The 2016/17 Pantone Color of the Year Betting Forecast

So, if you live in some part of the internet that doesn’t regularly discuss these sorts of things (I’m sorry), you might not know what the Pantone Color of the Year even is, which does make me wonder why you are even reading this. I’m going to assume it is because you are into lists, or betting, or whatever, but just so you know what you are placing your bets on, Pantone is a company that specializes in creating color palettes for use by designers in all sorts of fields. Each year, Pantone works with an international group of color experts to pick a color that they group feels connects to the cultural zeitgeist of the time, and releases it on the unsuspecting world — or in the case of people who pay attention to this stuff, the eagerly anticipatory world.

2016 Pantone Colors of the Year

Last year, the winner was a two color combo Rose Quartz and Serenity, shown above and also all over Tumblr, usually somewhere around the word “aesthetic” and either a hashtag or some all caps spelling or some such. One color of this duo, predictably, became the goddamn color of everywhere, though due to its more muted nature, you might not have even noticed. I don’t think I did, honestly, but then I did because once you do, it’s all down hill. It’s like color correction in movies — once you see it, unseeing it is impossible. An article published recently over on the Ringer highlighted this color’s dominance, but also linked to the recently released Spring 2017 palette from Pantone. Notably, the past CotY’s usually come from the Spring collection of the next year, so it is safe to bet that this year’s color selection will come from this, making this your Top 10 options for the next CotY.

With this in mind, our color experts combined all two of their heads to debate which of these particular colors was the best suited to take the crown, and of course this turned into us seeding them for an imaginary tournament, and putting betting odds on each, so.

10. Pink Yarrow


The Tale of the Tape:

Let’s all be honest here, there is not a single chance of this hot dark pink/fuchsia mess being an actual contender. This color is way too bold, way to insistent, way to LOOK THE FUCK AT ME OR ELSE PREPARE FOR A SHANK to be a true Pantone contender. The only way this one gets into contention is if CotY of the year is going based purely on awesome as shit hair colors, in which case, it could happen. But we don’t believe in it. Look, if you put a buck on this thing and it wins, that bookie should probably just hand over the keys because you now own the place. So hell, put a buck on it just because you never know.

9. Pale Dogwood

Odds: 1:100

The Tale of the Tape:

OK, you might have thought with the link to that hype piece from the Ringer, we would be high on this color for this year, but let’s face it, Pantone don’t accept no dynasties, and this color is basically just Rose Quartz adjace, so the odds are long on it. If Pale Dogwood is to somehow pull through on this, the upset alone would rock the world of color based bets, not quite to the extent that the Pink Yarrow impossible Cinderella story would, but close. It would be a total shake-up, and nobody would even know how to bet next year. Mass chaos. I am talking Cleveland Browns winning a Super Bowl level of existence shattering. Pantone knows 2016 has put us all in a fragile place already, so we don’t think they are gonna do that to the world.

A lot like this, but more pastels and pinks.

8. Flame

Odds: 1:75

The Tale of the Tape:

OK, if Pink Yarrow was so low on the rankings, why is this higher? Well look at that red orange hotness. It’s a good color. A solid color. It doesn’t demand your attention the way Pink Yarrow does; it’s more confident and collected. While Pink Yarrow is all up in the face of every new guest at the party, dancing so hard at them that they start to wonder what it’s compensating for, Flame is off doing its own thing in the back of the room, and figuring you’ll notice it across the room at some point, or not, your loss, bro. But at the same time, Flame also knows that its odds of going home with the trophy are pretty long at best. It’s OK with that, honest.

7. Island Paradise

Odds: 1:15

The Tale of the Tape:

So Pale Dogwood gets a low rank for being 2015 adjace, so what is Serenity’s douchey brother doing this high on the list? Did he kick our ass at beer pong or something enough to make it up to number 7? Well look, where Pale Dogwood took everything that was fun or exciting about Rose Quartz and said “whoa, easy there on all those fun times,” Island Paradise did the opposite with regards to Serenity. We don’t have to like it, but there it is. And a slightly brighter shade of boring bullshit blue does seem like it could hold some appeal for the judges.

6. Lapis Blue

Odds: 1:6.5

The Tale of the Tape:

So this is what happens when Island Paradise trades in his boat shoes for a case of being way less of an entitled dick to everybody. Sure, he’s a little boring, a little safe, but he’s a good utility player, covering most of your positions but not really turning in an outstanding performance in any. Like if you wear a shirt that is this color with a really well matched tie, everyone is going to complement that tie, and Lapis Blue is OK with that level of praise. He’s the Goose of this top ten, happy to take a canopy to the head if the eventual CotY Maverick can eventually take down the Ruskies.

Whoever wins CotY, you know Lapis Blue has got his back. And also a shirt. Always a shirt.

5. Primrose Yellow

Odds: 1:5

The Tale of the Tape:

The top 5 are a crapshoot. We have a favorite, but past that, any of these are an OK bet. Take Primrose Yellow here, a sunny little blast of color, a but more saturated than your average Pantone CotY, but still within their realm of acceptably light and level, not too excitable or muted, but also clearly not contented to play second fiddle to anyone. Primrose Yellow will never be the most popular kid at school, but he tries. He wants to be. People know his name at least, right? That counts for something.

4. Greenery

Odds: 1:5

The Tale of the Tape:

What kind of a bullshit name is that, Pantone? If we are using those conventions, how come perennial underdog Pink Yarrow isn’t just called Pinkery or whatever? OK, look, I know, Pinkery isn’t even a word, but calling what is supposed to be one of your HOT ASS NOW COLORS the same thing someone calls that shrub in their front yard that they would get rid of if they had anything better to put in its place does not send a positive message about it. But we also had to admit, this was closer to the pastels that y’all love, and still pretty bright and “full of vim and vigor” or some other thing about life positivity and such, so you’ll probably pick this boring mess just to spite us. Fine, Pantone, whatever; we never wanted to be friends anyways (Call us…?).

3. Hazelnut

Odds: 1:3

The Tale of the Tape:

…or maybe fucking don’t, if you are gonna pick this gross garbage of a boring color. We know you can do it, so that is why it made its dull-drab-ugh way all the way up here. You know what this is the color of? Cubicles, arranged in an endless farm, filled by boring people in khakis and ennui. This is the color of vomit coming from someone who didn’t even have the common decency to eat anything interesting before pounding down a few too many boring mixed drinks at the kind of office holiday party that takes place 50 feet from those cubicles. Pantone, FOH if you are gonna bring this weak ass color game to 2016.

2. Kale

Odds: 1:1

The Tale of the Tape:

That is a real-ass green there. None of that weak Greenery game in this house. Greenery gets blocked so hard by Kale at this color game that it just haunts Greenery, just waiting in the back of his mind while he brushes his boring teeth, all worried that Kale is just about to jump into that bathroom and slap the toothbrush right out of his hand. Kale is that kind of color. Kale doesn’t demand attention the way Primrose Yellow does; Kale earns it. Kale says “this is a damn color, so either accept it or get out the way, because Kale waits for no color.” Except…

1. Niagara

Odds: 2:1

The Tale of the Tape:

…this classy beast of a blue. Niagara doesn’t even notice the other colors. Niagara is everywhere and everything. Niagara is just at home being your grandma’s couch upholstery from the 70’s as it is being the basic color of the UI of some future OS that reads your brain and orders dinner for you. Niagara isn’t the most popular kid in the school; Niagara is the school. Niagara isn’t happy being Maverick to Lapis Blue’s Goose; Niagara is the entire field of aerospace engineering. Just accept this color’s rise to true CotY status, though acknowledge that it doesn’t even need that at this point.

…And the Winner Is?

Fuck if we know. Pantone could just surprise us all. They did last year, when nobody saw the tag-team duo of Rose Quartz and Serenity come out of nowhere to take the title, so that could happen this year. They could have put out this palette as a head fake; and next thing you know, some deep red bullshit sneaks in with a blade and takes all the others out.

Who even knows?

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