Pantone's Not-So-Baby Pink and Blue
December 3, 2015 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Pantone did something wild and, for the very first time, named TWO colors for 2016's Color of the Year – Rose Quartz and Serenity.

To quote i-D: "They don't call them pink and blue of course, but Rose Quartz and Serenity, and they're the kind of pastel-y, hyper-girly shades selected and subverted by women internet artists and zines like Polyester to reappropriate, deconstruct and play with traditional notions of femininity."

Past Colors of the Year include Marsala (2015) and Radiant Orchid (2014).

See also: Color Forecasting.
posted by ourt (52 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just tonight bought a D20 that is half purply half fuschia. Just like this color pairing.

My nerd style is on fleek.
posted by sio42 at 10:41 PM on December 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


Steven's mom and Mal's ship.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:44 PM on December 3, 2015 [35 favorites]


Thank god. Last year's marsala was a DISASTER for clothes shopping. Everything has just been ugly ugly ugly for every season. Not that soft pastels are all that friendly to me, either, but at least they play well with colors that don't make me look like I'm ill. (I'm looking at you, whoever the hell decided that greenish mustard was the best accent to marsala.)
posted by Mizu at 10:52 PM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


What, no BB-8 Orange to go with their Minion Yellow?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:03 PM on December 3, 2015


I'm a bit of a Lupine fan, meself.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:04 PM on December 3, 2015


Color of the year: What a marketing racket. This stuff drives me crazy. I love color. Invented events, not so much. Unless, of course, someone is paying me to make up something. Am I the only one to find this pair of colours boring?
posted by Bella Donna at 11:05 PM on December 3, 2015 [23 favorites]


oh lord, I love them so much. I hated Marsala, and went bleh this thing is a racket, color marketing is dumb, and now I want that mug and that poster and to surround myself in serenity billows and a soft rose quartz pillow in something nubbly and loosely woven, and maybe a few shades off and - wow.

Uh. Sorry, Bella Donna, it seriously tripped the gimmebuybuywant circuits in my brain. SO PRETTY.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:09 PM on December 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well I'm quite partial to them - I see them in purses (e.g., Rose Jade, Pale Blue/Alpine Blue) all the time and they're usually quite stunning. At least for purses.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:10 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


IIRC, this was the official color pairing of early 90s Corporate America.
posted by davel at 11:14 PM on December 3, 2015 [21 favorites]


So the pastel grunge ~~aesthetic~~ common on Tumblr has now shown up on Pantone. They're about a year or two late.

Also: basically Rainbow Quartz.
posted by divabat at 11:15 PM on December 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


Rose Quartz and Serenity - it will be the year of regal asskicking magical mothers.
posted by casarkos at 11:16 PM on December 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


I remember pink and blue. We've been down this path before. We never learn.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:18 PM on December 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Interesting. Instead of a blue mineral, they separately picked blue and a mineral.
posted by Rangi at 11:31 PM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one to find this pair of colours boring?

Nope

I had to wikipedia "pastel grunge" (which is "soft grunge with an emphasis on pastel colours"). I understand nothing.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:58 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Rose Quartz and Serenity Color Pairings"? Um, the only acceptable pairings are Pearl White and Tuxedo Black respectively, of course.
posted by thetortoise at 12:26 AM on December 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


This is cute, those two are the colors for the trans flag (at least the one I'm most familiar with, since there are many.)
posted by yueliang at 12:29 AM on December 4, 2015 [17 favorites]


So damn Eighties. I'm having childhood flashbacks of pastel Oxford buttondown shirts with plaid wool skirts and knee socks and penny loafers. Soon it will be polos and chinos and rugby shirts. Then the big frosted pastel eyeshadow takes over from smokey eye.

If the trend continues, it'll be lightning wash denim and angular envelope waists and Hypercolor shirts and day glo and hammer pants and all shirts must be tucked into baggy jeans.
posted by monopas at 12:43 AM on December 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Red vs blue eh? I'm sure roosterteeth can work something with that.
posted by pwnguin at 12:45 AM on December 4, 2015


Yeah no.
posted by flippant at 1:02 AM on December 4, 2015


I'm more bothered by the minion. I always think we've reached Peak Minion and then BAM they show up where I really don't expect them to be.
posted by like_neon at 1:21 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


woohoo periwinkle finally making a comeback. Perwinkle Serenity looks good on everybody. They told me that at Color Me Beautiful.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:24 AM on December 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anyone else worried that the first set of colour pairings includes 'Lint'?
posted by sarble at 1:35 AM on December 4, 2015


yueliang: HOW DID THAT ESCAPE ME OF COURSE IT IS
posted by divabat at 1:41 AM on December 4, 2015


This is cute, those two are the colors for the trans flag (at least the one I'm most familiar with, since there are many.)

It's not a coincidence:
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. 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.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:48 AM on December 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


That sounds like some bullshit marketing speak for "trans and gender stuff is getting a lot of airtime and column inches, let's cash in on this. uh, pink and baby blue??"
posted by Dysk at 3:03 AM on December 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah no my soft gruge vaporwave side started violently fangirling in the middle of my photography class when I heard about this. Like, slapping my desk and squealing.
posted by ourt at 3:04 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Rose Quartz and Serenity Color Pairings"? Um, the only acceptable pairings are Pearl White and Tuxedo Black respectively, of course.

guys this is my best ever comment on Metafilter somebody favorite this please
posted by thetortoise at 3:17 AM on December 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


All those pairings that not-so-subtly include variants of burgundy and grey — it's anoraks from 1983, all over again.
posted by scruss at 3:27 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


  pastel grunge

The Pastels were twee, not grunge, btw.
posted by scruss at 3:30 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


cotton dress sock: I had to wikipedia "pastel grunge" (which is "soft grunge with an emphasis on pastel colours"). I understand nothing.

Wow. From that wikipedia article:

"Someone who dresses in the Pastel Grunge style will dress more akin to the look of Baby Spice and the late 1990s"

So "pastel grunge" is all pastel, no grunge?
posted by Dysk at 3:34 AM on December 4, 2015


This is more representative of pastel grunge (and in fact I saw that just as I was wandering around the mall while reading this post on my phone)
posted by divabat at 3:42 AM on December 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is more representative of pastel grunge (and in fact I saw that just as I was wandering around the mall while reading this post on my phone).

Kinda looks like all of Twin Peaks fused with my middle school self...
posted by ourt at 4:09 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rose Quartz and Serentity now!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:23 AM on December 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Although I'm on tumblr I hadn't heard of pastel grunge until now. After a brief search, it looks like what would happen if Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All had an internet blog instead of a TV audience.
posted by picklenickle at 4:26 AM on December 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ok... the hunt for pure red is on.... anything but hip colors for me.
posted by MikeWarot at 4:29 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Who are these Pant One people, and why would I want to buy their pastel pants?!?!?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:22 AM on December 4, 2015


While this color scheme is reminiscent of the 1980's, those of us in the video industry usually have to pair whatever color they arbitrarily pick to another slightly less arbitrary color, and they saved us the effort this year.

Thanks, Leatrice!

I'm still billing for some meetings about it, though.
posted by Sphinx at 5:43 AM on December 4, 2015


Steven's mom and Mal's ship.

Came here to make sure someone posted that. Not disappointed.
posted by Foosnark at 6:02 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always think we've reached Peak Minion and then BAM they show up where I really don't expect them to be.

I'm really glad that I live in some kind of social bubble where the only time I ever hear about minions are when people are complaining about minion obsession.

I know it's out there and it exists and it's a problem, but luckily not one I have to deal with.
posted by mayonnaises at 6:11 AM on December 4, 2015


OMG! My Mom's 1980's decorating scheme that she will never change is in style again. I'm willing myself to think of this as cutting-edge foresight on her part.
Thanks, Pantone!
posted by mightshould at 6:24 AM on December 4, 2015


Serenity looks more lavender to my eyes.

Which is perfect because at the start of first grade, I answered "what's your favorite color?" with "pink and purple!" and would.not.budge. when our teacher said that "color" was singular but I'd chosen two. In my mind they were not separate, they were A COLOR and there was no way I was going to choose one over the other just because someone else said they weren't supposed to be together. My purple has always been a lavender, I like them blue.

So thank you Pantone for confirming my lifelong certainty in pink and lavender being A COLOR and THE BEST.
posted by fraula at 6:56 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sherwin Williams' color of the year is Alabaster, and their little blurb about it uses similar language about wanting peace and calm and an oasis...

It must be strange being a color-picker at Sherwin Williams and trying to anticipate the Pantone color. You probably want to end up being harmonious with it if you can.
posted by aka burlap at 7:06 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pepsi Pink and Blue.
posted by Nelson at 7:38 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most of my wardrobe are those colors. I'm going to be busy buying new things to make up for those dark years when orange was the thing.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:16 AM on December 4, 2015


I like colors. I like having different names for them. I dunno if I would use those names to call those two colors, but Rose Quartz fits well for the first and it makes me think of Steven Universe which is always a plus.

That second color looks like blue-gray at first, but that's a bit too dark (especially if you go by hex code, which I do). "Serenity" is #92A8D1, which is actually closest to Iceberg (#71A6D2) in values, but proportionally it's a lighter Glaucous (#6082B6). I suppose if it needs to have a name, Serenity is alright, if not a bit too dramatic.

Since I'm at it, the first color would be closest to Tea Rose, #F4C2C2, since Rose Quartz is #F7CAC9.

I have a spreadsheet of novelty t-shirts I own and I used to obsessively categorize the colors they come in, until a friend one day said "who would care besides you and you're just making yourself spend more time on this". She was right, but I only hid instead of the delete the sheet I use to calculate how close a new color is to one of the established colors on the web.
posted by numaner at 8:47 AM on December 4, 2015


Serenity and Beryl Green in set number six!
posted by Mister Cheese at 9:20 AM on December 4, 2015


Somewhat tangentially: Apple should win a prize this year for selling pink phones and tablets to guys whose masculinity would be otherwise threatened by such such a color [*]. Rose Gold? Nope, sir. Sorry. Your phone is pink. PINK!

[*] - The bar I work in sells two drinks with a distinctively pink cast and we have many male patrons that get really squirmy when they see they've ordered what in their mind is a "girly drink." Like squirmy enough to send a drink back w/o trying it. There's as much liquor in these as any of our other cocktails, of course.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2015


I await with a groan the overwrought thinkpieces about gendered colors and baby toys/clothes that will come out of this.

This is weirdly 80s, but also a really really boring choice that's going to inspire some really boring writing.
posted by emptythought at 12:50 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to revamp this STAT.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 4:26 PM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Similar to pastel grunge it makes me think of pastel goth, which is a trend or style I don't mind, because I like skulls and pink.

I like these colors, however I also could easily see them being super 90s/00s with a fuzzy crop pink sweater paired with capri flare pants in a baby blue and don't forget the skinny scarf and wedge flip flops... Really though. These colors are great when done in an upscale or luxe way (or punk/goth/grunge) but they can look really childish and bad-retro, too. Seems like that's the two colors Juicy tracksuits used to come in.

But yeah, uhg, that red last year was awful. However, I often hear this stuff reported, but don't really see it kick off as a trend in much besides maybe designer handbags? Am I just out of touch because I don't spend tons on clothes/home design? I like to think I know what's going on in terms of trends.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:18 AM on December 5, 2015


Anyway, pastel grunge is just another term for grayed pastels. If you'd paid attention during the Color Me Beautiful talk, it's what Summers wear.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:01 AM on December 5, 2015


It's weird to read people responding as if the '80s owned these colors - they've been in fashion for some time now, at least with accessories and with Kawaii-inspired stationery, mugs, backpacks, and other odds and sods. What they say about fashion is true: it's just a wheel. Even bell-bottoms had a resurgence (at least in the UK). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:59 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


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