How Does the Pantone Color of the Season Affect the Design Industry?

How does the Pantone color affect the design industry?

What does the Pantone color system mean? The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system that changes yearly. By standardizing the colors, many manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure their colors match without direct contact with one another. Using the Pantone system is the standard for the design industry.

Each year the company Pantone, comes out with an array of colours, that will be most trendy for each season.  The colour of the year, is usually picked depending on the mood of the social, economic, and cultural standards.  Although there are other considerations that may be involved with choosing the color of the year.  These standards will sway the judge’s decision.

Last year, Spring 2011, the “Color of the Year” was Honeysuckle:

The question is… What color is the “Color of the Year” for 2012?

Over the summer of 2011, we learned that “Ice Cream Colors” were going to be real trendy for 2011…”Ice Cream Colors” consisted of vibrant, intense colors that varied from cool colors to warm colors.  Some examples of these tones are viewed below.

Many fabric designers put out lines that consisted of these colors this year.  Some examples were Duralee’s Line of Fabrics by designer  Eileen Kathryn Boyd, Kravet’s Weaves Collection, which featured books such as Sorbet, and Greehouse Fabrics put out a book called Eclectic Essentials, which feature some of the trendiest pattern styles (such as IKATS, and geometrics) in vibrant colors.  To understand the intensity of the look for summer season 2011, I have provided pictures below:

Eileen Kathryn Boyd Fabrics for Duralee:

Kravet: Weaves collection Sorbet Edition

Greenhouse Fabrics: Eclectic Elements

Since 2012 has not come yet, we are unsure what colours are upcoming for 2012. But we have predictions!  We still have bright colors that will be introduced in this upcoming season’s line, but we see that they have a little twist…

2012 Predicted Pantone Colours:

Comparing the colors that were chosen for 2011 to the new ones coming for 2012, we see that the vibrant pastel colors of 2011 are being replaced with more vibrant warm colors, deep rich “sodalite” blue, and vibrant cool tones . Throughout 2011  we as designers have seen gray become the new neutral…meaning that it will either coincide with  or replace beige in the home.

As a designer, my predictions are that the average consumer will use these tones as a pop of color in the room, following more of a block coloring system within the interior make up.  Most of these colors are very vibrant, and will not give you a soothing, calming experience. This is not to say that there are not some combinations within the chosen colors that can create a more tranquil experience.  Remember at the beginning of this blog, I stated that colors are chosen for the season based on the economic, cultural state of the average consumer.  Whichever color you choose to use in your home should make you feel happy.  This will vary depending on your personal tastes.

To find out more about Pantone Colors, you can visit:


If you have any questions, or want to find the best solution for one of your furniture problems you can contact us at:

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 Written By: Erica Guajard
Edited By: Linda Decuir


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