Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2016


I was asked by Design Week to comment on Pantone’s Colour of the Year. And here’s what I said:

Pantone’s Colour of the Year is a bit like astrology. 2016 will be year of the Monkey. And the year of Rose Quartz and Serenity. It’s very clever to create a narrative around one or two colours and start a conversation within your target market. In fact, I’m fascinated by Pantone’s business model and brand. From a colour matching system it’s become the authority on colour and a huge brand with all sorts of products, services and branded merchandise.

Colour is utterly fascinating because it’s both a science and an art. What Pantone has done so well is to do the technical bit brilliantly, but also to understand its creative audience and invite them in to enjoy colour. Pantone mugs and bags are old hat. But Pantone hotels – who saw that coming? And Pantone cosmetics – really? You have to admire its Lego-like appetite for ubiquity. My colour for 2016? Prediction or promotion, democratising or selling out, how could I possibly disagree with the experts. It’s just so much fun to find out what they choose and why and see a wide audience talking about design.