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CELEBRATING VIVA MAGENTA—AND ALSO 1797, 716, 107, 356, 2748, AND 2607

WHAT BEGAN IN THE 1950s as a systemization of color pigments has evolved into Pantone and its PMS (Pantone Matching System). Today the company’s standards are used in a variety of industries, including graphic, fashion, and product design. I recall the R&T art department had its Pantone PMS documentation handy in specifying color renderings in the magazine. 

Here let’s celebrate Viva Magenta, 18-1750, Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2023, together with the PMS series 1797, 716, 107, 356, 2748, and 2607, a colorful punch in the nose to Qatar, an ultraconservative country much in the news these days.

Viva Magenta. Olivia Heath writes in House Beautiful, December 2, 2022, “Viva Magenta is a nuanced crimson red with pink tones that presents a balance between warm and cool. Rooted in nature, this hybrid colour is powerful, empowering and assertive, but not aggressive – it encourages experimentation and self-expression without restraint. Ultimately, this electrifying, boundary-less shade promotes optimism, joy and strength.”

Pantone 18-1750, Viva Magenta. This and the following images from House Beautiful, December 2, 2022. 

Heath also describes annual Pantone Colours from this year’s Very Peri, “a dynamic periwinkle blue with vivifying violet red undertone,” to 2000’s Cerulean, its “official colour of the millennium; the colour of the sky on a serene, crystal clear day.”

 Above, Very Peri, 17-3938. Below, Cerulean, 15-4020.

Pantone occasionally expresses social or political nuances. Sand Dollar, 13-1106, was its 2006 choice: “Natural and organic… considered to express concern about the 2006 economy… a warm shade that relaxes and soothes nerves. It is also reminiscent of the desert and soft sandy beaches.”

Sand Dollar, 13-1106. 

VoA Reports. “Fans’ Wild World Cup Fashion Draws Praise, Scorn in Qatar,” Voice of America, December 4, 2022, describes geopolitical aspects of color and dress with a Pantone workaround.

VoA writes, “The World Cup in Qatar has become a political lightning rod, so it comes as no surprise that soccer fans’ sartorial style has sparked controversy. Forget your classic soccer jerseys—the streets of Doha have been transformed into a chaotic runway show in terms of fashion.”

A pair of Korean football fans adapt the ghutra, the traditional head scarf worn by men across the Arabian Peninsula. Image from VoA, December 2, 2022. 

Crusader Cosplay. Rather more controversial, VoA reports, were “English fans’ caped crusader costumes. The outfits, featuring a suit of chainmail armor, plastic helmet and shield emblazoned with an upright cross, are a nod to the Christian conquests of the Holy Land from the 11th to 13th centuries that pitted European invaders against Muslims.”

VoA continues, “Footage circulating on Twitter showed Qatari security turning away fans dressed as crusaders before the England-Iran match in the tournament’s group stage. Others reported they were asked to surrender their costumes before England played the United States a few days later.”

Responded one Qatari, “What is so painful is to see some visitors in our country praising the glories of Crusader Europe, which disgraced the honor of all Muslims.”

And Who’s Disgraced by a Rainbow? Well, okay. As for tolerance, what about Qatar’s responses to LGBTQ? 

VoA writes, “But the biggest flashpoint at the tournament so far has been rainbow clothing and other multicolored accessories as Qatar’s criminalization of homosexuality triggered a storm of criticism. After FIFA threatened European teams wearing ‘One Love’ armbands with in-game discipline, some fans have taken it upon themselves to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community.”

VoA says, “Days after fans complained they were blocked from stadiums because of rainbow attire, FIFA offered assurances that Qatari security would allow the items into matches. The rule has been unevenly enforced.”

A Pantone Workaround. “To avoid the hassle,” VoA reports, “a French advertising agency has promoted World Cup armbands printed with black-and-white Pantone cards that identify rainbow colors with numbers.”

I must find a T-shirt emblazoned with 1797, 716, 107, 356, 2748, and 2607. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022

One comment on “CELEBRATING VIVA MAGENTA—AND ALSO 1797, 716, 107, 356, 2748, AND 2607

  1. William Rabel
    December 10, 2022

    I’ve thought that six spectators could each wear a shirt, one for each color, and then all sit in one row together.

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