Congratulations! It’s PANTONE Colors of the Year

EAG, February 11, 2016

Pantone Color Institute® might as well have announced 2016’s PANTONE Colors of the Year in a birth announcement. Rose Quartz, a pink color of which baby showers for baby girls are made of, and Serenity, the traditional light blue of welcoming a baby boy.

Pantone gave an obvious nod to gender expression for 2016. This year was also the first in which the Institute chose two colors as Color of the Year. Now that the pastel-colored dust has cleared following the announcement, how are PANTONE 13-1520 and PANTONE 15-3919 faring in the real advertising and marketing world?

Haute couture fashion runways, lip and nail colors, and interior paint chips aside, what other industries aside from those in the baby sector can relate to Rose Quartz and Serenity? These pastels are serene and calming, and they can evoke a general sense of calm. A small business selling a product or service designed to bring tranquility to the consumer in some form can use Pantone’s Colors of the Year to make that connection.

But what about energy and excitement, the two emotions strongly associated taking action, as in a sales conversion? By not only choosing not one, but two, pastel colors, Pantone Color Institute® all but killed any hope of graphic designers using the Colors of the Year as an energizing element.

Like infanthood, PANTONE Colors of the Year are fleeting.

It seems like only yesterday that the fashion and design world were playing with colors like Marsala, Radiant Orchid, Emerald and Tangerine Tango. Probably because Pantone has not selected such a light pastel Color of the Year since 2006, which is interesting considering that Pantone Color Institute® selects the year’s representative color based on what they think is “taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

Does that mean society is stressed and needs a calming influence? Perhaps, but that’s not what small businesses that want to get customers pumped about their products and services necessarily think.

You don’t have to drink the baby shower-colored punch.

The Pantone Color of the Year sets a trend. Like all trends, they come and they go. 2017 may very well be reflected by a vibrant blue, green or purple. One never knows until next December.

In the meantime, don’t succumb to the pressure of being trendy. If this year’s pastels work with your small business brand, then incorporate Rose Quartz and Serenity as complementary colors. If you’re a start up business just establishing your brand, don’t drink the baby shower-colored punch unless it fits your brand in the long term.

The point is that the Color of the Year is best when applied to things that are designed to come and go quickly like fashion and nail polish, not a small business brand. Choose a brand color scheme that represents what your company stands for and will resonate with your target audience. If that happens to be new parents, this is your year. But if it’s not, go with a palette that will be a timeless reflection of your small business.

There is a rainbow of colors out there from which to choose to brand your small business. EAG Advertising & Marketing follows a specific philosophy when recommending a brand colors. It’s not based on Pantone or runway fashion trends, instead we get to the heart of your company and create a palette that reflects it and will resonate with your market. Your brand colors should distinguish your small business from all others, not blend in. Contact us to explore the best brand colors for your business.


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