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pantone 2016 colors of the year

Pantone Announces 2016 Color(s) of the Year

Last Thursday, Pantone announced their 2016 Color of the Year. This year’s announcement broke the mold and contained a nice surprise for designers and color enthusiasts, when for the first time in the color authority’s history, Pantone recognized two colors for their cultural impact and significance:

Pantone Colors of the Year Rose Quartz Serenity

Rose Quartz and Serenity represent a “softer take on color for 2016”. Compared to Pantone’s previous rich, vivid color choices, Marsala and Radiant Orchid, this year’s dual tones reflect a sense of mindfulness and connection.

“As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfil our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.”

Rose Quartz and Serenity beautifully embody these themes, as Rose Quartz’s warm and embracing tones contrast the cooler, more tranquil Serenity to create a sense of balance and order.

Pantone’s Color of the Year reflects prevailing contemporary cultural moods and attitudes. Whatever color Pantone recognizes, it inevitably pervades color palettes in every discipline of design, from fashion design to interior decoration to graphic design.

Graphic designers can incorporate Pantone’s Colors of the Year into their projects using these papers and card stocks in similar colors:

Rose Quartz


Card Stock



Card Stock

Color Pairings

Rose Quartz and Serenity pair well with a number of shades. Try incorporating these tones into your color palettes:


Green adds an earthy touch to your designs.


Vetiver (17-0613)

Manila File Green Paper

Lint (14-0216)

Exact Vellum Bristol Green Paper

Card Stock

Lentil Sprout (16-0550)

ColorMates Medium Spring Green Card Stock

Thyme (19-0309)

ColorMates Smooth & Silky Military Green Card Stock

Rich Brown

Brown adds warmth and depth to this year’s light, airy tones.


Metallic Russet (18-1235)

Elan Metallics Bronze Paper

Frosted Almond (13-1012)

Royal Sundance Balsa Paper

Card Stock

Semolina (15-1218)

Loop Smooth Sandstone Card Stock

Russet (18-1235)

Kraft Brown Card Stock


Add a sunny feeling to your designs using bright yellow.


Cream Gold (13-0739)

Envirographic 100 COLORS Goldenrod Paper

Card Stock

Cream Gold (13-0739)

Cascata Golden Yellow Card Stock

Cocoon (14-1025)

Treasury Nature Card Stock


Silver adds glitz and glamor to these calming shades.


Puritan Gray (15-4702)

Petallics Silver Ore Paper

Volcanic Glass (18-3906)

Curious Metallics Ionised Paper

Card Stock


Granite Gray (18-5204)

ColorMates Smooth & Silky Graphite Grey Card Stock

Silver Gray (14-0000)

Petallics Silver Ore Card Stock

Hot Brights

Complement the lightness of Rose Quartz and Serenity using bright, punchy shades like purple, hot pink, orange, or blue.


Fig (19-1718)

Flavours Gourmet Vino Cotto Paper

Peach Quartz (13-1125)

Exact Vellum Bristol Peach Paper

Malaga (17-1723)

Glama Natural Blush Paper

Card Stock

Tourmaline (16-4441)

ASPIRE Petallics Starburst Lichen Card Stock

Malaga (17-1723)

ASPIRE Petallics Fireweed Card Stock

Grapeade (18-3211)

ColorMates Medium lovely Lilac Card Stock

Serenity Now

Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year are calming but warm and inviting. Their pastel departure from last year’s rich Marsala presents designers with a unique opportunity to incorporate a sense of vibrant airiness into their designs without over- or underwhelming their readers.

Read the full story behind Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year.

Steph Schinkel

Steph is an avid crafter, DIY enthusiast, and regular contributor to The Paper who loves to handmake all of her cards. Above all else, Steph is a die-hard foodie with a massive sweet tooth and a deep, soul-consuming love for chocolate.