Pantone’s Spring 2013 Fashion Colors and What They Mean for Your Brand

Pantone recently released their fashion color report for spring 2013. This report outlines what color trends they are noticing in fashion designers’ lines for the upcoming spring.

You might love fashion. You might hate fashion. You might not care about fashion whatsoever.

But you should definitely care about these top ten colors. Because around March of 2013, you’re going to see them subtly popping up everywhere. And with these bright, bold colors, you have the opportunity to seize a whole bunch of attention for your business.

So first, let’s go over the colors and then talk about how you can use them for your own business.

The Balanced Neutrals

Dusk Blue

Grayed Jade


The Vivid, Bright Sparklers


African Violet


Poppy Red

Lemon Zest

Tender Shoots

The Anchor

Monaco Blue

Some of my favorite hues are in the mix, so I couldn’t be more excited for spring 2013. And for our male readers, many of the men fashion colors of spring 2013 match the women’s.

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute calls the selection “balanced,” and elaborates with:

The expression “balancing act” is something we all relate to as we strive to find harmony in the frantic pace of our everyday lives… This season’s color palette emphasizes this need for balance, while at the same time allowing for individuality, self-expression, and excitement.

Balance sounds great, right? Between running and marketing our businesses and trying to find the time for family and friends, balance is something that we could all use.

So how can you use these colors for your business?

Who could ignore this ad with Poppy Red?

Who could ignore this ad with Poppy Red?

1. Incorporate Pantone colors into your print and online advertising

If your business creates flyers, business cards, or other paper handouts, consider mixing it up with a design with some of these colors. A splash of Poppy Red could bring attention to your brand!

Design a new banner ad with some Nectarine or Lemon Zest. With most websites sticking to reds, blues, white, and black, these colors will pop.

2. Update your social media profiles with Pantone colors

Want a stronger online presence? Then take these colors to your social media profiles. It’s a little unreasonable to suggest an entire website redesign with these colors, but a new design could be created for your Facebook cover photo, Twitter background, or Google+ profile banner. Create a pinboard on Pinterest with your items that match the Pantone colors.

Check out this tote bag with a Tender Shoots imprint!

Check out this tote bag with a Tender Shoots imprint!

3. Use the Pantone colors on your spring promotional products

If any of these general colors are already in your company’s logo, consider tweaking the logo to showcase one of these fun colors. It’ll breath some new life into your promo items, and even better, create a limited edition item that customers and fans will be excited to receive.

Not your cup of tea? Then try one of them for your plain-text message lines. Print your corporate retreat t-shirts with the tagline in Monaco Blue or adding an event name and year to your koozies with Emerald.

Side note: If you’re not ready to think about 2013 yet, end the year on a bang by adding a little of the 2012 Pantone color of the year, Tangerine Tango, to your promotions.

If you do want to add a little Lemon Zest to your next promo item, you can! QLP offers Pantone color matching on the majority of our items. You’d have to pay a minimal fee, but it’d be worth it to have your logo match your new dress or shirt. Click here to find out more about our Pantone matching system.

Go ahead and think about it – the possibilities are endless for how you can incorporate these colors. Grayed Jade and Nectarine would make excellent accent colors if you were considering redoing your trade show booth this year. And African Violet would be a soothing addition to your direct mail pieces.

Have a question about any of the Pantone spring 2013 colors or promotional products you could pair them with? Then don’t hesitate to contact one of our representatives. You can reach us by phone (866) 312-5646, by email (, or by live chat.

What do you think about Pantone’s spring 2013 fashion report? Which of the colors is your favorite? Would you wear any of these?


Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on


  1. Myrtle

    Whatever happened to good old PMS 123 C Yellow!!!

  2. Eric

    “Grayed Jade” interests me. Spring usually means a smattering of pastel colors, pushed onto an unwilling public. Having worked fashion retail, I’ve seen some pretty ugly introductions for spring colors. This one, however, has a very Feng Shui, muted, zen vibe to it. Mind you, there’s a fine line between a muted color and one that looks like it was worn through a dust bowl storm, but this one’s some promise.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I like Grayed Jade, too! It’s a really nice neutral, but it still has a little pizzazz to it. Hopefully the other neutrals don’t lean to the dust bowl side! 🙂

  3. Bret

    Do you think Nectarine makes me look fat? 🙂

  4. Bret Bonnet

    What makes the color violet african vs. just plain violet?

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Just plain Violet seems to have a deeper, darker hue than African Violet. As to why they picked that particular name…I couldn’t say.

      • Cybernetic SAM

        An African Violet is a flower. 🙂

  5. Rachel

    Pretty colors!! These would all look nice together, though I’m partial to an African Violet/Tender Shoots combo. Also, what a fun idea to adjust the colors on your social media accounts! You’re right, a full company redesign doesn’t make a lot of sense, but a tweak here and there in the adaptable, easy-to-change social media profiles would make for a nice nod to the Pantone palette. Thanks for the ideas, Mandy 🙂

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I’m a big fan of Monaco Blue and Poppy Red. I hope that there are a lot of cute clothes released in those colors in the spring.

      Maybe we could give Bubba an African Violet shirt for the spring!

  6. Mikey

    Some pretty colors in this mix. It is kind of nice that it’s not all pastels and that they included some darker colors, like Emerald and Monaco Blue, and some more vibrant colors, like Poppy Red or Lemon Zest. Though I’ve always had a preference for darker colors. But I can definitely see these colors going well together and making some truly eye-catching combinations. Some great tips and ideas, Mandy.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I love the colors this season. It’s great that both the designers and Pantone selected a wide variety of colors. You’ve got colds, warms, lights, darks, bolds, mutes…there’s something that should appease just about everyone!

  7. Cybernetic SAM

    I love colors!!!!!!! One of my favorite colors which is not far off from grayed jade, like a seafoam green was trending HARDCORE last year I noticed! I never really think about colors trending, but then again I am obsessed with the 50’s and 60’s and those era’s color trending seemed to have blown up all over everything! Great Post!

    • Eric

      Rule with trends:

      1.) Determine the current year.

      2.) Dial-back exactly one half-a-century.


      …seriously. Those subscribing to GQ right now should just go and find some issues from ’62. However…heaven help us once it’s the 2030’s if what I surmise holds true.

      • Mandy Kilinskis

        BRING IT ON. The only sad thing will be that I’ll be in my 40s and it wouldn’t be acceptable to dress like teenagers from the ’80s. Sigh.

  8. Silly Willy

    Pretty colors!

  9. Amanda

    Beautiful colors here! I love them all–surprise!! I’d say that Poppy Red is my least fave though–it’s not springy enough, or something. I also love the font you wrote the colors name in–so pretty! =)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thanks, Amanda! I like Poppy Red a lot because it’s not a typical springy color. But hey, as long as there are plenty of pretty colors to go around, I’m happy. 🙂

  10. Christine

    Pantone colors are all so fabulous and Emerald is a prime example! We love it so much that we put together a fabulous outfit on our blog to show how to dress wearing Pantone’s Emerald using a triadic color palette. xoxo, WearToStandOut

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