It’s that time of year again—the end of summer is officially in view. The breezes are stronger, and the cookouts are fewer. Fall is fast approaching, and most of us are happy to welcome the change in seasons. Here in the midwest we only get what seems like a couple weeks of this season, sandwiched between the excruciatingly hot, I-want-to-camp-in-front-of-my-freezer Summers and frigid, dig-your-car-out-of-the-snow Winters. Yet, that short time is enough for us to appreciate it’s highlights.
As designers, we tend to be drawn to the visual elements—with Fall that tends to mean the cornucopia of transforming colors. The ones that make you want to have pie and cider or jump in a pile of leaves. The beauty of the autumnal palette is in its diversity. From candy apple red to rich golds—the spectacular tones of Fall are worth taking a second look at.
Who else gets excited for Fall colors? Pantone of course. A while back, they released their Fashion Color Report for 2010 and the signature hues were all inspired by the upcoming season. Based on the hottest looks from well-known fashion designers, the list of hues determines the latest trends for the season—primarily muted tones, with a couple of brights thrown in. Favorites include Woodbine (PMS 18-0538), Oyster Gray (PMS 14-1107), and Chocolate Truffle (PMS 1901528).
The Pantone report is a great source of inspiration, no matter what sector of the design field you’re in. Even though they ARE considered trends, experimenting with this palette can add richness and depth to everyday projects. The warm neutrals make ideal backdrops for imagery, while the vivid brights would help any beautifully typeset headline stand out.
Of course, Pantone doesn’t include every color in the spectrum. That’s when a field trip outside can provide all the inspiration you need. Take a photo of a pile of leaves to create your own warm-toned palette. The best part is that nature does all the work for you in creating subtle tonal variations. Just let your Photoshop’s eye dropper do the rest.
This Fall, where will you find inspiration for your color palettes? Share in the comments.