Annually Pantone bestows upon an individual hue the title “color of the season.” This is, let’s be realistic, merely a marketing ploy to drum up excitement and sales throughout the beauty, fashion, and design worlds. And yet, each year since 2000, the world’s arbiters of color have selected a color in its singularity to celebrate. Last year it was the menstrual Pantone 18-1438 (Marsala); the year before that it was the flowery Pantone 18-3224 (Radiant Orchid).
This season Pantone went rogue, choosing two colors it believes to get representative of some cultural force. The winners are Pantone 13-1520 TCX (Rose Quartz) and Pantone 14-3919-TCX (Serenity), also known as pastel pink and blue. The truth that Pantone Swatch Card chose not simply two colors, however these two colors, includes some blatantly political overtones.
Globally, our company is experiencing gender blur as it pertains to fashion, which includes in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral procedure for color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using color as a type of expression, and an open exchange of digital information which has opened our eyes to several methods to color usage that challenge traditional color associations.
In other words, by choosing the two most loaded colors within the swatch book, Pantone hopes to shatter stereotypes and promote gender equality. We obtain it: Pantone probably thinks that by presenting two colors by using these culturally ingrained associations, it’s providing people with the opportunity to challenge those norms. Pink razors for males! Blue razors for females! And fair enough-it’s an admirable goal, when a little derivative (see also: the transgender pride flag). The interesting thing about this all is that, not too long ago, the gender connotations of these two colors were inverted.
As I soon learned, however, pink was really considered a color best suited to boys until as late as being the 1950s. Blue was the girlie color. Pink, inasmuch because it is a watered-down red-the fiercest of colours (does anyone doubt me here?)-was naturally related to boys, making use of their instinctive attraction to fire trucks and dexmpky06 cars. The Ladies’ Home Journal in 1918 said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for that boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink, as being a more decided and stronger color, is a lot more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is pertier [sic] for that girl.
It would’ve been equally as effective (or even as provocative) for Pantone to enhance the same message having a totally neutral color. Seafoam green, perhaps? In the end, it’s totally easy to support a reason without reinforcing gender stereotypes.
That said, we have to admit the colors actually are lovely together. Maybe it’s the decades of cultural associations talking, nevertheless the two look right in your house alongside one another, like a delightfully sweet cloud of swirled cotton candy. Even without the heavy-handed lesson in gender politics, I’d buy Rose Quartz and Serenity as The Colors of 2016-why shouldn’t they be? They’re both gorgeously gentle hues that complement the other. I really can’t help but believe that the content would’ve been louder had there been no message at all.