Every year Pantone bestows upon a single hue the title “color of the season.” This is certainly, let’s face it, simply a marketing and advertising ploy to drum up excitement and sales throughout the beauty, fashion, and design worlds. However, each year since 2000, the world’s arbiters of color have selected a color in its singularity to celebrate. Just last year it absolutely was the menstrual Pantone 18-1438 (Marsala); the entire year before which it was the flowery Pantone 18-3224 (Radiant Orchid).
This season Pantone went rogue, choosing two colors it believes to get associated with some cultural force. The winners are Pantone 13-1520 TCX (Rose Quartz) and Pantone 14-3919-TCX (Serenity), often known as pastel pink and blue. The point that Pantone TCX Swatch Card chose not merely two colors, but these two colors, comes along with some blatantly political overtones.
Globally, we have been experiencing gender blur since it relates to fashion, which has consequently impacted color trends throughout all other parts of design. This more unilateral strategy to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using color as a kind of expression, along with an open exchange of digital information which has opened our eyes to various approaches to color usage that challenge traditional color associations.
Put simply, by choosing two of the most loaded colors in the swatch book, Pantone hopes to shatter stereotypes and promote gender equality. We obtain it: Pantone probably thinks that by presenting two colors with such culturally ingrained associations, it’s giving people the ability to challenge those norms. Pink razors for guys! Blue razors for females! And fair enough-it’s an admirable goal, if a little derivative (see also: the transgender pride flag). The interesting thing about this is that, a little while ago, the gender connotations of such two colors were inverted.
While I soon discovered, however, pink was really considered one best suited to boys until as late as the 1950s. Blue was the girlie color. Pink, inasmuch since it is a watered-down red-the fiercest of colors (does anyone doubt me here?)-was naturally associated with boys, with their instinctive attraction to fire trucks and dexmpky06 cars. The Ladies’ Home Journal in 1918 said, “The generally accepted rule is pink to the boy and blue to the girl. This is because pink, as a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which happens to be more delicate and dainty, is pertier [sic] for that girl.
It would’ve been just as effective (or else quite as provocative) for Pantone to market a similar message using a totally neutral color. Seafoam green, perhaps? All things considered, it’s totally easy to support a reason without reinforcing gender stereotypes.
Nevertheless, we need to admit the colors really are lovely together. Maybe it’s the decades of cultural associations talking, although the two look right in the home alongside the other, similar to a delightfully sweet cloud of swirled cotton candy. Even minus the heavy-handed lesson in gender politics, I’d buy Rose Quartz and Serenity as being the Colors of 2016-why shouldn’t they be? They’re both gorgeously gentle hues that complement one another. I recently can’t help but feel that the content would’ve been louder had there been no message in any way.