Discovering Color Trends

FW 2017/18 Octopus Connection Color Palette done with the Procreate App.

Color is truly my happy place. With New York Fashion Week in full swing, color is popping on Twitter and Instagram like bulbs flashing on a camera. I think I am as intrigued with how different designers use it as I am with color itself. Like different chefs wielding the same ingredients in different ways, designers have such interesting color stories which they combine with shape and form.

Then there are the color designers themselves. Our heroes at Pantone are a prime example.  Without their diligent work what would we do to keep up with the color trends? In fact, I have recently discovered the Pantone App. Not only does it give you color trends, color stories for different combinations, but it also allows you to upload an image and give you the custom Pantone colors. Below is one of my paintings with its own Pantone color and palette.  I have featured color palettes before, but Pantone takes it to a whole other level…


I have also been following some color trend blogs. For example, Sarah Renae Clark has an amazing post featuring some of her own color palettes on her website. The Fashion Vignette blog shows a collage of the latest prints and how to wear them on a consistent basis.

My three new Pinterest boards are designed just for color trend tracking organized by seasons. Here is my new Spring/Summer 2018 board that I am now using to start thinking ahead on my art, jewelry and other projects. This is all thanks to Claire Picard, from whom I learned how to create a color trend journal.  She has been a ginormous inspiration to me. Without her guidance, I would never have been able to paint the cover art at the top of this post, as my own guide to my favorite Fall 2017 colors.

(A lovely illustration from

(A lovely illustration from

Claire is an artist/designer from the UK who has developed professional color trend forecasting techniques. She used them in consulting for several TV stations that relied on her expertise to stay ahead of the curve. I had the pleasure of taking her course on Skillshare, and it was life changing. I don't throw those words around lightly... I have begun to see the world of art and design in a whole new light. I can now recognize the color trends appearing at my trip to the furniture boutique, or in the paint tones on newer vehicles.

FW2017/18 Color Story from My Journal

Above is an image of my favorite fall color story from the journal that I learned to make in Claire's class. She has an Etsy shop where she sells her gorgeous collage style prints based on the color stories she puts together. They are truly stunning! I can't wait to see her color combos for the holidays. You can follow her Instagram and Pinterest if you would like up to stay up to date on Claire's color ideas. 

How do you use and forecast color for your projects? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Chris VComment