Purple has long been associated with Prince and widely recognized as his signature color. Purple was a feature in many elements of Prince’s life — including in the title of one of his most popular songs, “Purple Rain,” and the color of the motorcycle he rode in the iconic Purple Rain film. It was the color most prevalent in his concert wardrobe, and even the color of his signature piano. The color purple has become synonymous with Prince, as evident by his unofficial title, “the Purple One.” Now, thanks to the color company Pantone, Prince will have his own official shade of purple.
The Pantone Color Institute, known as the global color authority, along with the Prince estate has announced a new standardized custom color, created to honor the memory of Prince. The color is a shade of purple that was inspired by Prince’s iconic purple Yamaha piano, the piano he had planned to bring with him on tour before he passed away and which now resides at Paisley Park. It’s similar to the one on display in Studio B, formerly available for photo ops.
The name of this new purple hue also serves as a tribute to the icon, as the color will be represented by Prince’s “Love Symbol #2.” (That’s also the official name of the glyph that served as Prince’s name from 1993-2000.) The vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, Laurie Pressman, said in a statement, “We are honored to have worked on the development of Love Symbol #2, a distinctive new purple shade created in memory of Prince, ‘the purple one.’ A musical icon known for his artistic brilliance, Love Symbol #2 is emblematic of Prince’s distinctive style. Long associated with the purple family, Love Symbol #2 enables Prince’s unique purple shade to be consistently replicated and maintain the same iconic status as the man himself.”
In the announcement of the new color, the company acknowledged that while the wide spectrum of the color purple will continue to be used to honor Prince, they are happy to offer Love Symbol #2 as the official shade of his legacy.
This is the second time this year that a Pantone color has had a local connection. Pantone’s color “Greenery,” which was dubbed their “color of the year” for 2017, just so happens to be the shade of green that has been Classical MPR’s signature color for years.
Lillian Speakman is a recent graduate from Hamline University.