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September 7, 2022 4 minute READ

Set the Pantone for Fall

tags Behind the Scenes | Inspiration
locations All

Drum roll, please. The Pantone Color Institute has rolled out the Fall/Winter color palette or 2022-2023, and it is filled with colorful contradictions. Typically, colors in the fall and winter tend to be a little muted and more rooted in the happenings of nature’s calendar. Think browns, greens, and muted tones of red and orange. This year, you’ll see those colors mixed in with bright Rose Violet and the pastel tints of Nosegay and  Waterspout.

Of course, with the seasonal color palette, there’s also a core collection that is virtually seasonless and can be worn for this fall/winter season and reach into spring/summer next year and even future years.

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, commented in a recent article, “As we move forward into an environment filled with contradiction, hues for Autumn/Winter 2022/2023 enable consumers to move fluidly between a range of contrasting shades, allowing them to spontaneously express who they are and how they feel on any given day.”

Color is a powerful language. It influences our mood, our attitude, our outlook, and our feelings. So, what is Pantone, and how do they determine what color is the color of the year and what palette will trend for the season?

Pantone's Colors for Fall 2022

First of all, Pantone isn’t new. It started as a printer in New Jersey in the 1950s. That’s when they realized that a standard for color didn’t exist. For instance, there are red-based purples, and there are blue-based purples. One will be “warmer” in appearance, while the other is “cooler.” To help designers and printers be able to more accurately communicate the color they are striving for, the Pantone Matching System (PMS) was started in 1963. This ensures that the labels on a Coke bottle in London are the same red as the labels you’ll find on the shelves in your local grocery store. (If you’re wondering, it’s Pantone 185).

By establishing an exact mixture of CMYK colors, the PMS standard color catalog has reduced reprints and other inefficiencies in the print industry. It allows graphic designers to speak fluently to printers to achieve their desired effect.

Color isn’t just important in printed pieces. It’s all around us – in clothing, upholstery fabrics, wall paint, on the internet. In the year 2000, Pantone launched its first color of the year. That year, if you remember was clouded with worries about the Y2K computer bug, the failures of dot com businesses, and anticipation of what’s next in the New Millenium. According to an article on FastCompany.com, Pantone chose the color Cerulean, which has an optimistic feeling. It was “an answer to the excitement and an answer to the fear.”

Pantone's Autumn/Winter Classic Colors

The colors of the year for 2021 were Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. As the world began emerging from the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic, these two colors worked together to express a mood. Pantone explains, “It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly. A message of happiness supported by fortitude.” The color of the year for 2022 is Very Peri. Pantone writes on its website, “We are living in transformative times. PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through. As we emerge from an intense period of isolation, our notions and standards are changing, and our physical and digital lives have merged in new ways.”

That’s interesting to know, but WHO determines the Pantone Color of the Year? This undertaking is serious business because this color is a driving force behind trends, designs, and more.

Pantone hosts a secret meeting, in a European capital, of representatives from several nations’ color standards groups. These groups participate in two days of presentations covering almost every area of interest before debating the upcoming year’s color. They look to the entertainment industry, traveling art collections and works of new artists, fashion, popular travel destinations, new lifestyles, and socio-economic conditions as the group’s primary influences. They also consider new technologies, textures, and upcoming sporting events on the world stage.

Color isn’t only important in the print and fabric world, it also is important in web design. In the late 1990s, Pantone established RGB/hexadecimal references for their color palettes to aid digital designers in their craft.

Pantone continues to break barriers including making 2021 the first time in its history that they created a color and named it after a character. Yes, there is a Minion yellow – it’s Pantone 13-0851 TCX. You can see the story behind it on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEuMjhR3d0Y).

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