Meet the 2016 Pantone Colors of the Year

Art Scene

Meet the 2016 Pantone Colors of the Year

Every year since 2000, Pantone has named a Color of the Year. But for the first time ever, this year’s winner is a draw.

Meet Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919), Pantone’s 2016 co-heirs to the earthy red Marsala that ruled 2015.


“As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent,” Pantone says on its website. “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

Indeed, the pastel baby blue-pale pink combo invokes a sense of tranquility, reassurance and unity.

If you’re thinking this a geeky, “pick a color” contest, you’re severely underestimating the weight that Pantone’s annual selection carries. The Color of the Year is a key influencer in fashion, art, design and culture. For example, Sephora immediately turned Serenity and Rose Quartz into a makeup palette.

The New York Times even suggests a hint of politics involved, particularly with Pantone’s nod to gender fluidity.

“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,” Pantone suggests. “This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, 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.”

Likewise, Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said the joining of the two colors reflected “a soothing sense of order and peace,” which the Times calls “an attractive thing to incorporate into a product at a time of insecurity and global turbulence.”


On an aesthetic level, Rose Quartz and Serenity are two really pretty colors that complement each other beautifully. On a worldly level, you can expect to see them quite a bit in the year to come, from interiors and branding to beauty products and packaging.