‘Peach Fuzz’ is Pantone’s 2024 colour of the year.
So, we thought it apt to take a little deep dive on 🍑’s influence across visual culture.
Peach fuzz is described by Pantone as ‘compassionate and nurturing’, embodying heartfelt kindness, and a desire for a more peaceful future.
Peach takes prominence in western cultures as a colour of softness, post war optimism and euro-centric skin tones, while in Eastern histories takes on powerful ideas of good luck, immortality and plain old cuteness.
Ancient Chinese art & mythology
In Chinese culture, the colour peach represents good fortune and long life.
The significance comes from the connection to the mythical ‘peach tree of immortality’. Peach is commonly used in art, particularly as a background shade. Peach holds deep cultural importance in China, reflecting powerful and positive values in folklore, traditions, and artistic expression.
Oil paint, still life & rococo
When oil paint became popular in Europe, artists started using the peach a lot, especially as peaches were a popular subject for still life painting, and the refinement of some european skin tones was able to be created with oil paint.
This was most common during the Rococo era, known for being playful and light. Peach tones, with their soft and warm qualities, were liked by Rococo artists to give their art an elegant and frivolous look – symbolising an enjoyment of life’s pleasures.
During the Impressionist era, artists loved using peach tones because they were great for capturing the subtleties of light and atmosphere in their paintings.
Peach hues helped convey the warmth and glow of sunlight, especially during sunrise or sunset. This use of peach wasn’t just about getting the colours right, but also about expressing the mood and feeling of a scene – a key concern of impressionism.
In Art Deco, the colour peach was used to create a feeling of optimism and sophistication after World War I. It symbolized refinement and elegance, signalling a time of promised prosperity.
Peach was particularly popular when used on mirror and in glassware. Whether in fashion, design, or everyday items, peach became a visual expression of the prosperity and glamour associated with the Roaring Twenties.
After World War II, there was (another) a widespread sense of optimism and a desire for a peaceful and pleasant life. This led to a preference for soft, calming colours, including gentle tones of peach.
Pastel shades became popular in home décor, advertising (particularly aimed at women), and fashion, creating a visual environment that reflected a shift toward domestic comfort and happiness. Advertisers used these colours to promote a vision of an idealized and harmonious family life, with an idea of maternal and submissive femininity at its core.
Kawaii, Digital & Online Cultures
Peach is a popular colour in Kawaii culture, which celebrates all things CUTE.
Peach is loved for its gentle tones, adding a friendly and youthful feel to the visual language. The influence of peach extends to other fringe and derivative aesthetic communities like Lolita, “peachcore” and “vintage peach” that incorporate peach tones for a nostalgic and timeless appeal.
In the 2020’s, peach has become increasingly popular, seen by some as the Gen-Z version of ‘millennial pink’.
Peach brings a sense of comfort and nostalgia, making it a popular choice for homeware and interiors, providing a soothing and familiar feeling in a world that can feel uncertain. Whether in our homes, wardrobes, or on screen (shoutout wes anderson), peach has become more than just a colour—it’s a symbol of emotional comfort and simplicity in our modern lives, making it a solid choice for Pantone’s colour of the year 2024.
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