PERIOD RED, the new Pantone colour of the month year?

Red — the colour of passion, heat, love, danger, power, anger, energy and menstrual blood.

WORDS Sara Black

Colours intrinsically tend to evoke a feeling. Is there a universal colour theory behind it all? Mostly, but other factors such as culture, association and simple preference play a part in the way colours may make one feel. Blues? A sense of calmness or freshness could arise but veer a little darker and it may stir feelings of trust and reliability (banks, anyone?) Reds tend to purport polarising characteristics; some view it as passionate and invigorating, others feel a heightened sense of danger.

Which is where Pantone fit into the picture. Known for their ruling over colour trends, one normally wouldn’t necessarily associate the company with particularly progressive thinking. But this year’s been pretty fucked up already so who I am to judge. Ergo, a new colour has been officially added to the Pantone swatch book, Period Red. Why do we care? Who needs another shade of red in their lives?

The addition isn’t ground-breaking whatsoever but the name of the colour will prick the ears of some pricks people. Which is important. Long-viewed as taboo (thanks society), unclean (thanks Quran and the Bible) and toxic (thanks raw vegan bloggers) in many cultures, menstruation isn’t a topic many in the modern world have quite come to terms with.

So, as seemingly insignificant as a new Pantone colour announcement in the messy year that is 2020, normalising period chat is really important. Could Period Red be a contender for Pantone’s next colour of the year? Here’s hoping.

pantone period red


Sign up for email updates and news

Sign up

Sign up to receive regular news and updates on new issues, special projects, and other news.