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The Ultimate Designer’s Color Guide 2018

Updated October 28, 2017
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Color Forecast of 2018

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

This 2018 Color Forecast – is based on high fashion, paint companies, and Pantone trends. I use these three broader points, and curation according to my tastes to create my third (!) annual color forecast of yearly color trends.

Check out 2016, and 2017 color forecasts to take a look back, and join me for this delightful tour of new designer’s lines and drawing conclusions based on their choices and other color expert ideas for 2018!

Color Forecast of 2018


Paying attention to high fashion

Why do I start every color forecast with particular attention to high fashion? I’m not sure – I do know a lot of times high fashion designers are ahead of the curve. Although this being the third year of diving deep on this subject, these trends are slow and mercurial. I don’t feel the fashion designers are moving that quickly.

Pale pink was highly present this year in high fashion lines – but I’m shifting focus this year to a different, very close relative since my past years have both focused on pale pink. Give up the spotlight already!

Beige is back!

Beige and Mauve Color Trends of 2018

I do feel like this year; beige is becoming even more present in high fashion than last year – it has taken a bigger role than pale pink, and now is not just the paint color in your grandparent’s basement bathroom, it’s been given new life. It looks great on people whose skin matches it, and on darker skin tones as well – because well… beige is back. (If you’ve been stowing away your beige jumpsuit from 15 years ago, you may be in luck.)

Pale Gold and Matte Black

Many brighter colors are coming in this year, rich tones, whose cousins were stylishly muted only three or four years ago, are now out and proud. Rich purples, greens, reds, and blues. A consistent though mutated trend is gold and matte black, both muted this year and often coupled with earth tones like brown and money green.

Silver, Silvery Purple & Green, oh my

Silvery colors have been peeking around the corner for years. Perhaps this year they will make a more robust showing in street styles and broader design trends like interior design, print design, etc. The trick in the high fashion designer’s palette seems to be keeping it somewhat matte, and/or mixing it with purple, green, or another color to add interest along with diagonal lines and various textures.

Deep Red & Blue

You may notice that I have a special affinity for Gucci color schemes, and perhaps that skews my take on what is 2018 related, and what is just beautiful, solid Gucci color may be broader, more along the lines of a 10-year trend. I love Gucci’s deep red and blue – along with the occasional accompanying green stripe. The tendency for other designers to run with full saturation, rich colors do seem to be present as well for 2018 fashion lines.


Other Color Experts and Why They Matter

If you’re a designer, you’re likely very familiar with Pantone’s color of the year, which usually gets a lot of press (at least for industries that focus a lot on color). I like to take a good hard look at all of their other color predictions, and other sources like paint companies, as their businesses depend on making accurate and attentive choices in what they are selling. The pressures of the free market push these companies to make intelligent and savvy choices when suggesting color trends, so it makes sense to examine their choices.


“The color palette showcases an appreciation for the complexity and distinctiveness of color and the expression of it, which is something that evolves and can be played with,” said Eiseman. “Consumers need more variety, and this expanded palette embraces the lack of gender and seasonal borders we see within the fashion industry.”

Pantone Colors of the Year 2018

Their mainstays suggestions are more along the lines of the aforementioned muted gold, deep ‘sailor blue’ beige or mauve, and silver/grey. They suggest these because they think that the colors are getting brighter, richer, and deeper and need some simpler tones as the mainstays so the overall palette of peoples’ wardrobes will be ‘anchored’ in these simpler colors.

Subdued color trends of 2018 according to Pantone

This brings me to the phenomenon of the ‘Groutfit’ – my one foray into ‘male-centric’ fashion for 2018.

A Groutfit is a grey outfit, and Gucci is banking on groutfits, as well as other designers, are working in grey alongside the silver and more intense colors.

Male Color Trends 2018 Male Trend 2018 - color

Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams Color of the year 2018 - Oceanside

What a lovely palette – Sherwin Williams doesn’t miss with its delightful choice for color of the year – a deep blue they call ‘Oceanside’ – my take on Gucci’s deep red and blue seems to be right on point! Here’s their video about this color of the year for 2018:

With this take on blue, and Benjamin Moore’s take on red – it may just be the year of very bold color walls. It’s been happening for a bit now, but if their predictions are a strong indication of where people will go, we’ll be seeing a lot more!


Benjamin Moore – chooses ‘Caliente’ or a rich, deep red as its color of the year. They suggest in the video below that it symbolizes boldness and joy. Check it out!

As we mentioned above, deep red and deep blue are very ‘in’ this year, and perhaps will be for a few more years, seeing as there was a step into more muted colors for some years (2011-2015.) Bold and deep colors likely will have a reign longer than one or two years.

Wrapping Up

All of this is a survey of the existing information out there about color leaders and experts’ take on 2018 – with a little bit of my perspective mixed in. I hope you’ll further explore with your own lens, and determine your own bold steps for color in your designs for 2018.

There’s a bit more opportunity in my estimation to use color boldly in anticipation of this new appetite for strong colors, and finding ways to complement the silver, mauves, and matte blacks that have been a mainstay for a couple of years.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this “Ultimate Designer’s Color Guide 2018” and I hope to share with you this annual forecast again next year. If you enjoyed the article, please leave a comment and/or share with your friends and followers!

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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