Adobe and Pantone launch colours of climate crisis

At the end of 2018, the company, Pantone revealed that “Living Coral” was 2019’s colour of the year. This announcement started some public criticism due to the irony of choosing “Living Coral” at a time when coral is dying at an unprecedented rate due to climate change. But instead of ignoring the negativity, Pantone took a different approach.

Pantone decided to address the issue directly with “Glowing, Glowing, Gone”; an awareness campaign that focuses on the vibrant but alarming colour changes in corals as a result of climate change. The campaign is a great display of how brands can correct an oversight not through apologies, but through activism, and it’s developed in partnership with The Ocean Agency. 

“The coral reef crisis represents far more than just saving corals. Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine life and are the main source of food and income for half a billion people. They are firmly on the front line of the climate crisis due to 93% of climate change heat being absorbed by the ocean. This is the moment in time when we have to decide whether we are prepared to lose not just individual species but entire global ecosystems on which we depend,” Richard Vevers, founder of The Ocean Agency, says.

In 2016, The Ocean Agency photographed one of the rarest sights in nature while filming the Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Coral. A coral reef in New Caledonia was “glowing” in incredible colours. Corals produce brightly coloured chemicals as a kind of sunscreen against fatally high water temperatures and sun exposure. This glowing phenomenon is called coral fluorescence and it’s a final line of defence before the coral dies and bleaches to white.

“Only a handful of people have ever witnessed the highly visual spectacle of corals ‘glowing’ in vibrant colours in a desperate bid to survive underwater heat waves,” Richard Vevers says. “Yet this phenomenon is arguably the ultimate indicator of one of our greatest environmental challenges — ocean warming and the loss of coral reefs.”

To bring awareness of the dire circumstances of coral to surface level, Adobe collaborated with the Pantone Color Institute and The Ocean Agency to capture the exact hues of coral fluorescence: PANTONE Glowing Yellow, PANTONE Glowing Blue, and PANTONE Glowing Purple.

Following in the footsteps of the colour, Living Coral, Glowing Yellow, Glowing Blue and Glowing Purple will make sure that everybody can recognise Earth’s major ecosystems in peril. The “Glowing, Glowing, Gone” campaign will kick off with a challenge to mobilise the creative community to use the new range of Glowing colours and create attention-grabbing art and designs that raise awareness of glowing corals and the warning they represent. 

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