Pantone 2016 colour(s) of the year

What the world needs now

There has been much talk in popular media about this bold move, but the consensus seems to be that the combination of these colours is meant to imbue our environment with a sense of compassion and tranquility.  The trend is a response to overwhelming global conflicts and the increasing pace of daily life.


Gender blur?

The other interpretation for the duo is a reflection of the recent “gender blur.”  Many people have simplified the colours as baby pink and baby blue.  While Rose Quartz and Serenity may be a little more nuanced than the reductive “baby pink” and “baby blue”, the announcement does draw focus to and may lead one to question the arbitrary nature of the association of pink with girls and blue with boys.  Does colour really have a gender or is this simply a 20th century artificial western construct?

The good news

If you are not crazy about Rose Quartz and Serenity, all is not lost.  While these are The Pantone Colours of 2016 and will be predominant, Pantone provides eight more colours to their forecast to round out a glorious top ten.  Two of the colours, Lilac Grey (a perfect resting point between Rose Quartz and Serenity) and Iced Coffee are the easy going neutrals of the year.  The other six are the high energy Fiesta (orangey red), Peach Echo (coral), Buttercup (intense yellow), Green Flash (intense natural green), Limpet Shell (clear shade of aqua leaning toward green), and Snorkel Blue (navy’s bolder cousin).

Relax.  It’s just colour

While some may question the “prescriptive” nature of these announcements, they may also be seen as an interpretation or reflection of a natural evolution in design.  Like the weather, this is just a forecast, folks.


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