Trends in color are constantly evolving and these changes can tell us a lot about ourselves and our place in the world. By now, you’ve likely seen Pantone’s Color of the Year Viva Magenta across the market.
Unlike more recent trending colors, Viva Magenta is a hue with historical roots. It holds a deep connection to Latin American nature and a tiny cochineal insect on nopales. It’s a bold color and when used correctly, it can be a powerful tool in your branding and marketing toolbox. Additionally, by understanding the history of Viva Magenta and its meaning, we can better navigate an ever-shifting marketing landscape and get a sense of how trends might shift in the future.
Viva Magenta: A Hue with Deep Historical Connections
How Viva Magenta Influences Our Emotions
Unlike most reds, Viva Magenta is a subtle crimson red that doesn’t dominate its environment. And while the name might make you think of the brighter magentas we know, Viva Magenta has a different twist. It’s a shade rooted in nature but also connected to virtual experiences. Here are some of the feelings that Viva Magenta can evoke:
- Rebellious spirit
Brands have used the psychology behind colors for years as they understand how specific hues are linked with certain emotions. Our emotions can influence the perception of a brand, increase recognition and even sway our purchasing habits. From its historical origins to our modern digital experiences like the Magentaverse, Viva Magenta compels us forward to a time when we seek deeper purpose, fearlessness, and positivity.
The Origins and Ancient Connections
In an age of consumerism and fast-paced capitalism, we often overlook the meaning and connections behind colors like Viva Magenta. Rushing through color psychology could make us miss the deep historical roots that a hue may hold. And when we overlook this vital piece of communication, we can disengage with some of our customers.
Did you know Viva Magenta traces its roots back to Indigenous communities?
In the 16th century, kings, royalty, and other elite saw red as a symbol of power due to its scarcity. And it was also revered within the Roman military and a coveted pigment for royal painters. Back then, no carmine dye retained its intensity until La Gran Cochinilla was discovered.
Deep in Central America, the Aztec emperor, Moctezuma received bags of cochinillas as tribute from Indigenous communities. Cochinillas, also known as the cochineal parasitic insect, produced the most vibrant and long-lasting carmine dye the world had seen.
Indigenous communities discovered this dye as they noticed a parasitic insect produce a white powder on their nopales (prickly pear). As the female cochinillas feed on the nopales, their bodies turn sugars into carminic acid, creating the dye. It takes 70,000 cochinillas to make 1 pound of dye. The brilliance and resourcefulness of Indigenous communities turned the use of dye into traditional textiles, scriptures and pottery.
When the Spanish conquistadores arrived, they were mesmerized by this dye and focused on heavy exportation of it. The cochillia dye became the second-highest export from Mexico under the control of the Spanish court.
Viva Magenta is much more than just a color — it has deep historical roots in Latin American nature, with the cochineal insect found on nopales. The story behind Viva Magenta also reminds us of how Indigenous communities were resourceful and created vibrant dyes from the tiniest insects. When looking at color trends, we must recognize our history to truly understand where our society is headed.
Viva Magenta in Marketing and Branding
Viva Magenta does more than capture attention. With its striking vibrancy, it exudes confidence and encourages self-belief. Using Viva Magenta heavily depends on your brand needs and how you connect with your audience. Since Viva Magenta is such a versatile shade, its applications offer you more possibilities.
Areas you might see Viva Magenta in:
- Fashion industry
- Home & interiors
- Electronics & Tech
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and push industry boundaries of color usage when it makes sense. Let’s say you have an eco-tourism company. Instead of using the common blues, greens, and yellows for their branding, you could incorporate Viva Magenta to reflect our need to connect to nature.
Or you can use Viva Magenta in digital spaces such as augmented and virtual reality to build unimaginable worlds that fuel our creativity.
Best Practices for Using Viva Magenta
As you pair this hue with other colors, you’ll want to reflect on how that other color can influence and shift the meaning of what you want to convey. Our relation to color is always influenced by emotion — whether it’s at a subconscious or conscious level. Without understanding the meaning, choosing colors isn’t something you should leave to an eye-dropper tool or letting AI generate.
Here are some things to consider when using Viva Magenta:
If you change the tint (adding white) or shade (adding black) the color changes and so does the meaning. A deeper shade could feel more organic, while a lighter shade could feel more muted and vintage.
Your color combinations can drastically change the meaning. Always consider what the other colors mean when pairing these together.
Consumers in the food industry may be weary of Viva Magenta as some can consider foods with carmine dyes to be non-vegan.
When using Viva Magenta with text, make sure you have enough contrast for accessibility purposes. You can quickly check using a free tool such as Color.Adobe.com.
Want to learn more about how you can strategically leverage Viva Magenta? Watch our popular LinkedIn Course: Color Trends. And learn all about the color trends for 2023.
Viva Magenta is a captivating and dynamic color that can evoke many emotions, from enthusiastic and inclusive to brave and assertive. It’s rooted in nature but also connected with virtual experiences. Its historical connection to the cochineal insect found on nopales across Latin America adds an extra layer of depth for brands looking to engage customers at a deeper level. Whether you’re marketing fashion products or building augmented realities, Viva Magenta offers creativity and versatility when used thoughtfully. When considering how best to use this hue for your brand’s purposes, always consider its relationship with other colors as well as accessibility needs so consumers will be able to interact with it effectively. With these tips in mind, we hope you find creative ways to incorporate Viva Magenta into your branding!