Pantone 2016 Color of the Year – Paper Picks

2016 Color of the Year - Top Paper Picks | Parse & Parcel

I have to say when Pantone announced their new Color of the Year for 2016 I wasn’t too surprised. I noticed this combo take hold in pop-culture a few years ago. It could be spotted popping up everywhere, from the art-direction of (then new) lifestyle magazines likes Kinfolk and Cereal to luxury packaging design like that of Bing Bang NY, to the set design and cinematography of The Grand Budapest Hotel. You could see this coming a mile away. But what Pantone did do that was a total departure from years past. The 2016 Color of the Year is a first for Pantone, they selected two colors to bestow the honor on this year, Rose Quartz & Serenity – a two-fer. While it’s nice they offered up the color match for us, it doubled the work for those looking to match paper for things like invitations, stationery and envelopes. I know what at total PITA trying to find on epaper color match can be, let alone two. No worries, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you and complied a list of my top paper picks for Pantone’s 2016 Color (or colors) of the Year.

According to Pantone, the combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity represents our culture’s yearning for mindfulness, relaxation, reassurance and security. With cues taken from the global fashion trend of acceptance and gender neutrality, the color choice coincides with society’s influence on culture. Pantone describes Rose Quartz as a persuasive yet gentle tone, conveying compassion and composure; while Serenity is a weightless, airy hue like the expanse of sky above, giving a sense of respite and relaxation.

I think this trend coincided with the rise of Instagram. I mean just look at the color palette of most life-style bloggers feeds. We see their perfectly styled images through Rose Quartz and Serenity filters thanks to apps like VSCO,  and of course we can’t help but double tap. Those airy feeds evoke a sense of soothing calmness, order and peace – and that’s exactly the emotion Pantone wants to elicit with their 2016 selection for Color of the Year.

In terms of what this means for marketing, look to see more home goods, fashion and textiles in these hues, and thanks to Sephora, brace yourself for blue lipstick. On a much more attractive note, we predict a spike in the sale of hydrangeas. After all the most notable cultivar of the species, hydrangea macrophylla, displays a range of colors between Rose Quartz and Serenity. And with wedding season just around the corner, there’s sure to be a spike in demand for this showy floral.


And speaking of weddings, the most important aspect of the big day, imo, is the invitation suite. After all, it’s a preview of what’s to come, sets the tone of the event and hopefully reflects the personality of the happy couple. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover but you definitely can judge a wedding (or any event for that matter) by the invitation.

To help insure the bride-to-be has the Rose Quartz/Serenity invitation suite of her dreams, I’ve gone ahead and done some of the preliminary work to make life a little easier. Here are my top paper picks for Pantone’s Color of the Year selection.


  1. Stardream – Rose Quartz
  2. Stardream – Bluebell
  3. Stardream – Vista
  4. Esse – Pearlized Opal
  5. CT – Blush
  6. Pop-Tone – Pink Lemonade
  7. Strathmore – Soft Blue
  8. Mohawk Loop Linen – Restful Blue
  9. Classic Crest – Windsor Blue

The list features a range of text and cover grades, and even includes a few metallics and a translucent! Be sure to check out our pinterest board for more Color of the Year inspiration. And if you enjoyed this little on screen chip chart and recap of Pantone’s Color of the Year, make sure to join our mailing list – we share tons of good stuff, free!

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