Pantone Colors Spring 2014

Those who follow fashion will be used to hearing the yearly, if not seasonal declaration of “it” colors. The past few years has seen a resurgence of cobalt blue, yellow, emerald green, and orange, just to name a few. But what most people don't realize is that the emergence of these popular shades is not merely a coincidence, nor is it only the result of the ever-growing popularity of street style stars and bloggers displaying their adventurous color choices to the world. At the very heart of all things color, is the Pantone Institute.

It may seem strange to some to think about an institute whose sole purpose is dedicated to color and color alone, but the reality is, color is a highly influential medium that is used in a variety of industries, from graphic design to landscape architecture and beyond. All of us can form a perfect mental picture of a color if someone uses the term “cobalt blue”, or even the now somewhat less in vogue “dusty rose”. The Pantone Institute is responsible for this. Their mission is to use technology to provide accurate color communication to a variety of industries, so that we may all be “on the same page” when we discuss color in any capacity, whether you be a fashion designer, an advertising guru, or a new college freshman who wishes to paint a wall in her new apartment.

Perhaps the influence of the Pantone Institute is felt strongest in the fashion industry, which is in its modern incarnation is heavily influenced by trends and rapidly-changing retail cycles. In this context, the Pantone Institute influences what we want to wear by predicting (if not downright dictating), what color trends will likely be popular for the upcoming season. Looking forward to Spring 2014, the outlook is a refreshing blend of pastels, brights, and neutrals that are very wearable, work well when worn together, and speak to a broad range of tastes. Blue, orange, and yellow are still making a strong showing, this time in the form of Dazzling Blue, a slightly softer version than we have seen in past seasons, falling somewhere between Cobalt and Royal blue. Celosia Orange, a yellow-based orange that is slightly less vibrant than the tangerine hues we have been seeing thus far is also a surefire bet, as is Freesia, a strong, vibrant yellow that looks good on a number of skin tones, something that can be difficult with a yellow shade.

There are also some pastel shades in the mix. Placid blue is an icy light blue that trends a bit more to the cool violet side of things than the candy-hued baby blues we have come to know in past spring seasons. Hemlock is a cool light green, and will likely prove to be a popular accent color in prints for spring 2014. It also looks great when paired with Radiant OrchidViolet Tulip is perhaps the most surprising addition to the mix; a cool based purple that also has a bit more depth than the warmer, uber-feminine hues of past seasons.

Lastly, two beautifully neutral hues, Sand and Paloma, a warm beige and cool dove grey respectively, will function as the perfect anchor hues for the season, tying-together a mix of color that is at once unexpected and perfectly harmonious.


Photo Credit: Pantone

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