Global-Warming White, Offred Red and other 2019 Pantone Color of the Year picks that never were

A section of the ice sheet covering Greenland and the 2018 White House holiday decorations provide inspiration for colorful alternatives to the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year.
(John McConnico / Associated Press (left), Michael Reynolds /EPA-EFE / Rex)

It’s almost impossible to ignore the political subtext of Wednesday’s big reveal that Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year is Living Coral, described in the announcement as “an animating and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone.” That’s because the health of the planet’s coral reefs has been threatened by rising sea temperatures linked to global climate change, and the current U.S. commander-in-chief (he of the carrot-colored coif) is a staunch skeptic of human-caused global warming.

The Times already posted the details on Pantone’s pick, which is officially being revealed Thursday However, we couldn’t help but wonder what colors might have been in the mix from the color-forecasting firm, known for its color matching system, if the political messaging were more overt.

To that end, here are a quartet of riffed-off-the-news hues that could have been appropriate picks for 2019.


Global-Warming White

A shade of brilliant white that evokes the glint of sunlight off the polar ice caps, this color won’t be around forever. Helpful hint: When used to paint home interiors, buy more than you need because the coverage area is expected to shrink markedly.

Offred Red

Named in honor of the heroine of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” it’s a red-state shade that promises to be popular in the year ahead. It has already been on trend in the political sphere thanks to MAGA trucker caps, the 2018 White House holiday decorations and the U.S. Senate seating map.

RELATED: Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019 is ‘life-affirming’ Living Coral »

Living Coral Reefer

A verdant, leafy green that takes its name from Jimmy Buffett’s backing band and its color from freshly harvested marijuana. Long trendy in Colorado, Washington and California, this ganja green is expected to trend heavily in Michigan and Massachusetts in 2019, and be available in a handful of others with a doctor’s prescription. Side effects include an insatiable appetite for a vibrant shade of Doritos orange. (Note: This color remains banned at the federal level.)

Bad Ombre

A nod to 2016’s Pantone choice of not one but two colors — a baby blue called Serenity and a pastel pink called Rose Quartz — this are actually a two-tone shade that transitions slowly from a light skin tone to a darker one depending on its proximity to the southern U.S. border.


Prison Jumpsuit Orange

Also known as Blaze Orange, Hazmat Orange and Road-Cone Orange, it’s an animated and vibrant shade of orange with an undertone of guilt. With the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign resulting in seven guilty pleas to date, it could turn out to be the biggest inside-the-beltway color trend in years.

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