I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed by PANTONE’s selection(s) for Color of the Year 2016

I’ve spent some time researching and evaluating PANTONE’s selections for 2016, and at first encounter I was a little disappointed, considering I wasn’t that thrilled with last year’s Marsala or 2014’s Radiant Orchid. The gender appealing duo was not what I was expecting; I thought it was odd they selected two in the first place. The lovely pastel pink and periwinkle blue did not excite me. I was hoping to be blown away with 2016’s selection…

But Rose Quartz and Serenity are not colors that are intended to “blow you away.” In fact, PANTONE’s intention with Rose Quartz and Serenity is to give consumers peace and mindfulness in today’s stressful world. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times. (Can I get a namaste?!)

I practice mindfulness myself (read my latest Medium post, Positive mind, positive vibes, positive (work) life.), so I enjoy learning more about what others do to stay sane in today’s stressful world. Knowing major companies like PANTONE identify that we all need to slow down a little makes me appreciate the industry I work in. Analyzing and selecting colors that can resonate with target audiences is what marketing and design are all about. That’s what marketers do. PANTONE just so happened to bring this all full circle.

These two colors get even better. Not only do they radiate peace, but they are also intended to challenge traditional perceptions of color association by promoting gender equality. What I thought were two rather boring colors have so much more meaning and depth behind them.

At first glance, you may think “What was PANTONE thinking this year?” Read up on the colors. Seek their purpose. I’m sure you’ll appreciate them just as much as I do.

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