Pantone’s Predictions for Spring 2013 Color Trends

Written by: Stephanie Hsieh

As the year draws to a close predictions for the color trends of Spring 2013 are in from the Pantone Color Institute, and it looks like fashionistas everywhere can look forward to new neutrals, bright shades, and lots of green when the new year begins.

The Pantone Color Institute is a research and information center devoted to the study of colors. Leatrice Eiseman is its executive direction and she states that balance will be the theme for Spring and Summer 2013. Eiseman believes that the forecasted palette for the coming year is one that balances a variety of colors through the use of what she calls “novel neutrals” and balancing between “light and bright” shades.

The Institute’s predictions consist of a ten-color palette that contains colors named: Dusk Blue, Grayed Jade, Linen, Emerald, African Violent, Nectarine, Poppy Red, Lemon Zest, Tender Shoots, and Monaco Blue. Together they cover all colors of the rainbow as well as a range of shades, from the very pale to the fairly dark.

The ten colors of the Pantone Color Institute's Spring 2013 color predictions.

Novel neutrals, light to bright, next year it’s all about balance.

The first three colors listed are what the Institute’s “novel neutrals”. Dusk Blue is a a slightly-greyish shade of blue that’s on the pale side and recalls calm, serenity, and twilight. More practically it recalls lighter denim tones, which bodes well for fans of that closet staple. Grayed Jade is a jade green with a strong undertone of grey, a soft and elegant color that also recalls serenity. Linen is a pale nude-like color that according to Eiseman gives a “light, airy, diaphanous” feeling to its viewer. All of these shades are capable of functioning like more traditional neutrals such as black or white, especially when paired with colors from the rest of the palette.

The rest of the colors are the light and bright shades noted by Eiseman to be part of the palette’s balancing act. Emerald is what starts moving the entire palette into brighter, more vivid tones. As a color it is evocative of spring and Eiseman suggests it will also serve to ground other colors in the palette. African Violet is a shade of purple that adds some floral tones to the palette, a color that like Emerald may serve to ground the palette but will also combine with other colors in what may seem like unexpected ways. Nectarine is a light shade of orange tinged with coral, strongly evoking the colors of its namesake fruit. Eiseman believes that its coming prominence will answer the question of where orange has been for the past few years, bringing the color back into the spotlight.

Poppy Red is a bright, exuberant shade, one that Eiseman believes is a must-have for any spring. Lemon Zest is a bright yellow that recalls “sunshine and good cheer”, one that balances well with the novel neutral colors. Tender Shoots is a third green in the palette, one that brings to mind new plants and fresh growth. Its presence in the palette points to the importance of green to 2013 as a whole. This is another exuberant color and one that’s sure to grab attention. Monaco Blue is a dark blue, similar to navy but brighter. This is a calming color that, appropriately enough, will serve to anchor all the other shades in the palette.

So there you have it, the Pantone Color Institute’s Spring/Summer 2013 color trend predictions. Only the coming year will tell us how on-target they are.

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