Pantone Color of the Year 2016

The New Color of 2016 and What It Means for Exhibitors

As they do each year, Pantone has announced the Color of the Year for 2016, and for the first time, it’s a blending of two shades: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Color forecasts are important in fashion, automotive and other industries, but what are the implications for our business? Should exhibitors really care about them?

To this, we give an emphatic yes. We think color forecasts are important for two reasons: the colors themselves, and perhaps even more, for the reasons why they were chosen to begin with.

As to the colors, you can expect that Rose Quartz, a shade of pink, and Serenity, a soft blue, will be showing up a lot this year. That’s an inevitable consequence of Pantone’s annual pronouncement. So incorporating them into your exhibits could add a breath of fresh air to your look. And that is never a bad idea.

Of course, how you deploy these particular colors and whether they will even work within your brand standards are important questions to work through with your exhibit company. But it’s always a good thing to keep an eye on what’s current because, consciously or not, your attendees are, too.

And then there is the reason why these colors were chosen at all. Companies like Pantone do these forecasts based on instincts that are rooted in what they feel is going on in the hearts and minds of consumers at that moment. And so understanding their rationale can offer interesting insights into the current consumer mindset.

To quote Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Executive Director, “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

And there it is. Given the prevailing economic and political uncertainties of our times, Pantone clearly feels that serenity and relaxation are what people will respond to best right now.

What might be the implications for exhibit managers, whose main imperative is creating compelling customer experiences that deliberately excite attendees?

We think it could mean this: stimulate, but do not jar; excite, but first be welcoming. Which, when you think about it, is solid advice for any  year.