Type to search

Design on a Dime: The New Black (necklace)

Design on a Dime: The New Black (necklace)

Erin Strother
erins 2 years ago

I just saw the announcement for the new Pantone colors of the year, y’all.


(That’s light pink and baby blue, for those of you don’t speak fluent Pantone.)
Yeah, the Pantone folks went with TWO colors this year, maybe because both colors are so “meh,” that neither can stand on its own, or perhaps whoever made the choice this year was also planning a baby shower and just wanted to save time.

So get ready for everyone to be saying “light pink and baby blue are the new black,” which is stupid, because NOTHING is ever really the new black. Black is always the new black, or more correctly, black is the old black, and no color will ever be as cool. However, despite its obvious coolness, the good folks at Pantone have NEVER chosen black as the color of the year.

So much cooler than nursery shower colors

So much cooler than baby shower colors

So why has black never made the cut? Perhaps it’s the bad-boy reputation. Maybe Pantone thinks black is evil and must be destroyed. Or maybe, Pantone doesn’t consider black to be a color at all. I’ve heard black described as “the absence of color.” Although, conversely, I recall that in the fifth grade, Nancy Venderloop swore that if you mixed all the colors together, they would make black, thereby suggesting that black is, in reality, the PRESENCE of all color. This theory was quickly disproved, however, as I can tell you with absolute certainty that if you mix all the colors together, you will get a hideous shade of yucky brownish, greenish, gray that nobody would ever consider wearing to the Academy Awards. Not even Helena Bonham-Carter. Also, (I’m digressing here, but indulge me) Nancy once told me that licorice was a great diet food, because you expended more calories chewing it than you actually consumed while eating it. In hind-site, Nancy clearly wasn’t that bright and possibly may have been color-blind. In any case, I’m pretty sure she will never score a job with Pantone.

But back to “Rose Quartz” and “Serenity.” Do you like them? If you do, that’s great, but you may want to just stop reading here, because I seriously don’t, and if Pantone had asked ME to choose the color of the year (which they totally should have, because I am really good at telling people what to do), I would obviously have chosen BLACK.

Of course, I’d need to come up with a great Pantone-ish name and some super-sexy, dangerous-sounding body copy. Preferably something involving motorcycle gangs, death rays and possibly Darth Vader’s hat. You get the idea. So far, I’ve thought up and subsequently rejected the names “Back in Black” and “Black Angus,” due to the high probability of law suits from people who have much better lawyers than myself. (And by “much better,” I mean “any.”) Also rejected: “Tire Fire” and “Dinner is Ruined,” on account of general unpleasantness. Then I thought of “Carbon Footprint” which I thought was fairly brilliant, but probably too politically charged and environmentally unfriendly. “Licorice Whip” was fun and whimsical, but then I decided Nancy Venderloop would probably think it was because of her fifth grade diet theory, and I can’t have her lording that over my head. “Heart of Darkness” was a serious contender, but finally, after consuming several adult beverages and a substantial quantity of cookies, I came up with the perfect name.

“Black Diamond.”

I KNOW! It’s AWESOME! And here’s the description, which I’m sure will inspire much swooning and many purchases of black everything for the entire year.

“Black Diamond sparkles with unabashed sex-appeal and a hint of rogue danger. Petulant, with inky undertones, nuances of mystery and a whiff of unapologetic success.”

So, all of you fabulous, color-loving fashionistas at Pantone, if you’re reading this blog, I’ve done all the work for you for next year. Black is the new black. Again, and always. You’re welcome.

black2 click meLR

And because I like you, and also, it’s my job, here’s a super-stylish and not-at-all expensive necklace I made in honor of my much better choice for color of the year, “Black Diamond.” You’ll need a scrap of leather, (black, of course) some wire, two types of black beads, gold spacer beads, some eyelets and jump rings. A full list of materials and instructions are FREE when you click the photo, and as a bonus, no one will ask you when your baby is due while you’re wearing it. If you foolishly choose to make a necklace using “Rose Quartz” and “Serenity” colored beads instead, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Erin Strother

About Erin Strother

Erin Strother is a full-time graphic designer with an obsession for jewelry design living in southern California with her long-suffering husband George and their disobedient dog Swiffer. She has won 6 Pulitzer prizes, an Academy Award for “Best Virtual Sound Editing,” $4 in the California State Lottery, and other prizes too numerous to mention. She is currently working on her first novel, “The Summoning Circle.” (Really!) See more of her work at http://www.studioEgraphics.com and http://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioEgallery.



  1. Rachel Lyons January 20, 2016

    Lol! This is too perfect and even though some of it reminds me of a previous article by you (wink wink) it still rocks!?

    1. Erin Strother
      Erin Strother January 20, 2016

      Rachel–wow–a serious fan-girl! I thought I’d easily pull that off with nobody noticing. (Yes, I’m lazy.)

      1. Erin Strother
        Erin Strother January 20, 2016

        I will publish this every year until Pantone gets it right! (And then I will gloat.)

  2. Terri G. January 30, 2016

    Diggin’ the leather in this piece! Fantastic!