Color Forecast: fall/winter 2013

Fall/Winter 2013 color forecast inspiration board, TheUltraBright


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The inevitable integration of the man-made into our daily lives is affecting the colors that we perceive as familiar, pleasing and fresh. Our perception is being challenged daily by what we know and accept as the natural and what is streaming down our screens. 2013 will reflect this rapid change and will deliver an array of man-made and natural colors into our lives. This multi-faceted balance is the driving force behind our fall/winter 2013 seasonal color forecast.

As science, technology and space exploration become everyday subject, subconsciously we will desire color stories and shades that will make us feel integrated into this 21st century reality. Science advancements challenge the known, mobile apps welcome a newly discovered sense of creative power and space exploration humbles our existence. At the same time, increased focus on establishing strong family values, finding peace and modesty in thought and existence and a general sense of political and economical neutrality counter-balances the dreamy side of life.

The consumer is caught up in a world of extreme polarity, pulled in different directions all the time, they are now reacting to well-balanced offering of core values and an opportunity to be flexible and soft in their existence.

The result is a color palette rooted in creating a balance – balance of hyper-real brights offered next to familiar, nature-derived colors.

Eggplant-inspired Color board, TheUltraBright

Alexander McQueen advert,

The on-going interest in food and nutrition and living a healthy existence is inspiring a number of seemingly unrelated trends. One such trend is the color nuances that emerge from the so-called super-foods: açaí, grapes and berries. These luscious shades deliver a sense of tropical escape mixed balanced by the austerity and straightforwardness of the winter season.



Red and dark pink color inspiration, Fall/Winter 2013

Another Man magazine / Winter 2008, Eleni Photography

Red continues to be an essential part of the winter palette. For the fall/winter 2013 season however, we are seeing the ecstatic shade take on a more winter-appropriate and sophisticated turn, allowing for pink and brown hues to influence its final coloration. In-between colors are on the rise, amid changes in the consumer’s perception of the world – unbiased, ever-flexible opinion and uncertainty in choice are a driving factor in the creation of these “undefinable” colors.



Purple color board, Fall/Winter 2013 forecast, theUltraBright

2 forget them magazine, spring/summer 2012,

The authenticity and depth and indigo are inspiring an evolution of the historically-important color. Purple-tinted shades are inspired by the natural yet have a profoundly man-made feel to them. Shades of purple in high and low contrast offer depth and variety for fall. The color purple continues to evolve from yellow-kissed shades to this season’s cooler shades saturated in magenta.

Deep blue color inspiration, fall/winter 2013 forecast, theUltraBright

Sarah Palmer photography, Charlott Markus

Blue creates an emotive response that the consumer subconsciously demands, especially in emotionally and socially challenging times like today. Blue invites the calm and spiritual side of life to awaken, while the sense of hope and promise guides though to better times. The color’ poetic qualities are redefined season after season and for fall/winter 2013 the focus will be on rich, true blue shades alongside purple-kissed hues.

Gray-Blue color inspiration, Fall/Winter 2013, theUltraBright

ABOVE magazine, Charlott Markus

The man-made and the natural inspire this autumnal blue direction. The known side of the ocean, the sky and space inspire these washed-out, almost-grey shades of blue that come as a replacement for more traditional neutral shades. The mystic associated with blue is replaced by a realistic overtone of dull, worn-out tonality.

Man-made brights, Fall/winter 2013 color forecast

Pulp Magazine #3, Eric Cahan

Artificial brights are counter balancing the all-natural color offerings for the fall/winter 2013 season. The need for balance between the unreal and real is resulting in fresh, almost unexpected, shades of hyper-real colors. The soft, pigmented quality of bright colors is transitioning into vibrant, yet familiar, shades.



Fall/Winter 2013 color forecast, soft winter brights, Eric Cahan

Sun-kissed brights are transitioning into the fall season in a dustier, less prominent offering. Pink continues to evolve from season to season, establishing itself in both the commercial and directional sides of the business. These soft pastels will continue to pop in winter and overtake the color palette in summer.

Seafoam color inspiration, Fall/Winter 2013

Gerhard Richter, Abby Powell

Winter teal shades recall the summer days and reflect them enveloped  in subdued turquoise colors. Teal, turquoise and alpine green create a fresh hybrid for the winter. The appeal of teal lays in its connection to past times, recalling the 1970s. The new seasonal teal colors are more sophisticated and are moving away from the playful, tropical sea-foam shades.

Green color inspiration, fall/winter 2013 color forecast,

Green shades evoke a feeling of familiarity and rest. The color of nature is inspired by the on-going interest in utilitarian wear and the need to blend in with the environment. For the fall season we are seeing renewed interest in duller, almost worn-out  shades that draw inspiration straight from the woods. The current interest in bright, almost neon-like Chartreuse shades will evolve into a more subtle and sophisticated acid green shade.

Yellow color inspiration, Fall/Winter 2013 forecast

Adrià Cañameras, Eric Cahan

Sun-filled yellow shades will brighten up the summer horizon. These supple, playful shades recall summer days spent in the tropics. The need to escape is still lurking in people’s minds and they respond positively to colors that a momentary journey to distant land. Warm yellow shades transition from orange and sepia.

fall/winter 2013 color forecast, TheUltraBright, TUB

© TheUltraBright – fall/winter 2013 original color palette

TheUltraBright’s fall/winter 2013 color palette reflects a cultural and social balance of the natural and unnatural.

*  new PANTONE® colors
** PANTONE® nylon colors