Spotlight On: Color Trends

“The expectation of today’s consumer has risen — and that includes color and the way it is used,” said Leatrice Eiseman, color specialist, author, and consultant to Pantone, in the SPECS session entitled “Color My World – Color Trends.”

No color has higher expectations for 2013 than green, according to Eiseman. In fact, emerald (specifically Pantone 17-5641) has made a comeback, officially named Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year. 

 “Green symbolizes sustainability and health, but it also is a fashion color,” she said.

 The green hues can also be considered neutrals, supplanting tans, taupes and beiges as a retail backdrop. Deeper greens, such as olive and brighter shades like aqua and turquoise, can be strategically used to draw attention.

Other current color trends identified by Eiseman include:

• Oranges and yellows have made a surprise appearance as accent colors, employed on laminates, outdoor furnishings and as accent shades in darkened areas;

• Among the metallics, pewter has gained hold;

• Wood tones and finishes are being mixed and matched across settings that range from elegant to rustic, gaining popularity from the attraction toward sustainability; and

• Laminates layered with color are go-to materials for 2013.

Eiseman, considered a crystal-baller when it comes to color, offered the following forecast for the coming year:

1. Look for neon pink instead of red.

2. Neutrals will be accented with splashes of color like rosedust.

3. Rugged color palettes suggest sustainability and will continue to garner favor. Tortoise shell, toasted coconut and chocolate brown will be accented by pops of color, such as orange, to add interest.

4. Traditional blues and greens, always reliable, can be accented by a brighter blue or even pink to draw attention.

5. Convivial hues — those that lie across from each other on the color wheel — will be used together to create interest.

6. Neons will be around for at least another two years.

“The current economic climate is keeping colors around longer,” Eiseman said. “We are more reticent about change. That said, we will tend to experiment more with bolder colors as accents.”

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