How to Use Pantone’s Color of the Year to Build Your Brand Recognition

2020 is looking blue. Earlier this month, Pantone announced its 22nd color of the year: PANTONE 19-4052, also known as Classic Blue. Suggestive of the evening sky, Classic Blue is characterized as a restful shade by many. It’s calming and often brings a sense of tranquility to those who look upon it.

“Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication,” said Leatrice Eisemen, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

The Color of the Year is believed to be a reflection of what is happening in our world today. Therefore, incorporating it into your marketing strategy can help you stay fresh and relevant. There are many innovative ways you can use Classic Blue to build your brand recognition. Here are some ideas to help get you started and spark inspiration:


Promotional Products
Classic Blue is a celebrated shade in the promotional products world. It’s especially welcome in the area of corporate apparel. An office-appropriate color, it looks great on all skin tones and can truly enhance any wardrobe. Classic Blue works on casual shirts, blouses, sweaters, polos, wovens, and knits. It’s also a crowd-pleasing option for brands looking to uniform staff in the hospitality, spa and healthcare industries.

Researchers have found that up to 90 percent of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone. Be sure to keep your brand fresh by sprinkling some Classic Blue into your email designs. Email ads are a great place to introduce the year’s signature color. Sure, most emails tend to be fairly straightforward, but there is plenty of room for visual creativity.

Landing Page
According to Marketing Sherpa, 48 percent of marketers create a new landing page template for each marketing campaign. That requires a lot of creative energy.  Fortunately, Pantone offers a Color of the Year to use as a jumping-off point for all kinds of marketing strategists. The non-aggressive qualities of Classic Blue will put your web visitors at ease as they interact with different features on your site.


Classic Blue holds the potential to communicate messages of simplicity like comfort, peace, and reassurance. By incorporating a hint of the color into your logo, your brand can communicate those same calming messages.

Incorporate Complementing Tones
Blue is one of the few colors that works well with practically any other cool tone, including gray purple and black. Cool tone combinations will exude a sense of stability and calm.

Gradient Design
Take advantage of the elegance and comfort that is associated with Classic Blue. You can do this by using it as a part of a gradient design and fading blue into another contrasting color to trigger emotional connections.


Choosing the right color scheme for your website requires a lot of experimentation. Keep it trendy by throwing in some blue when appropriate. Consider adding the color to your links, clicked links, shades and maybe even try some opacity if it works with your theme. Remember, contrast is key.

Videos, Imagery, Storyboards, Flyers
Compelling images like infographics, illustrative icons or entertaining videos can help generate more leads. You’d be remiss if you didn’t use these visual components as an opportunity to feature Classic Blue. Find creative ways to sprinkle the color throughout the visible frame, either in clothing, props, or backdrops. This little extra attention to detail will help to make your campaigns stand out.

Use Stock Images
If you’re not an artist or you simply don’t have the time or money to design or shoot original content, there is always the option to use stock images. It’s not hard to find pictures that already feature the Classic Blue hue. Check out Unsplash for freely usable professional photos. You can work that photography into your blog articles, flyers, newsletters, and emails. Promotional products professionals can turn to alphabroder’s Digital Lounge to access a comprehensive library of promo-specific assets. The Digital Lounge offers free downloadable, reusable content like social graphics, storyboards, flyers, videos and more.


Social Media Campaigns
Social media is yet another great tool to implement the use of Classic Blue and build brand recognition. Keep Pantone in mind next time you post a photo. Integrating the Color of the Year in social media campaigns is a fun and practical way to draw attention.

Ad Campaigns
Pantone introduces new colors every year to give designers direction. Take the new Classic Blue color as an opportunity to re-introduce your brand to the world with a new ad campaign.

Refresh Your Brand Color
Refreshing your brand by utilizing the Color of the Year is a great way to re-introduce your business and stay relevant year over year. Do this by changing the slider or background of your website, or adding an accent color to this year’s ad campaign.

There are plenty of fun and creative ways to use Classic Blue to build brand loyalty. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of the color. Looking for some inspiration to help get you started? Check out some of our favorite promotional products that come in PANTONE 19-4052 below:

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