Pantone’s announcement of its color of the year in December is a big deal. There’s always a number of think pieces that come out from respectable places like The New York Times and The Washington Post. This year is no different, as the color authority named not one but two hues, Rose Quartz and Serenity, as its colors of the year.
The divisive days of Marsala are over (though I stood by the choice), and this year Pantone chose colors that speak to a larger political and social consciousness.
The blush pink and light blue coincide with “societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity” and “the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage,” according to its press release.
(The argument is a little problematic, having chosen the two colors most associated with gender, but I’m not trying to write a dissertation, so I’ll choose to believe Pantone is subverting that binary instead).
From a design perspective, too, the colors tell an important story. The tranquil blue and calming pink respond to the tumult in the world, while also acting as new neutrals alongside beige and gray, and even white (Benjamin Moore’s color of the year—perhaps bold but certainly not an inspiring choice).
The colors also pick up on trends we’ve been seeing, especially with Scandinavian design and its light and simple color palette that emphasizes pastels like pink, blue, and warm yellow.
The colors are pleasant and, put simply, very pretty. You see it in the Hudson Sofa from Ligne Roset, the Cathay wallcovering from Innovations, and the complementary blue tones in the CH07 Shell chair from Suite NY.
And if my bitmoji is any indication, I’m definitely all in on these relaxing tones, and even praise Pantone for making the colors political. It is an election year, after all.