It is that time of year again. The leaves are beginning to turn and the morning air is crisp. These are all signs that autumn is upon us. With each change of season, new color palettes emerge. Do you ever wonder who determines this? These new colors seem to be prominent every place we look. Each manufacturer decided a long time ago which colors to present in this season's designs. They are all similar. How does that happen?
There are two organizations that are recognized for identifying the current trends in color. They are Pantone and the Color Marketing Group. A couple of times each year, they gather a panel of color experts from various industries. They come together for the purpose of analyzing which colors will be most attractive to the general population. This is where color forecasting has become a science.
This panel of experts examines different factors that are going on within our world. They understand the psychology of color and how it will influence which colors will be most attractive to the public. These factors include (but are not limited to) current events, politics, the economy, world issues, global and cultural influences. After studying these influences, these panels determine which colors will be the most pleasing to the largest segment of the population. When they share this information, dyes are produced and made readily available to manufactures for all types of new products, including house paint, that will appear in these tones on retail shelves.
Our first glimpse of these color trends is usually seen on the fashion runway. In years past, it would often take a couple of years before these new hues made their way into our homes or even on our vehicles. With the advent of technology, this information now arrives much faster. The clues that are provided by the fashion world influence product development decisions within the home décor industry. As a result, we see these new colors incorporated into every aspect of our world from textiles to plastics. The consistency and repetition of visualizing these colors makes them more comfortable to us as consumers. We ultimately purchase items that are readily available in these color schemes and can easily be incorporated into our environments.
An awareness of our environment and organic living are factors that influence popular colors for Fall of 2011 and Spring of 2012. It is a statement that we are interested in honoring and preserving our natural resources. Here is how we will see this reflected in the current color trends.
The word "green" has taken on a whole new meaning. This year, green tones are taking their direction from the lush foliage of forests honoring all things that grow and provide nourishment. There is a shift to true greens that are present in plants, algae, moss and seaweed. It is almost like a sophisticated patch quilt similar to what we see in the landscape from a scenic overlook. PANTONE 14-0116 Margarita is a shade of green you'll see a lot of this spring.
The new neutrals are very earthy. Magazines are filled with natural elements such as jute, linens, tree barks and stones. There is a prominence of rusted irons and the rich patinas of aged tin. All of these are apparent in the use of subtle hues of grays and warm browns. Think of a jar of pebbles or a mixture of grains and dried grasses. These are the neutrals that now surround us. PANTONE 16-1120 Starfish is a top neutral color for Spring of 2012.
Blues are also honoring our appreciation of the most precious resource, water. These tones are similar to the soft transparent colors of icy glaciers and tranquil waters that reflect a clear blue sky. In the deeper tones, we are returning to the comfort of our lifetime friend, denim. Blue tones will present as various shades of indigo. Pantone named PANTONE 19-3953 Sodalite Blue and PANTONE 14-5420 Cockatoo as top shades of blue for Spring of 2012.
Red is the color of passion. Even in small amounts, it gives us a taste of glamour and an escape from the ordinary. But, this year's favorites come alive with the tones of a burning fire and glowing embers. It covers the full range of bright orange to deep purples. For example, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango is a hot color for Spring of 2012. The energy of these vibrant tones is coupled with unusual textures, rich reflective surfaces and metallics that will awaken the senses.
As you walk through retail showrooms, pay attention to what colors are being presented. It is intriguing to see the new tones that are becoming prominent and know that there is actually a science as to why they were selected. It is a window that allows us to visualize the most important influences in our lives. These are the colors that will surround our environment.