While there are many factors we consider, the emotional aspect of color is such a large facet of our decision making as we want to ensure that the colors we select are truly reflective of the collective mindset.
With color and context so intertwined there really are reasons why a color family or individual color comes into prominence when it does, and for the most part the popularity of a color is symbolic of the age we are living in. This was no different for 2016. Continually bombarded with information and finding it difficult to keep up, many consumers today are on a quest for well-being. With this comes a desire for shades that evoke an easy, calm and quiet mood, bringing us comfort and making us feel good.
It is because of what we saw happening in our global culture, for the first time ever, it seemed perfectly natural for our selection this year to be not just one color but instead, the fusion of 2 shades; Rose Quartz, a warm and embracing gentle rose tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure and Serenity, a cool and tranquil blue which comforts with a calming effect. Joined together this harmonious pairing of inviting shades reflects connection and wellness, conveying a message of a soothing sense of order and peace.
While our selection of Rose Quartz and Serenity do qualify as one of our most surprising choices, when you stop to think about it, it really does begin to make sense. The color we select to be our Pantone Color of the Year is a color we see crossing all areas of design. It serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude on the part of the consumers, a color that will resonate around the world, a color that reflects what people are looking for, what they feel they need, that color can help to answer.
As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to the stress of modern day lives, colors that psychologically fulfill their yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. The harmonious pairing of these 2 inviting shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, embody the mindset of tranquility and inner peace consumers seem to be looking for.
We know too that the combination of Serenity and Rose Quartz challenges some more traditional perceptions around color association. But it wasn’t always the case that pink was for girls and blue was for boys. In fact clothing for babies was gender neutral as recently as the early part of the 20th century when both sexes wore white dresses from early infancy up through the age of 6.
It was not until the mid-19th century that pink and blue first arrived as colors for babies, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out. From a 1918 publication called Earnshaw’s Infants Department, “Up until the 1920’s the generally accepted rule was pink is for the boys, and blue was for the girls. The reason behind this was that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is best suited for boys, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” As Leatrice Eiseman notes in Colors For Your Every Mood, “the shift in perception slowly took place in the 1920’s with the proliferation of pretty pinks identified with feminine cosmetics and blues became the stronger more masculine color.”
While today we are experiencing a gender blur in many parts of the world, men and women alike are revolting against more rigid gender codes. Today’s genderless styling is not necessarily about trying to make a man look like a woman or a woman look like a man, it is about creating a canvas which can be adapted to any style.
Information extracted with permissions from the following sources:
Colors for Your Every Mood, Leatrice Eiseman author – Executive Director Pantone Color Institute PANTONEVIEW Color Trend Forecasts
Pantone Color Institute Consumer Color Research