Workplace

Periwinkle (yes, the color) is poised to swallow the internet

Pantone hopes its “Very-Peri” color of the year will be a constant in our digital lives, starting with a Microsoft partnership.

A textured image of periwinkle

Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year is “Very-Peri.”

Image: Pantone

Close your eyes and think about the year ahead. What colors do you see? Maybe it’s sea blue for the beach vacation you’re hoping to have. Or a hazy red, the color you plan to dye your hair. More likely, it’s the color of your computer screen glare, which you’ve been staring at for the past five hours.

The Pantone Color Institute, the forecasting wing of professional color authority Pantone, is charged with analyzing all these colors and narrowing them down to a single color of the year. The company declared 2022 the year of “Very Peri”, a “dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet red undertone.” It’s the first time Pantone has created a brand new color for color of the year.

“I think people have the idea that we sit in this room once a year around a big table in this beautiful building,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute and color psychologist. “It doesn’t quite work like that. This is a global team of color futurists.”

Very-Peri represents a culture undergoing “transformation,” Pressman said. We’re still reeling from a never-ending pandemic and reckoning with the ways our lives have permanently changed. Particularly, our reliance on digital tools for almost every aspect of life: work, entertainment, retail, communication. Even conversations about a future embodied metaverse are wrapped into this dynamic periwinkle, Pressman said. The color is a blend of blue and red, similar to our blurring physical and digital worlds.

“We’re seeing designers that didn’t have materials because everything was cut off because of the supply chain,” Pressman said. “They’re living in this dynamic virtual world creating all these new color possibilities."

Global team of color futurists aside, the Pantone announcement is, in part, designed to spur sales of clothes, make-up, furniture and (checks notes) Microsoft Teams backgrounds?

That’s right. This year Pantone's focus on technology inspired a partnership with Microsoft, which has introduced Teams backgrounds, Windows wallpapers, a new Edge theme and a PowerPoint template laced with Very Peri. “Here you have a company that’s not only a leader in developing computer software systems and applications, but somebody who can represent our joint vision to help bridge this gap between the physical and digital world,” Pressman said.

A room with accents in Very Peri Very Peri is meant to have an “empowering effect” from its “dependable” blue and “joyous” red undertones, according to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute and a color psychologist. Image: Pantone

Pantone hopes to see Very Peri embedded throughout the internet — where color can hugely impact one’s experience. It’s easy for tech companies to repeatedly use the same illustrations and colors, leaning toward familiarity and ambiguity. Periwinkle may help bring Microsoft out of a color rut. Pantone partnered with Microsoft because of the company’s large presence in our digital lives, particularly for those working in corporate America. Microsoft’s recognition of Very Peri could reach millions, Pressman said. “We thought this was a great way to embed the power of color in design, because look at who they’re touching,” Pressman said.

Color of the year fits into other ongoing forecasting projects from Pantone, like its "Colour Planner" that puts together palettes biannually. Pressman said the team’s conversations are often frank and profound, taking stock of what life looks like across the globe and how that translates into color. Do our lives make us gravitate toward calming pastels, or flashy pinks? “What's taking place in the culture, and then how does that get expressed into the language of color?” Pressman said. The technical creation of the color requires a lot of back-and-forth between teams and questions about vibrancy or whether a color has enough red.

Pressman emphasized that color always expresses a mood. Very Peri is meant to have an “empowering effect” from its “dependable” blue and “joyous” red undertones. The company regularly conducts consumer color studies, asking participants to look at a color and respond with the first phrase that comes to mind. This is how Pantone verbalizes colors, and tracks our evolving relationships to them. “Color transcends language,” Pressman said. “We can all talk color.”

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

Keep Reading Show less
Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

Keep Reading Show less
FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

Keep Reading Show less
Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

Latest Stories
Bulletins