Color of the Year 2016

Every year I look forward to Pantone's Color of the Year. I'm not entirely sure why it interests me as much as it does, but at minimum it's design fodder and a great marketing ploy. However, this year Pantone chose to do this, and I can't get on board. Chiefly, they've named two colors as the Color of the Year. What's wrong with that statement?

I'm not even going to get into the choices of hues, because color is subjective after all.1

So, I decided the only remedy is to release my Smith Color of the Year. Without further ado, I introduce my pick for 2016:


Not just any black, as the inaugural selection, I've chosen Pantone Black 6.

It has a subtle balance of predominately blue, with lesser hints of green and red, and can be found at #10181f on the RGB spectrum. Lovely, isn't it?

Interesting design tip–true black, good ol' #000000, is not typically used in web and digital media because the contrast is too high. Also, we perceive anything almost black to be black anyways. There is no such thing as #000 in nature. I think this guy sums it up best. Seriously, true black is intense. The font color of choice by Ghost on their default template here is actually a tint, #2E2E2E. Even our fellow UX friends recognize this importance. If you want to read more about nifty color things on the web, check out this and this.

Just for kicks, Pantone Black 6 is here on the left, and true black on the right.

  1. I believe color should be used with intention. On a personal note, I don't tend to wear color nor do I want to surround myself with it. I enjoy color just as much as the next person, but believe it to have the potential to be overwhelming. Don't believe me? Try a color detox in your immediate world.