The Pantone Color Institute Has Introduced a New Red Hue to Encourage ‘Period Positivity’

Pantone's latest color is a vibrant new red.

Pantone added 294 new colors to its swatch books in 2019. Photo courtesy of Pantone.
Pantone added 294 new colors to its swatch books in 2019. Photo courtesy of Pantone.

“Period,” the latest hue from the Pantone Color Institute, aims to take away the stigma of women’s menstrual cycles with a bold new red shade.

“An active and adventurous red hue, courageous Period emboldens those who menstruate to feel proud of who they are—to own their period with self-assurance; to stand up and passionately celebrate the exciting and powerful life force they are born with; to urge everyone, regardless of gender, to feel comfortable to talk spontaneously and openly about this pure and natural bodily function,” Pantone vice president Laurie Pressman said in a statement.

Characterized by Pantone as an “energizing and dynamic red shade that encourages period positivity,” Period Red is being launched in collaboration with Intimina, a Swedish feminine care brand running a Seen+Heard campaign to normalize conversations about menstruation.

Pantone's newest shade, Period Red, aims to end the stigma surrounding menstruation. Courtesy of Pantone.

Pantone’s newest shade, Period Red, aims to combat the stigma surrounding menstruation. Courtesy of Pantone.

A UN Women report released in 2019 found that periods remain taboo in many parts of the world, and that discrimination impacts the health, education, and socioeconomic outcomes of people who menstruate. UNESCO estimates that one in 10 girls in Africa miss school due to their periods, and eventually drop out, in part because of lack of access to menstrual products.

“Despite the fact that billions of people experience menstruation, it has historically been treated as something that shouldn’t be seen or talked about publicly,” said Danela Žagar, Intimina’s global brand manager. “Isn’t it time we come together to encourage period positivity and make sure periods are seen and heard?”

Founded in 1963 to standardize color matching in the printing industry, Pantone now offers a spectrum of 2,625 colors in its library. The company has released two new batches of colors over the past year, adding 294 colors to the Pantone Matching System last September, and 315 shades to the Pantone Fashion, Home, and Interiors Color System in March.

Pantone and the Prince Estate released the official shade of Prince purple, Love Symbol #2, in 2017. Courtesy of Pantone.

Pantone and the Prince estate released the official shade of Prince purple, Love Symbol #2, in 2017. Courtesy of Pantone.

Those new additions include on-trend colors such as Bisexual Lavender and Gen Z Yellow, the heir apparent to Millennial Pink, which Pantone helped immortalize when it named the soft pink Rose Quartz one of its 2016 Colors of the Year. (This year’s shade was Classic Blue.)

The release of standalone Pantone colors is fairly rare. In 2017, the Pantone Color Institute partnered with the Prince estate to unveil Love Symbol #2, a shade of dark purple to honor the late musician. In 2015, we got Minion Yellow, a cheerful golden hue released in 2015 to promote the movie Minions.

Pantone's Glowing Blue, Glowing Purple, and Glowing Yellow aim to raise awareness of how global warming is killing the world's coral reefs. Courtesy of Pantone.

Pantone’s Glowing Blue, Glowing Purple, and Glowing Yellow aim to raise awareness of how global warming is killing the world’s coral reefs. Courtesy of Pantone.

But the company doesn’t just use its clout to boost to major movie studios or celebrity brands. In 2019, Pantone joined with Adobe Stock and the nonprofit Ocean Agency to raise awareness of coral fluorescence, a phenomenon where dying color takes on fluorescent tones before succumbing to bleaching caused by global warming, with the release of Glowing Blue, Glowing Purple, and Glowing Yellow. And in May, Pantone teamed up with Girls on the Move to release Pippi Longstocking Orange, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the children’s book by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.


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