Color selection plays an important role in helping a trend come to life by telling the visual and emotional story that designers are attempting to portray to consumers. In the research process, Cotton Incorporated’s trend forecasting team takes an overarching approach, looking to different industries, products, lifestyle areas, and cultures for inspiration and design direction. Once the lifestyle or ‘macro-trend’ directions are set, the team analyzes influences within the directions for a way to tell the story through color. By creating a pool of directional shades and tones to formulate specific palettes, colors can then be narrowed down into three categories: core, secondary, and accent shades. Color capsules are then created for each of the trend directions.
ACTIVE | Spring Summer 2022 Trends + Color Palettes
While the above outlines a typical approach to color selection, the approach for the Spring Summer 2022 season for the active market was different given the state of the world. The trend forecast team chose to focus on three distinct macro-trends that will later evolve back into the traditional broader approach for Fall Winter 22/23. They looked to build palettes that portrayed a certain feeling rather than dictating exact color values, allowing for more customization and interpretation for a brand’s specific niche in the active market.
DOWN TO EARTH
Resilient and everlasting design from both a functional and fashionable standpoint, this trend palette offers a soothing neutral heavy collection of color. Instead of jarring fluorescents, the soft melon, deep olive gold, and dusty green grab attention as accent colors. The white is not stark, and a deep charcoal replaces jet black to help maintain the softness of the story.
Pantone colors (L to R): 19-3902 TCX, 16-1548 TCX, 17-5912 TCX, 11-0103 TCX, 15-4008 TCX, 13-4201 TCX, 15-0643 TCX, 14-0627 TCX
This palette is inspired by the creative online community, increasingly relying on and inventing their own ways to create art and products in the digital realm. The gradient nature allows a digital appearance in the physical world. The deeper colors are more dominant as base colors in application while the deepest colors in the story are not black, but are instead the darkest version of their counterparts. Consider layering on tonal combinations in print and construction to heighten dimension.
Pantone colors (L to R): 19-5030 TCX, 15-5728 TCX, 16-4529 TCX, 12-5206 TCX, 14-0340 TCX, 15-1530 TCX, 19-2434 TCX, 17-3735 TCX, 19-4025 TCX
Hybrid-led design leads to new and hyper-takes on natural materials while an eclectic palette entices the imagination. Consider a hybrid mash-up of colors that wouldn’t be expected to work well in combination. The amplified shades of the first and sixth colors speak to the ‘hyper- nature’ influence while nuanced neutrals and slightly tweaked shades of a turmeric, chameleon brown, and deep butter make even the mundane seem interesting.
Pantone colors (L to R): 16-4529 TC, 17-3735 TCX, 14-1064 TCX, 16-1506 TCX, 12-0737 TCX, 16-3118 TCX
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