Wednesday November 30th, 2016

Predicting the Pantone Color of the Year

Every year Pantone picks one color that sets the tone for the upcoming year. There are several contributing factors including fashion and interior trends as well as social movements and attitudes of consumers. No color is off limits, and one thing is clear...2016 has changed the game.

Social movements, the presidential election, celebrity gossip (think Brad and Angelina’s divorce). It seems as though every event this year has caused a frenzy. Not only that, but this year has changed our minds, and led us to question decades-old beliefs. Do pink and blue have to be feminine- and masculine-specific colors? Is a man or woman in their fifties “old” or entering their prime? Is it summer or fall? Okay maybe that last one is specific to those of us here in Ohio, but the point is that nothing is clear cut anymore. Everything is up for discussion.

After doing some research on current trends, future predictions, and Pantone colors of the past, I think it could go one of two ways — the bold or the blend.

In the past, Pantone colors of the year have remained on the muted side. They have never chosen a neon or polarizing color and, while a neon is probably unlikely, I think this year we might see a more bold choice. People are now more opinionated than ever, and more willing to discuss previously taboo subjects openly. As a society, we have certainly become more bold, so I think we could see a Pantone color that reflects that.

Bold color options:

This concept is socially influenced, but the colors are influenced by current trends and future predictions from the fashion industry.

The blend reflects our shifting mindset and the rising tendency to question things such as what makes a color or fashion choice gender, age, or season specific. For example, gray was once seen as an “old lady” hair color but in 2016 it was very popular amongst younger generations. I think it’s likely that this year we’ll see a color that transcends traditional ideals.

Blend color options:

This concept is heavily influenced by the fashion industry and how our thinking has evolved over the past year.

Armed with this research and our love for all things Pantone, we conducted a survey in our office and here are our predictions for the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year:

Unanimously, we love the olive green color of PMS 384. It’s a unique color and transcends seasons and gender, making it a likely contender. Coming in second place PMS 1585 is bright, fun and different than colors chosen in the past, and it’s on trend. Tied for third place, PMS 2757 and Cool Gray 3 seem like safer options and generally crowd pleasing. For that reason, I think we could see a color choice from one of these families as well.

What do you think the Color of the Year should be?

Let us know by voting here!

Tune in early January to see if our predictions (or yours) were correct. Whatever their choice is, it’s sure to be a colorful year. Here’s to 2017!