Open a few different magazines, and you’ll see the same range of colours splashed across the pages. Where do these trends come from, and who decides? While the answer is complex, the first place to look is the Pantone Colour of the Year.
Each year, Pantone release their colour of the year, which is in turn adapted by designers and buyers as it permeates a spectrum of industries. This year, for the first time in their 53-year history, Pantone released two colours for the 2016 Colour of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity.
The company has reflected on current global affairs as inspiration for the dual colour choice, highlighting it as a “symbolic color selection; a snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of mood and attitude.”
Understanding the important role Pantone of the Year plays in buyer behaviour is vital when developing a product. The colour blends into the majority of consumer products: from fashion and beauty through to cars. Complementary colour schemes are added to the mix, with a small number of colours dictating what will be created and sold for the year ahead.
When it comes to web design, choosing the right colour scheme is vital to communicating a brand’s message online. Clever use of colour can aid the user experience and encourage conversions, enabling an intuitive user journey and a healthy reduction in bounce rate.
Although the web design theme should be brand-centric, looking to current trends can be unavoidable for both designers and consumers. “You can’t help but be influenced by what is trending,” mused JTB Digital Designer Aaron Fraser.
Consumers find themselves in the same predicament, gravitating towards popular colours rather than out-dated schemes that feel jarring and out of place.
Fraser finds that staying abreast of design and colour trends helps designers create an atmosphere and environment that feels new and different than the environment they are actually viewing the website from.
“Pantone colours force me to think about the tangible and common colours we encounter daily,” he continued. “This is an important process for me, as I like to design new spaces that challenge the user to interact with the site in a less tactile way.”
As the year takes shape, take notice of the different products offered in varying shades of light pink and pale blue, and the pervasiveness of the Pantone Colour of the Year will come to light.
Jess Kumanovski, JTB Studios Account Manager
JTB Studios, Digital Agency Melbourne