As a designer, you’re working with color on a daily basis. Even if you’re not using Pantone specific swatches, you’re working with similar hues in CMYK or RGB color systems.
Every year, the Pantone Color Institute releases a Fashion Color Report or Color of the Year, detailing what they believe will be the upcoming trend in color. Despite having “fashion” in the name, the colors selected are a good indicator of trends for all aspects of design, including print and web.
Even if you don’t agree with the color selection, there’s no denying that Pantone is recognized as an industry expert. So it’s important to stay educated and know what they have to say about the colors of the season.
The Fashion Color Report for Spring 2015 consists of 16 colors that range from cool pastels to rich, earthy tones, with a few brighter options thrown in. Pantone calls this palette En Plein Air.
The idea behind this palette was to return to more natural colors, instead of particularly vibrant, manipulated tones. The Pantone Color Institute was inspired by the need to create relaxing environments in a world where we’re constantly plugged in to technology and concerned with the hustle and bustle of life. You can read more about it on their website.
So, why should you care?
Like Pantone, when you choose a website color scheme, you need to put some consideration into it; you can’t just pick any old color. When you look at the goal of the Spring 2015 palette, the colors that were chosen make sense. The color scheme is very intentional and meant to encourage a specific feeling in viewers.
This same intent should be behind any color you choose for your own projects. What emotion are you trying to invoke, and what color best exemplifies that feeling? By learning what the experts at Pantone see in a color, you can get to know colors better yourself.
Even if you don’t plan to use the colors of the season, you might be able to draw some inspiration from them. For example, don’t look at them just as individual colors, but also together as a palette.
Maybe these shades aren’t quite right for your project, but notice how the colors relate to one another. What would happen if you darken them? Or lighten one or two? You might just find a new favorite color scheme.
So obviously, it’s important to know what industry leaders are saying. You want to stay informed about what opinions they have, and then make your own opinions. If you don’t think these are the colors of next spring, why not?
If you can form your own opinion on topics like this, and then back them up, you’re only helping yourself sound more like an expert. Your clients will appreciate your knowledge, and other designers will respect your views.
So stay up to date on the latest design trends, even if you don’t think you’ll fall in love with them. You never know, Scuba Blue might just become your go-to Pantone.