PANTONE just released their 2016 Fall Color Palette this week. So what? Well, PANTONE sets the trends for colors. They are the design world’s leading color authority. But aren’t these trends meant for fashion? Designers don’t design anything for the runway, so why should we care? Well, besides the fact that fashion and graphic design are unarguably linked; PANTONE color trend announcements affect more than just fashion. So lets dig in a little bit and understand what these PANTONE color trends are all about.
Who is Pantone?
So who is PANTONE? Why do they get to decide the colors for the rest of the world? 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”. In other words, Pantone is the is the primary source for standardized color systems across the globe.
They are powerful in the world of design and their Color of the Year predictions are a major deal for every company who designs physical products (fashion designers, car manufacturers, interior designers, beauty and cosmetics, etc.).
These industries monitor color trends using the Pantone system every season. PANTONE color trend announcements reflect global societies, culture, and economies around the world.
What do they do?
The PANTONE name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer, to manufacturer to retailer to customer.
When do they announce new colors?
Pantone makes three major color announcements every year. The color of the year is usually announced between fall and December, Spring fashion reports are usually announced aroundSeptember, and fall fashion reports are usually somewhere between February and March. They make these announcements well in advance so that they can be used to create for when those seasons arrive.
The 2016 Color of the Year is Rose Quartz/Serenity. For the first time in history, PANTONE has chosen two colors to represent the aura of the world in 2016. “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.” (Ann Porter)
Download the 2016 Color of The Year Swatches
Get Rose Quartz & Serenity and color pairings in ASE file format for Adobe® Applications.
How do they choose colors/trends?
The whole process is very hush hush and the committee seems like a secret society. But the fact that it is not just some random people that work at PANTONE sitting around randomly choosing colors is really important.
The purpose of the colors is not just to set a trend. There is so much psychology behind colors and color theory; the reports are meant to represent the zeitgeist (spirit of the time) of the entire world.
With the exception of a couple of regulars (including Leatrice Eiseman), the majority of the committee is completely anonymous.
The Fall 2016 Fashion Report
As you can see, PANTONE puts a lot of thought into each and every color chosen each season. This year, PANTONE describes their fall palette for 2016 as “A Unity of Strength, Confidence and Complexity. The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family.
Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colors also appear throughout the collections. Transcending gender, these unexpectedly vivacious colors in our Fall 2016 palette act as playful but structured departures from your more typical fall shades.
Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.”
2016 PANTONE Fall Fashion Report
Download all the Fall Fashion Color Swatches
Why do their choices matter?
Completely disregarding PANTONE color announcements shows a complete lack of wanting to learn and stay up-to-date with what is happening in the design world. As designers we are expected to keep up with trends; not only design trends, but creative trends (fine art, music, etc.) and especially color trends.
So why should you actually care?
Graphic designers should be the hippest, most in-touch culturally, up to date technologically, and creatively fashionable.