Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Design: 2012 Spring Colour Palette, courtesy of Pantone

Never make predictions, especially about the future. – Casey Stengel

One for the girls. Quite skinny... Perhaps not the best ideal to strive for...
Click on the image to view a larger file, or visit the links below.
I'm suffering from PMS – Pantone Matching System. Recently I've been receiving a great number of page views on my last year's post about the 2011 colour report. It appears that you, my dear readers, are fascinated by Pantone’s pronouncements on colour theory.

Well wait no longer – here’s 2012 pronouncements. Certainly none of us want our fashion, house, car, etc., colours to be a whole year behind everyone else on the globe, do we?

These predictions usually come out during the big fashion season in the Fall to showcase the next Spring fashions that designers are trying to shill. 

I don’t put much stock in all of this "hot season colours" myself. It’s like examining the King’s stool for the possible outcome of a battle, or the Prime Minister's for direction on the economy. (Oh – wait – I think they do that...). It’s mere guess work, nothing more. Saying that, we can still gather from Pantone's pronouncements some new colour ideas we may not have thought of.

And as you know, if enough people follow predictions they can become self-fulfilling. Just remember the combination of Hunter Green and Pink in the 1980s. It was everywhere – graphic design, fashion, architecture, home decoration...

And one for the boys. Click to enlarge or visit the links below.
My advice? Take these predictions for what they are – the pronouncements of colour theorists sitting around being paid to theorize about colours and trends. If they didn’t produce they wouldn’t be employed, would they?

I say follow your own star. Be your own fashionista. But that's dangerous too.

I always used to (and still) get a laugh from the extremely “artsy” students at my art college alma mater (NSCADU) that rebel against the “norn” by dressing in weird and unusual ways.

The really weird and unusual thing was if you stood them all in one room you would notice they were all dressed alike! In their haste to negate trends they created their own. Trapped!!!

So take these pronouncements with a grain of salt, or perhaps a shot of whisky. If you like what they show and they inspire you, use them. If not, disregard them. Remember, they’re only valid until the 2012 Summer Pantone Colour predictions arrive, which I assume are probably already out.

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh. It's just that as a designer I can make my own decisions about colour, thank you very much.

If you wish to read more about Pantone’s take on what colours we should be wearing and using in a couple weeks, look here:

There’s more information on this site as well:


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