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Baywatch Red: the birth of a new Pantone colour

It's hard to believe its been 30 whole years since our Saturday evenings started with that trademark slow-mo run and Jimi Jamison's 'I'm Always Here' theme tune. Yes, Baywatch first aired three decades ago, and to celebrate the iconic '90s show, producers Fremantle and Pantone have teamed up to officially commemorate the anniversary. And what better way to do so than with that trademark bathing suit red. 

Enter: Baywatch Red, Pantone's newest addition to its colour library. Fearless, bold and eye-catching, the colour certainly plays to all we know about colour theory (opens in new tab). It used to adorn the bodies of the high-energy lifeguards, reinforcing the dramatic nature of the action, and has resurfaced to bring its high energy to us in an official capacity. 

To prove just how visually impactful the colour is, and how iconic it proved to be for the show, Fremantle created this account (above) of how the red swimsuits came to be. Sorry to ruin the illusion, but Fremantle doctored these scenes, frame-by-frame to create this false history of the lifeguard's uniforms. Watching the blue swimsuits bounce (sorry) across the sand just doesn't have the same effect, does it?

Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone Colour Institute says: “As a longtime Baywatch fan and lover of the emboldening red swimsuits and shorts, we were excited and honoured to participate in the creation of this special Pantone colour, Baywatch Red."

She goes on to reinforce the importance of the bright red hue, pointing out that the red symbolises, "the passion and courage displayed by these brave and heroic life savers, the powerfully energising Baywatch Red instantly expresses a message of immediate action and fierce determination.”

Baywatch Red

(Image credit: Pantone)

We're looking forward to finding out Pantone's colour of the year, and wonder if it'll be something so in-your-face. The colour of 2019 – Living Coral – had a more serious vibe than the Baywatch Red offering. Warm and nourishing, it was a reaction to the digital onslaught of modern life. 

However, Pantone has form in engaging with pop culture. 2018's colour of choice was Ultra Violet – a purple hue that represented icons such as David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, it symbolised individuality. 

We think Santa has found his shade for Christmas 2019 (we can't wait to stay up to see him come down the chimney in Baywatch Red), but which Pantone colour matches your personality? You can try this fun quiz (opens in new tab) to find out.

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Georgia Coggan is currently Creative Bloq's Acting Deputy Editor. Georgia started her freelance career working for CB in 2018, and since then has worked across the site on news, ecom, SEO content... basically anything and everything. Now covering the Dep Ed role for three months, Georgia is a slave to the style guide, a logo geek and loves all things London Underground (its branding history, and not at rush hour). 

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