful?) future.
With all the war and political division surrounding us, from the inevitable and perhaps more contentious rematch between Trump and Biden, Gaza, Ukraine, and online stochastic terrorism from the likes of Infowars’ Alex Jones and Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik, it’s easy to see why Pantone would go with a warm, peachy tone as its choice. Viva Magenta is strong and bold and, in retrospect, in seemingly billions of AI-generated images. Perhaps Pantone’s 2024 hue reminds us to step back and become more empathetic toward one another.
It almost feels like the Pantone prognosticators see a world where we need literal warm and fuzzies. If you’re a color expert looking to radiate positive vibes into this world in 2024, what better inspiration than a juicy, sweet, soft peach? Moreover, using the “fuzzy” adjective evokes a sense of calm and comfort, like the weighted blanket you burrito yourself into.
Even the most cynical among us, like writers and reporters on the design beat like me, must acknowledge that the world needs more downy feels. We’ve been through a lot, and the shit seems to keep rolling downhill, so a pleasant, soothing peachy Pantone color might be the brief respite to the current calamities we face on the daily, a reminder that we can course correct if we all collectively come together and work towards peace and togetherness.
“A cozy peach hue softly nestled between pink and orange, Pantone 13-1023 Peach Fuzz brings belonging, inspires recalibration, and an opportunity for nurturing, conjuring up an air of calm, offering us a space to be, feel, and heal and to flourish from whether spending time with others or taking the time to enjoy a moment by ourselves,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, via press release. “Drawing comfort from Pantone 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, we can find peace from within, impacting our wellbeing. An idea as much as a feeling, Pantone 13-1023 Peach Fuzz awakens our senses to the comforting presence of tactility and cocooned warmth.”
Pantone is possibly onto something. It sounds cheesy and trite, but the world might be more pleasant if we surround ourselves with soothing hues like Peach Fuzz. Maybe that will inspire us to be nicer to one another or soothe our feelings when others are mean to us, IRL or online. We're social creatures, and we’re better when we work together instead of fighting one another. Frankly, it’s hard to be bellicose and aggressive, draped in peach tones, spicy-sweet BBQ sauces notwithstanding.
“With this year’s Pantone Color of the Year 2024, we see an increased focus on community and people across the world reframing how they want to live and evaluating what is important—that being the comfort of being close to those we love. The color is one whose warm and welcoming embrace conveys a message of compassion and whose cozy sensibility brings people together and enriches the soul,” added Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, in the same press release. “In the spirit of PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, we reflect back on the last 25 years of the Pantone Color of the Year program, grateful to provide an avenue where designers and color enthusiasts all over the world can engage in a conversation about color, be inspired by color and showcase their creativity within their communities. We look forward to continuing this for many more years to come.”
So, expect to see more of Peach Fuzz in the coming months via collaborations between Pantone and partners like Motorola, cosmetics company Shades by Shan, home decor brand Ruggable, textile manufacturer Ultrafabrics, and surface design pattern experts Spoonflower. Peach Fuzz will also feature in a series of limited-edition phones, makeup, rugs and mats, wallpapers, and fabrics in 2024.
Of course, there's little doubt that Pantone itself will feature Peach Fuzz on its own line of merch, like coffee mugs and maybe even a skateboard deck, as it has in previous years. However, no announcements have been made as of yet.
Can a single color of the year edict from Pantone inspire calm, peace, and community in a world that seems more contentious and divided than ever? Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.
Images courtesy of Pantone.