…are friggin’ Pink and Blue…?!

Pantone, the “world-renowned authority on color” calls these colors Rose Quartz and Serenity. The nomenclature kind of reminds me of enthusiastic brides naming their wedding colors¬† “A Candle at Midnight” when they really just mean “black and white.”

I kid, I kid.


With Rose Quartz and Serenity, you may at first see a throwback to women’s shell suits of the 1980s, or the last baby shower you were invited to, but Pantone’s inspiration goes a little deeper than that this year.

Why should I care?

Pantone is offering a visual representation for what the general mood of consumers is–essentially, our current outlook on 2016. The color is intended to influence your approach to your market, not necessarily what color you should be using now.

A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.  -Pantone.com

Although many fashion designers and interior designers jump on the color of the year to inspire their creations, Pantone isn’t suggesting that everyone run out and change their marketing communications–or to even include these colors.

Interestingly, this year’s interpretation contrasts last year’s color, and seems only vaguely similar to 2014’s color of the year, where there is little no mention of symbolism in the selections or their how they are useful outside of the design industry.

What if I want to use them?

Pantone's colors paired with mine.
Here, you see Pantone’s Color of the Year accompanying my color scheme. It would only work in certain color pairs.

I would not recommend everyone who is starting or re-branding a business utilize these colors just because Pantone made them Color(s) of the Year. If one or both colors fit your philosophy or industry, then sure, knock yourself out. Make all the shell suits and baby shower invitations you want!

In all seriousness, Pantone ultimately promotes Color of the Year to sell their color swatches. You could feasibly incorporate the Color(s) of the Year into your communications, but you should do so extremely carefully so you don’t dilute your brand. You don’t want your customers wondering what color your logo is going to be today.

If your brand already experiments with color, then switching it up could work. The only brand off the top of my head to frequently play with their color scheme is Polo Ralph Lauren. They allow consumers to choose what color the horse logo is on custom polos.

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