This color palette is all about contrast.
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woman looking at paint colors for wall
Credit: Charday Penn / Getty

When the Pantone Color Institute began considering the color trends that would dominate in the spring and summer of 2023, they knew the 15 shades they spotlighted would need to speak to renewal and reemergence after a long, cold winter.

To put this palette—which was also predicated on emerging fashion trends—together, the Institute looked to contrast as a guiding concept: "Colors for Spring/Summer 2023 are recalibrated for the new era we are entering," said Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a press release. "Blending escapism with reality, wholesomeness, and joy, we embrace the exploration of extreme contrast in mood and color."

blue and grey paint swatches pantone brand
Credit: Courtesy of Pantone

New Classics

The team decided to start with five "neutral" colors as the foundation, and build the contrast from there; the grounding shades are tranquil and represent a "quiet presence." Anchored by Pantone 12-4604 Skylight, a pure, water-inspired color, which mirrors cleansing aqua, and Pantone 13-3804 Gray Lilac, a "dreamy and ethereal lilac infused gray," this part of the color trend report represents its "utility and basic-ness."

swatches of paint red and yellow
Credit: Courtesy of Pantone

Vibrant Brights

The remaining 10 shades, however, signal the "uplifting, vital sense of play that comes through" the color scheme. These vibrant hues were all meant to boost experimentation and expression: Pantone 18-1664 Fiery Red signals energetic intensity, while Pantone 14-0756 Empire Yellow is a representation of joy.

Ultimately, pairing these shades together, via your wardrobe or throughout your home, imparts the sense of freedom that comes with trying something new. This "quirky contrast" highlights our desire for individualism, notes the release—and "encourages us to express ourselves in unexpected ways."

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