ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY OF MALIKA FAVRE/UNITED WAY CENTRAIDE

More Than a Colour: Pantone’s New Shade is “Unignorable”

"Issues like poverty, youth unemployment and social isolation negatively impact our communities by holding too many people back."

This past weekend Nuit Blanche took over Downtown Toronto for the twelfth year in a row. Since 2006, the city’s familiar streets and building facades have been transformed into pieces of interactive art for one sleepless night only. But don’t fret if you couldn’t make it out this year, because you’ll be seeing a lot more of the evening’s most vivid and provoking campaign around town.

United Way partnered with the Pantone® Colour Institute to create Unignorable – a colour meant to highlight Canadian issues like poverty, youth unemployment, social isolation, domestic violence, hunger, mental health, education inequality and homelessness. This new colour is the foundation of the United Way’s largest integrated public awareness campaign to date, and made its public debut at Nuit Blanche on September 29 through a captivating art installation in the heart of Nathan Phillips Square that emulated feelings of isolation, helplessness and uncertainty.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF UNITED WAY CENTRAIDE/PANTONE COLOR INSTITUTE

“To highlight these issues, we wanted to create a distinctive colour that was virtually unignorable; a colour whose ‘can’t miss’ high visibility immediately stops you in your tracks,” says Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute in a press release about the campaign.

The creative assets to the movement were designed by internationally acclaimed illustrator Malika Favre, whose bold pieces have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker and within campaigns for Vogue, BAFTA and Sephora. Favre leveled up with Pantone’s goal of stopping everyone in their tracks with bold contemporary lines and illusive techniques that grab your gaze once you realize a shape within a shape, or an emotion conveyed by a lonely, shadowed park bench.

Since 1919, the United Way Centraide (UWC) Movement has been dedicated to creating opportunities for a better life for all Canadians. Finding sustainable solutions to the difficulties faced by local communities across Canada is a major challenge, but UW’s Greater Toronto President and CEO Daniele Zanotti says that half the battle is having people recognize that problems are there. “To tackle these complex issues, we need everyone in communities across Canada to show their support. But first, we need their attention.”

Browse through some of Favre’s artwork used in the UWC X Pantone Colour Institute Unignorable campaign below.