Which Colors to Watch in the New Year

The past two years have seen soothing color schemes dominate as the world looked for comfort under lockdown, but already we’ve begun to see vibrant colors making a comeback. From the latest Pantone trend report to a new interest in pale green shades when it comes to interior design, we walk you through the coming year in color and what these trends have to say about consumer wants and needs.


Softness is key

With lockdowns occurring all over the world, the past few years have seen soothing color schemes dominate, as well as color schemes inspired by nature, which many people had little access to. As lockdowns eased, we saw color schemes rebound slightly, with fall themes often centering around warmer (but still neutral) hues. So what’s the plan for 2022?


Unsurprisingly, several brands have put their money on soft, soothing, natural colors, specifically pale green. Sherwin Williams, Behr, and PPG have all announced shades of pale green meant to evoke associations including seafoam, evergreen woods, and olive sprigs. It’s a pretty remarkable confluence for multiple brands to settle on such a similar palette. So what are they trying to say?


The medium is the message

What do these greens have to tell us? Gesturing at the outdoors, the hues are clearly new and exciting colors, but they still remain neutral, and as a result are pushing the envelope just a smidgen. And because green can be a difficult base color to work with, it makes choosing it a bold and confident move. It’s not surprise that while these calming shades fall squarely in line with our pandemic-era craving for comfort, they’re also clearly a statement about growth and the potential for new beginnings.


Pantone has a similar message in mind with its 2022 spring and summer color predictions, which focus on bright pastels and confident neutrals. Creativity seems to be the central message, along with a dash of simplicity and sprightliness. As the world reopens and more and more people assume their regular routines, Pantone’s colors give permission for spontaneous expression. In a sense, the colors establish a mood of minor rebellion, of pushing up against boundaries that we’ve all lived with for the past two years.