PicMonkey Designers Pick Top Colors for 2020

Pantone’s pick for Color of the Year 2020 has been causing quite a stir — surprising since it appears to be a perfectly harmless classic blue. But favorite colors, like favorite music, are completely subjective, of course, and just because the color gurus have chosen one single specific shade doesn’t mean we all have to agree to love it. And that’s okay!

PicMonkey’s team of talented, colorful designers had a think and shared their choices for Color of the Year. From happy orange to moody gray, they are celebrating a wide spectrum of hues. What’s your pick? Tell us on Instagram.

Crystal Goade, Creative Director

“Is it not the year of the (pic)monkey? #picmonkeyorange is delightful and uplifting, something to get excited about and to inspire creativity. It promotes energy, action, and warmth. Besides, who doesn’t love the color of a bright sunset? I know I do. Bring on my happy dance.”

Orange strengthens your emotional body, encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness. – Tae Yun Kim

Erin Oostra, Visual Designer

“Lord Byron said it best: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods,” as he reflected upon a strong desire for solitude and peace. In today’s world of information overload, political unrest, and constant pressure to reach perfection, I like to take a step back into nature to remind me of why I’m here and what truly brings me happiness. That’s why I chose this savory herbal green color — it imparts a healthy and restorative harmony to all who gaze upon her. Chive brings me right back to that feeling of walking through those pathless woods, surrounded by lush Pacific Northwest greenery, comforted by solitude and peace, which I think we could all use a bit more of right about now.”

Troy Coleman, Principal Designer

Take all the colors under the sun/Only one color I think much fun/And that’s orange. – Ken Nordine

“I choose Pantone 17-1360, Celosia Orange, as my color for 2020. Orange is the happiest of colors — because science says so. It’s friendly, bright, cheerful, and vibrates of comfort, warmth, and optimism. Orange connotes a sense of play and playful interaction. Play is an important part of our creative process. It gives us permission to be vulnerable, facilitates creative collaboration, and promotes learning.”

“In addition to play and creativity, I imagine the Dali Lama wrapped in his vibrant orange robes, and I am reminded of mindfulness, empathy, and acceptance. We would do well to bring more of that into 2020.”

Rachel Wan, Visual Designer

“With all the buzz about millennial pink being a passing trendy hue for teenagers, I definitely feel like it got snubbed last year when Living Coral took the crown as Pantone Color of the Year. You can’t deny how popular this color has gotten in the past few years and how versatile it is for everything from fashion to graphic design — even interiors and home accessories. It’s really turned baby pink into a grown-up neutral that is new, fresh and ready for a new millenium, and I’m all for it.”

Natalie Wilson, Visual Design Lead

“I’m feeling nostalgic at the start of 2020. In my mind, 20 years ago is both the year 2000 and 1980! Call me a 90’s kid. That being said, it’s enjoyable to see the retro 90’s aesthetic coming back. This is my take on the 90’s teal — a brighter, more modern approach to the beloved color.”

“Green is commonly associated with the environment which is a crucially important topic in our world today. It’s also calming and rejuvenating — something I think we all need in this tumultuous world these days.”

Madison DeLong, Visual Designer

“Black is classic, but a dark gray has a bit more richness. The lovely thing about grays, is that they optically take on color based on the colors around them. For example, the same shade of gray next to an orange or a blue will look very different in each case. Know your color theory and this color can work for you in unexpected ways.”

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Sarah Gonzales

Sarah Gonzales is the content marketing manager at PicMonkey. Before this she worked at Intiut, and before that started a non-profit, and before that had a radio show, and before that worked at Ms. magazine, and before that went to UC Berkeley, and before ALL of that grew up in Alaska.