Do Pantone’s 2016 Pastel Colors of the Year Reflect a Mellowing Trend?

Six recent examples from entertainment, fashion, luxury goods and sports.

Pantone Colors of Year 2016Though the national political climate has heated up lately, experts at Pantone Color Institute are angling for a gentler tone. They recently selected rose quartz (pale pink) and serenity (light blue) as the dual colors of the year for 2016. The pairing can appear solo or as blended shades.

Pantone searches the globe for influences, looking for colors that express consumers’ moods. They take a range of categories into account, from runway shows and home décor to sports and entertainment. While we didn’t go behind the scenes for their worldwide survey, we have observed soothing pastels popping up on the East and West Coasts in recent months.

Here are a few trendsetters we’ve noticed that serve as notable cases in point. PRs can keep these in mind when they incorporate the latest colors into their client campaigns and events.

1. SeaGlass Carousel

The multimedia aquatic ride debuted in August at The Battery in downtown New York, and features 30 giant rotating fiberglass fish in pastel hues. Visitors can sit inside the figures as they glide around and listen to classical music courtesy of SiriusXM. The attraction has drawn over 100,000 riders of all ages and is open year-round.

Fish Figures Courtesy of Paul Warchol

2. NYCFC soccer logo

New York City’s new soccer team launched its inaugural season in 2015 with Yankee Stadium as its home arena. The slogan, “Welcome to the Club” targets both a multigenerational and multinational fan base. The official logo colors are navy and light blue, and are featured on team jerseys and scarfs.

NYCFC Magnet1 Cropped

3. Adele, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots “Hello” video

In November, Adele was a guest on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, performing her hit song “Hello” alongside Fallon and The Roots band playing classroom instruments. With over 26 million YouTube video views, Adele and her ensemble were the stars. But Fallon’s pink tie also made a fashion statement, unlike Republican presidential candidates wearing red debate ties.

Jimmy Fallon Adele Roots Hello Song NBCU Photo Bank Via Getty Images

4. Lord & Taylor holiday windows

The theme of this department store’s festive holiday windows in midtown New York was “a few of our favorite things”. It also featured one of our favorite places. The “sweets shoppe” display depicted a Parisian bakery with eye-catching pastries, especially the pastel macarons on the top shelf.

Lord and Taylor Holiday Window1 Cropped

5. Colored diamonds

Colored diamonds, such as pink and blue shades, are now more valuable as an investment than traditional white diamonds, according to a New York Times article. These rare gemstones have fetched record setting prices at auction. Since there’s no guarantee that they’ll maintain their worth over time, luxury buyers are advised to buy as much for the jewels’ sentimental value.

Pink Diamond Courtesy of Chang W Lee The New York Times

6. Mad Men season finale poster

The teaser poster for the show’s final season showed Don Draper driving his silver Cadillac Coup de Ville, wearing a concerned expression on his face. But his shirt collar and tie were loosened and a muted rose quartz sunset loomed in the background. As it turned out, this was a hint of the show’s zenlike final scene.

Mad Men Final Season Poster AMC

Apparently with its new pastel color selections, Pantone would like to teach the world to harmonize and to mellow out on a broader scale.

Image credits:
Pantone colors: courtesy of Pantone website
SeaGlass Carousel fish figures courtesy of Paul Warchol
Jimmy Fallon and Adele video courtesy of NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Pink Diamond: courtesy of Chang W. Lee The New York Times
Mad Men: final season poster courtesy of AMC Newwork

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