What’s the 2016 Color of the Year? It Depends on Who You Ask

Color-of-the-Year-2016-Rose-Quartz-Serenity-PinterestIn a quick Google search for the 2016 color of the year, I saw conflicting reports. It’s white, no it’s alabaster — wait no it’s rose quartz AND serenity.

Puzzling to say the least, but of course it depends on your source. With the publicity behind Pantone’s color of the year in recent years (marsala in 2015 and radiant orchid in 2014), other companies are also gaining exposure for choosing their own color to define the upcoming year.

Despite the variety of contenders, they all point to a hopeful, de-cluttered and peaceful future. The Pantone video to unveil rose quartz and serenity opens with a montage of frenetic images interspersed with words like “hashtag” and “trending,” giving the feeling that in 2015 we have been overexposed to social media, news media and other “modern day stresses.” The antidote? “Welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security.”

Sherwin-Williams chose alabaster as the color of 2016, which they say, “represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness. It provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and ‘less is more’ visual relief.”

whitelivingroom_whiteonwhiteSimilarly, Benjamin Moore chose “simply white” from the over 250 whites in their catalog. “There’s an honesty when you think of white in nature. That whole sense of purity it’s just all encompassing… white is the silent hero.”

It’s true that our society is increasingly cluttered with choices. Remember when MySpace was really the only social media platform we logged in to? Today we have a whole host of options from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and a host of dating apps, to name a few. There are so many TV shows I could watch on Netflix, that I could devote all of my time to watching and still never get through them all. (The horror.)

sw-img-diy-coty1-16-lpAll three color companies are hitting on something we all want to some extent. To declutter, to unplug for a while. It’s unsurprising that Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is so popular. We just want to take back control.

To be clear, I work in social media, so I’m not suggesting we head for the woods and live without electricity. But I think I could use some off-the-grid time, even if it’s just to paint my walls alabaster.

Photos: PantoneSherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore.


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