Once upon a time a relatively unknown Dutch artist created a massive manual on the art of watercolor, with instructions on making all the various hues and how to alter their appearance by adding a dram or two of water. Anyone who has ever played with Peerless watercolors will recognize this as an enormous undertaking. (Since it was handwritten, 800 pages and “published” in 1692—centuries before Pantone—it was likely only originally seen by a handful of people which is a shame because it’s lovely.)
While a global, single color of the year may seem improbable (how can one color rule them all for 365 days?), palettes on the other hand offer a little more creative possibility. Pantone’s Spring Summer 2019 offering is a bright one, which as a predictor of trend seems to hold some truth, whether we’re talking graphic design, fashion or pattern design. Burka’s latest email of spring fashions proclaimed color the new black. (As a former goth, that’s mildly panic inducing. I love all the colors, just on other people.) Art supply, fabric and crafting stores are always awash in color but the wares seem all the more vibrant these days, maybe because of the enduring love of certain forms of Pinterest-worthy crafting, like knitting, quilting and jelly roll rugs. The more color, the better, to be combined at will with some kind of mad glee, completely rule-free.
Of course, that’s the secret sauce, isn’t it? Color is hugely important for not only branding but consumer spending decisions. Unique and vibrant color combinations draw us as surely as pollinators are drawn to flowers in a garden. To quote my son when he was only three and perusing a toy catalogue: “I want to buy that.”