Two For One: Pantone’s Color of the Year 2016
For the first time in its 16-year history of choosing a Color of the Year, Pantone has opted for a two-color choice. Rose Quartz and Serenity, names assigned to two of the company’s rosy pink and powder blue hues, were selected on December 3rd as Color of the Year 2016—a choice surprising both for its originality and its political overtones.
“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,” announced Pantone. “This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.”
The design and fashion worlds are hardly immune to the tides of global issues, of course, but rarely has a color trend or prediction been so clearly and proudly informed by current events—more specifically, as they relate to the evolution of gender roles and gender itself. Few colors have the gender specificity of pink and blue, and in paring these two opposites into a soothing, harmonious gradient, Pantone may have hit upon something most of us may be ready to embrace in both design and life: the softening of hard edges.
“Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” the company explains. That may sound like a lot to ask of a color (or two), but we, for one, applaud Pantone for aiming unusually high.