Are You Feeling Blue, Pink or Both?

June 2016

Source: The Logo Company

Source: The Logo Company

In more flourished language, you may be feeling “serenity” or “rose quartz.” In a graphic designer’s world, these embellished color names translate to Pantone 15-3919 and Pantone 13-1520. These are the two 2016 Colors of the Year declared by Pantone—the well-regarded authority for communicating color across all industries, thus allowing consistency in supply chains—from graphic design to manufacturing.

According to Pantone, this year’s top picks “embody the tranquility and inner peace that consumers yearn for.” The colors are a reaction to world events and intended as a calming response to the volatility and uncertainty of the times. It’s the first year that Pantone has named two colors instead of the usual one color, so we must be in dire need of a double dose of soothing.

Color selection is critical to the success of branding and communications. People respond emotionally to colors and associate particular colors with meanings (and this can vary from country to country), so the palette a designer chooses influences visual connections with a purposeful reason. Designers use color selection as part of an overall design strategy, so establishing a color scheme for a project and adhering to it is essential. Once a main color is chosen, a designer creates an accompanying scheme for a brand or project. For help on creating a palette, Adobe Color is an online tool that allows you to quickly build color schemes.

Color can strongly dictate the reason why someone decides to purchase a product or sustain her attention on a web page. Pantone Color Institute notes, “When 80 percent of human experience is filtered through the eyes, we understand that the choice of color is critical.” To help you understand emotional responses to color and how major companies have integrated color into their brand, we’re using The Logo Company’s infographic, “Color Emotion Guide.”

With thousands of colors to choose from, here are some things to consider when establishing a brand’s color palette:

• Always consider your audience and project.
• Establish the emotion you want to evoke.
• Match your color to your brand’s desired personality.
• Consider the primary gender of your audience. (Blue is a favorite of both genders.)

What color would you forecast to be the color of the year in 2017?

—Maureen