Seeing Double: Pantone’s Colors of the Year for 2016

patone color of the year 2016

Every year, Pantone, the standard language for color communication, releases a color of the year. Their pick is supposed to be a “color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.” Yet, Appleton isn’t chomping at the bit to use this highly revered color in branding projects for 2016.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of why, let’s talk about the color itself. In fact, it isn’t one color at all, it’s two. For the first time ever, Pantone has released two colors of the year; and so, without further adieu, we introduce to you Rose Quartz and Serenity. The former, a warm character described as a “persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure” balances the cooler nature of the latter, a “weightless and airy [color], like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

Here’s why we aren’t diving in head first:

Pantone’s color of the year isn’t predominantly directed at advertising professionals. You would think an industry so focused on color would find creative ways to integrate the color into our work, and we do. We’ve got some of the best minds in business working for our clients. But for all intents and purposes, the chosen color can be widely seen in industries such as home décor and fashion. Recall this scene from the Devil Wears Prada where Meryll Streep explains the way color works in fasion.

There’s more to developing the color palate of a brand than opting for the “it color.” Because Pantone has featured exact PMS colors to use, does that mean we should ignore the direction from our client discovery sessions? Our designers deliberate over color choices, and they aren’t decisions we make lightly. The palate of a brand should carry forth and correctly convey the mission of the company. If we succumb to the ease of designing just for Pantone and not our audience, we’re sacrificing our integrity and the potential of the brand.

Rose Quartz and Serenity are secondary color palates at best. We have hundreds of thousands of colors at our disposal. While beautiful on their own, Rose Quartz and Serenity may shine brightest as the complementary colors for a stronger, more classic palate, one with a longer shelf life. They are better suited as primary colors for a wedding invitation or garden club event.

Corporate brands have strength in their uniqueness and individuality. After all, that’s what consumers remember. Our goal is to help brands stand out with a color that suits their brand image.

See how passionate we are about the colors of your brand and collateral? Imagine what umph we could bring to an entire logo and set of marketing materials, both traditional and online. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency in Orlando, Florida that specializes in delivering a strong, unified visual and verbal presence through branding and messaging. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to build a strong and cohesive brand that standardizes any company’s look and communications across print, web, social media and video. Your branding goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or

Share on social media:

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required