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Archive for September, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things: #42 – Color Palettes and Forecasts by Pantone

The impetus for this favorite thing was a presentation at an event I attended last night.  As a member of the Seattle Design Center, I have the privilege of attending some pretty great functions.  Last night was no different.  The presentation was by Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute (who I also found out is one of my neighbors . . . or at least a neighbor of my neighbors).

Lea’s presentation was a look back-and-forward on color trends in interiors, with insight on color in fashion design over the last century, which she shares in her most recent book: Pantone on Fashion, a Century of Color in Design.   It was funny.  It was poignant.  It was insightful.  Plus, it shared a view on color palette trends projected for 2015.

Previously, I have shared two color-related ‘favorite things’ posts.  The links to these are:

These are a few of my favorite things: #1 – Colourlovers.com  https://spadystudios.wordpress.com/?s=colourlovers

These are a few of my favorite things:  #21 – More color resources  https://spadystudios.wordpress.com/?s=%2321

I wondered if I should do another color-based favorite thing and it didn’t take me long to think Why not?  We can always be inspired by color. Plus, it’s been over 20 months since I’ve shared favorite thing #21.

My latest favorite thing is focused solely on the Pantone Color Institute and the position they maintain on identifying color trends.  We don’t have buy in to them.  We can reject them if we like.  But, I find them interesting.  Plus, if you’re familiar with the projected color trends, you can use them to interject a more contemporary angle to your work.

So who is PANTONE? According to their website, PANTONE began as a commercial printing company in the 1950s.  Their primary products include the Pantone Guides, which consist of a large number of small thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color  swatches bound into a small “fan deck”.  The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS) is not the only color standardization system, although it is the most widely used and the one that most printers understand. The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to “color match” specific colors when a design enters production stage.  (In my previous professional life in ‘Corporate America’ we relied on these guides to effectively communicate with others about color.  It’s one thing to tell a printer we wanted a ‘red accent’ added to the cover of a manual.  It’s a completely other thing when you can define a specific red that can be definitively quantified.)

The Pantone Color Institute offers a variety of trend forecasts for every design market.  This provides inspiration.  As I mentioned previously, you can reject them.  They’re not a rule.  But, they often encourage me to explore incorporating new colors.    Pantone even selects a Color of the Year. For 2014, it was Radiant Orchid.  For 2013, it was Emerald.  For 2012, it was Tangerine Tango.  (I was not enthusiastic about orange being a color of the year; however, it encouraged me to consider it and look for opportunities to include it in my work).  Below is a Color of the Year short history going back to 2000.


Last night, Leatrice Eiseman told us the color palettes for 2015 had recently been added to the Pantone website.  The 2015 Color of the Year hasn’t been announced yet (I’m hoping for something blue).  But, looking at the spring 2015 color trends will show you colors are evolving into a cooler and softer look and give you an idea of what they will draw from when selecting the 2015 Color of the Year.  You can access and learn more about them by clicking on the following links:

Spring 2015 color trends – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=11

2015 Spring

Women’s fashion color trends for spring 2015 – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=3

Women's 2015 fashion(Yeah, I know . . . The Spring 2015 and Women’s Fashion colors are the same thing)

Men’s fashion color trends for spring 2015 – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=4

Men's fashionNotice how the colors for Men’s Fashion are a little darker and more muted version.

The link below will take you to the PDF of the 2015 color palettes for home and interiors – http://www.pantone.com/downloads/pvh/PANTONEVIEW_home___interiors_2015.pdf

In this PDF, there are a series of color palettes.  I really like reviewing these because it gives me ideas for new color combinations and possibly even how to use the odd cone of yarn sitting on the shelf in my studio.  I also love some of the names they’ve chosen to name the color palettes:

  • Style Settings
  • Abstractions
  • Botanicum
  • Zensations
  • Urban Jungle
  • Tinted Medley
  • Past Traces
  • Serendipity
  • Spontaneity

I was captivated as she shared the background stories about how these were developed.  I’ve grown from dreading the color trends, palettes, and the color of the year to anticipating them with eagerness.  They have influenced how I use color.  There are still colors I migrate toward whether or not they are part of color trends (like fire engine red), but color is supposed to be fun and trying something new can feel very liberating.



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