Glowing Glowing Gone: Colours of Climate Crisis

by The Adobe Stock Team

Posted on 05-31-2019

The Pantone Color Institute™ named Living Coral the Colour of the Year 2019, an effervescent and energising hue that calls to mind vibrant undersea ecosystems. “One of the biggest trends we are seeing today is the desire to spend time in nature and concerns about the long-term sustainability of our planet, something which is manifesting itself into the colour stories proliferating throughout design,” says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

Coral reefs are a vital part of marine life, supporting over a quarter of all life under the sea, and they are in peril. Adobe Stock is partnering with the Pantone Color Institute and nonprofit organisation (and exclusive Adobe Stock contributor) The Ocean Agency on a campaign called Glowing, Glowing, Gone to raise awareness and support necessary to save coral reefs.

Image source: The Ocean Agency / Adobe Stock

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

“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 heatwaves,” says Richard Vevers, founder of The Ocean Agency. “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, we 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.

Image source: Twenty20 / Adobe Stock (left), Twenty20 / Adobe Stock (middle), Kolevski.V / Adobe Stock (right)

With Adobe Color’s powerful colour engine, we extracted the specific fluorescing LAB values from The Ocean Agency’s images on Adobe Stock and converted them to RGB. In collaboration with Pantone, we turned these digital values into Pantone Colour Standards, and selected the custom palette that would ultimately become the colours of climate change. Following in the footsteps of Living Coral, Glowing Yellow, Glowing Blue, and Glowing Purple beckon citizens of the world to recognise Earth’s major ecosystems in peril.

Image source: absphotography / Stocksy / Adobe Stock (left), Westedn61 / Adobe Stock (right)

The Pantone Color Institute is the world’s foremost consultant for colour trends, helping creatives understand the specific meanings of colours each season. This is the second year Adobe Stock has partnered with Pantone, curating visuals around seasonal colours to help creatives quickly find visuals in tones that are trending each season. We’ve curated a collection inspired by the Glowing Glowing Gone palette, and all of the proceeds from the sales of The Ocean Agency’s Adobe Stock portfolio go to supporting the foundation’s mission to protect our oceans.

Image source: orangeberry / Adobe Stock

As we explored in our Visual Trend Brand Stand, consumers are increasingly demanding for brands to communicate their role in social and environmental issues. Brand loyalty now depends on this stance with visuals at the forefront of effective messaging. Our creative collaboration challenges brands and industries to adopt and use these colours, as well as Adobe Stock images provided by The Ocean Agency, to share the ocean’s warning and raise awareness around the need to take action above sea level.

At Adobe MAX last year, Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen celebrated that we’re living in the “golden age of creativity,” in a moment when the “power of creativity and the ability for it to have impact has never been more relevant.” The ‘Glowing Glowing Gone’ campaign will start 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. The art and designs will be promoted to inspire global support for action and showcased at key environment decision-making events. More details of the challenge, launching June 3rd, can be found at

For more information, visit and see more images of ‘Glowing Glowing Gone’ on Adobe Stock and on Adobe Color.

Topics: Visual Trends, Inspiration, photography, UK, UK Exclusive, Creative EMEA

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