Since the prestigious Pantone Color Institute proclaimed “Rose Quartz” the 2016 color of the year, the shade seems to be everywhere. As short-lived as trends often are, this one has come to stay. In fact, it’s always been around. Pink – whether smoky and soft or bright and intense – is the oldest color in the world, researchers reported in 2018. We’re talking here about 1.1 billion years. And pink makes you happy, as everyone knows. The trend expert par excellence, Li Edelkoort, put it on the record in an interview with Vogue last autumn. “We started working on pink 20 years ago and never stopped, and it’s still happening.” And yet the color is a touchy subject for many, as interior designer Ester Bruzkus well knows. Considered one of the most influential architects in Germany, the Berliner is known for her penchant for color. “I am often amazed at how difficult pink is. I don’t personally think of a nude tone or pink as a “feminine” color. I find the gender classification of colors rather silly – it’s all about creating exciting spaces.” She goes on to say, “I like to use color to introduce surprising moments and disruptions. Color is always a challenge, and you can easily go too far with it. I think good colors are timeless.”
Millenial pink and bubblegum pink
Whether the pizzeria Humble in Great Britain or the bar Moby Dick in Vienna, various shades of pink on a large scale or used as accents are often found in contemporary hospitality projects. If you search the term “millennial pink”, you’ll find pages upon pages of examples of instagramable hotels around the world. As the pizzeria example shows, pink is not a shade reserved solely for pastry shops and bakeries. Why not deck out a steak restaurant in pink? Bruzkus say, “Sure, why not? Meat is exactly the same color scale from pink to red.” The interior designer values Le Corbusier’s legendary color palette. The Swiss paint manufacturer kt.color is a good source for this; the hue Rose pale (“A gentle pink, stony and matt”) is clearly an homage to Le Corbusier. But be aware: kt.color products are of the highest quality – and this is reflected in the price. Here’s a tip from Bruzkus: “Caparol Icons has also developed great colors. They have a beautiful selection ranging from light petal pink to a bold flamingo shade.”
The Viennese pastry chain Aida is proof that pink has always been successful. In 1913, Aida pink was introduced; no one knows whether it was developed specifically for the company or a color that was already around. The Pantone color was only first introduced in the 1980s. “Why pink?” KTCHNrebel asks Stefan Ratzenberger, company spokesman, not surprisingly. “Because the wife of the founder was named Rosa. And because the color was just plain striking.” Sometimes it can actually be that simple. The “Aida ladies” were first dressed in white, but over time, bubblegum pink really took hold. “Everyone in Vienna has a connection to Aida”, Ratzenberger claims, and he’s certainly not wrong about that. There are currently 32 locations, 31 in greater Vienna and one in Tyrol. When the outlets are renovated, the company spokesman said that they try to maintain the style of the time. However, the fact that such a characteristic color tone can also experience a small hiccup can be seen in the case of the franchise outlet at Vienna International Airport, which opened at the beginning of 2019. “Bubblegum pink turned into hot pink here,” confirms Ratzenberger. A transmission error of the color code was to blame. This can happen, but it shouldn’t.
In the end, we want to know whether Bruzkus thinks pink à la longue will ever have to face any serious competition. “I believe terracotta will have a comeback and will replace pink, or, with pink, will be a good combination.” It’s exciting to see what the future holds.