Pantone Announces Colors of the Year, Trends to Follow

Ashley Evert, Managing Editor

     Pantone has announced that its Colors of the Year are Rose Quartz and Serenity. Many readers may not be familiar with Pantone colors, but this announcement affects many industries across the globe each year.

     According to their website, Pantone is “the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries.”

     So what does it mean to be an authority on color? It means that when someone is in a wedding and sees a bridesmaid dress that is a particular shade of yellow and they want their stationary to match that color yellow, their designer finds the Pantone color so it matches perfectly.

     Wilkes University branding, for example, has a very particular blue. In keeping with the branding of Wilkes, designers can’t pick just any blue to represent the brand; they must use Pantone color #295.

     Wilkes gold is Pantone color #116. Every color imaginable is given a Pantone number.  This number is catalogued in the Pantone Matching System.  Rose Quartz, for example, is really Pantone color #13-1520 and Serenity is #15-3919.

     Each year, Pantone chooses a Color or Colors of the Year. The design, fashion, hair and makeup industries all take cues from this announcement each year to create their respective work.

     For example, Sephora always creates or features products that are the Color of the Year.  This year, they released two lipsticks, a watercolor lipgloss set, and an eyeshadow palette that coincides with Serenity and Rose Quartz.

     Those looking to follow the unnatural colored hair trends need not to look farther than Instagram, where colorists are using Rose Quartz and Serenity as hair colors.

     Searching #PantoneColorOfTheYear on Instagram will yield more than nine thousand results of people expressing one form of art or another through those colors.

     From watercolor painting and nail polish to flower arrangements and jewelry design, it seems like people can’t jump on the bandwagon soon enough.

     Why is it important then, to have a Color of the Year? Perhaps because it forms a sense of community.

     Designers, colorists, makeup artists, and many other professionals in other industries can all connect in a different way. Color, and all of these industries, shape peoples’ lives.

     The scene in The Devil Wears Prada comes to mind when Miranda is tearing apart Andy in her office for mistaking two seemingly “blue” belts as the same color.

     Miranda notes Andy’s sweater, which is a different shade of blue than the belts.

     She explains that it is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. She details a timeline in which Oscar de la Renta showcased cerulean gowns and how other top fashion designers had cerulean pop up in their collections.

     Cerulean then trickled down into mass production and into bargain stores, where Andy more than likely bought the sweater Miranda dissected.

     Many have not heard of the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016, but they’ll be wearing them in one form of another, simply because Pantone decided it.