Purple reign: Speculation on what the Color of 2018 symbolizes

FARGO - Last month, Pantone Color Institute announced "Ultra Violet" as the Color of 2018.It's "a dramatically provocative and thoughtful" shade, according to the color experts, and a far cry from the light and fresh "Greenery" of 2017.To determi...
If you love purple, 2018 is your year. Ultra Violet is the Color of 2018, according to Pantone Color Institute, and is already available in many household items. Dreamstime / TNS

FARGO - Last month, Pantone Color Institute announced "Ultra Violet" as the Color of 2018.

It's "a dramatically provocative and thoughtful" shade, according to the color experts, and a far cry from the light and fresh "Greenery" of 2017.

To determine the annual Color of the Year (which the organization has done for 19 years now), Pantone analyzes design trends as well as other less well-defined concepts such as the national mood.

"We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in the official announcement. "It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to... Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive ultra violet lights the way to what is yet to come."

In the home and fashion world, consumers can expect to see an influx of appliances, housewares, clothing and accessories that embody the color.

But does the color signify something more?

Here are our thoughts on why this particular shade of purple was selected and what it means on a scale greater than just clothing and home goods.

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Political bipartisanship

In November 2016 when Hillary Clinton conceded the presidential election to Donald Trump, she donned a black suit with purple lapels and a purple shirt beneath - a direct message to the need for political partisanship after a distinctly divisive campaign season. By choosing the color for 2018, perhaps Pantone is also sending a message to the country that we aren't a collection of red or blue states - we're the United States.

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A royal tribute

While discussing the color, one of our team members pointed out that the color could be a subtle tribute to Minneapolis native and rock legend Prince. His name has become synonymous with the color purple, thanks to the film and album "Purple Rain". Yes, Prince died in April 2016, but the loss of someone President Barack Obama deemed a "cultural icon" is still being felt.

Someone else pointed out that purple has always been associated with royalty - for centuries, in fact. Queen Elizabeth I forbade anyone except members of the royal family to wear the color during her reign in the late 1500s and early 1600s. In those days, purple fabric was so expensive only royalty could afford it.

Why does this matter?

Because if the news of another little prince or princess for the Cambridge family wasn't exciting enough, now Prince Harry is engaged and expected to wed American actress Meghan Markle in May.

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Skol Vikings

Another team member pointed out that the color could allude to the fact that the Super Bowl will be played in Minneapolis, home to the Vikings, whose team color is purple.

Additionally, the Vikings clinched the NFC North title and have a bye in the first round of playoffs. Las Vegas oddsmakers now have the Vikings as one of top two favorites to win Super Bowl 52.

If the Vikings make it through the playoffs to earn a Super Bowl championship appearance, they will make history as the first football team to do so on their home field.

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Vibrant vegetables

Back in August, the Garden Media Group released its 2018 trends report and, oddly enough, the organization predicted purple vegetables would be in en vogue in the coming year. Forum gardening columnist Don Kinzler highlighted this and other trends in a Dec. 30 article, in which he explains that "the purple antioxidant anthocyanin helps fight cancer, has anti-aging benefits, reduces obesity, protects the heart and promotes mental strength."

Expect to see grocery stores and farmers markets filled with beets, plums, eggplant and purple varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes and corn.