Trend analysis – Never underestimate the power of pastels

For the first time ever, Pantone’s colour of the year was two colours. Rose Quartz and Serenity were selected in 2016 to speak to a gender-fluid world, and also solidified pastels as a dominating force in colour. Pantone makes its annual choice after evaluating colours already having an impact in the world, and with Greenery picking up the gong as 2017’s colour, with it refreshing and renewing appeal, it seems our choice of colour palettes very much reflects our societal moods.

As Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman said, “When we’re living in a time of discord, often the public at large will retreat to a palette particularly in the home, that makes them feel a little easier and lighter.”

Pastels were very much the colours of the 1950’s when women returned to the home, featuring in softer, feminine aesthetics of billowing full skirts, corseted waists and candy colour kitchenware. In the current geopolitical climate, the sense of calm pastel tones evokes is an antidote to polarising elections globally, security threats and times of austerity.


Why millennial pink is here to stay

Pink is not just for panthers. The grapefruit, apricot, salmon shade has been the colour to covet for fashionistas. One of the modern world’s biggest visual messengers with 87.8m Instagram followers, Kim Kardashian herself, is part and parcel the reason behind the surge of popularity for pretty pinks. Her makeover from reality star to haute couture lover changed her clothing colour palette to pale blush, soft camel and rose pink. While all shades of pink were strutting down fashion catwalks this season, dusty rose pink still dominates, if Fenty x Puma collection by Rihanna and Drake’s Stone Island puffer coat selling out everywhere is anything to go by.

Interior design and homeware can’t get enough of candyfloss either, with the Gallery at Sketch London’s redecoration by British artist David Shrigley and designer India Mahdavi in 2014 proving to be so popular it’s still there, (normally the restaurant updates its look every two years) in all its sugar coated pink walls and matching velvet chairs’ glory. While talking about the most instagrammed eateries in the capital, we can’t not mention candy pink Peggy Porschen Cakes and pared back Palm Vaults.

Maybe it’s the nations love of the Great British Bake Off, but when Le Creuset launched its Oasis collection in early 2016, and KitchenAid’s candy coloured mixers appeared in every kitchen in the country, it was apparent millennial pink was popular with every generation.

It’s been a leading trend pretty much since The Grand Budapest Hotel film and the release of the rose gold iPhone, but now with peonies the most instagrammed flower and Pantone choosing Pale Dogwood (a tranquil, barely there pink epitomising subtly and innocence) as one of its colours for spring 2017, pink is definitely here to stay.

Other candy hues 

Paint company Dulux by AkzoNobel picked Denim Drift as its colour of 2017, describing the soft, grayish blue as perfectly suited for the time we live in. Pale pastels for interior design have been picked up by Elle Décor, who detailed powdery blues and dusted yellow as the perfect introverts foray into colourful homes.

Pantone’s Greenery, colour of this year, also lends itself to the minty, pistachio pastels doing the rounds. It gives off a vintage look, yet the brightness still allows light to make the colour pop – perfect for a calming, romantic and fresh look.

To spot the next big colour, it needs to start popping up in occasional, influential places before going mainstream, according to Monnington Boddy, colour director of trend forecasting agency WGSN. Some big fashion moments of recent; Rihanna’s gown at the Met Ball 2015, Beyonce’s Lemonade video and Emma Stone’s La La Land dress all point to sorbet shades of yellow being the next big thing, as stated in The Guardian. Lilac could be pink’s replacement in a few years, looking again to Beyonce this time to her Ivy Park collection and Alexa Chung’s lilac apron for guidelines here.

So having indulged your sweet tooth quite enough, what are your thoughts on pastel power? Do you think pink is still the statement of the season? Or are soft baby blues, calm pistachio greens and fruity lemon yellows catching your eye? Shop our newest candy coloured pastel paper stocks, perfect for Wedding Stationery, Greeting Cards and Leaflets & Flyers. Let us know what candy colours you’ll be adopting into your print and beyond by commenting here!  


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About the author

Caitlin is our Social Media guru and lover of all things food and travel. When she's not scrolling through TikTok you'll find her meticulously planning her next adventure abroad.

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