The ebb and flow of color trends reflect the state of the world and the times in which we live. In recent months, society has been marked by increasing economic pressures, political division, war and an ongoing climate crisis – so it’s no wonder that this year’s color trends are a bit conflicted.
In 2023, there is a noticeable divide between nostalgic, soothing color palettes that offer a calming sense of escape and more rebellious, saturated colors that applaud the challenging social environment.
The following five color trends, identified by our global community of independent designers, capture and express a range of responses: from warm, nostalgic comfort, to bolder, bolder hues that shout from displays or packaging.
Whether you lean toward optimism or realism (or even pessimism), this year’s color trends offer creatives and brands ample opportunity to express themselves at both ends of the spectrum and anywhere in between. Of course, trends don’t always have to be followed, but as with the latest illustration and graphic design trends, it’s good to know what they are.
01. 1970s nostalgia
Let’s move on to the color palette of the past! That’s right, we’re talking about the earthy browns, mustard greens and avocado greens that graced your grandmother’s living room walls. But don’t worry, this isn’t a full-on carpet revival (although who knows, we’ll keep an open mind). Instead, these retro shades appear in modern, sophisticated ways.
Designers and brands take a cue from the past and inspire retro colors with a modern twist. The 1970s color palette is redefined in sleek, minimalist designs, making it more accessible for a new generation of trendsetters.
Brands that do it well include Houseplant (opens in new tab) and the Darl Bar (opens in new tab), with richer, warmer tones creating comfortable, welcoming style that doesn’t feel dated. It’s like the 70s met the 21st century, and when they were coming back from the disco they decided to collaborate on a color palette.
Whether you’re a vintage aficionado or new to the trend, there’s no denying that the 70s are having a moment. Why not embrace your inner bohemian and add some retro flair to your branding?
02. Mediterranean warmth
Imagine sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and relaxing on a sun terrace. This is the feeling these colors evoke. Soft pinks, muted blues and warm neutrals combine to create a palette that is as relaxing as it is beautiful.
Incorporating this trend into your designs is all about creating a sense of calm and serenity. Use these colors to create a peaceful oasis in a busy, hectic world. Whether it’s a website for a spa, the packaging for a relaxing tea or a logo for a yoga studio, the Mediterranean color trend is the perfect way to create a sense of calm.
Let these soft, gentle tones wash over you and transport you to a place of relaxation and peace. Your clients and customers will thank you for it!
03. Acid shades
Ready to add some serious fun to your palette? Look no further than super bright acid hues – the electrifying, eye-catching colors that are taking the creative world by storm. These shades are like a jolt of caffeine to your visual senses, adding energy and excitement to any design.
From neon pinks and oranges to electric yellows and greens, these bold colors are perfect for making a statement. Whether you’re designing a brand identity, creating a mural, or drafting a social media post, these colors demand attention and leave a lasting impression.
And let’s be real, who doesn’t need a little more brightness in their life? As we continue to navigate the ups and downs of this hectic world, a pop of acid green or fuchsia pink might be just the pick-me-up we need.
04. Silver chrome
Say goodbye to traditional color palettes and hello to edgy and youthful vibes. Moody silver chrome is a statement, a rebellion, a call to arms for the anti-establishment people out there.
So if you want to break the norm and express yourself in a bold and unconventional way, moody silver chrome is the way to go. Embrace your inner rebel and show the world that you’re not afraid to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo. It’s not just a color, it’s a mood.
05. Millennial kitsch
Have you noticed that everything old is new? That’s right, the millennial kitsch from 2022 continues this year. It’s like taking a trip down memory lane, but with a new layer of color.
Those bright, bold hues that were everywhere in the early 2000s are back and better than ever. Think electric blues, hot pinks and lime greens. It’s like Lisa Frank breaking out into the design world and we’re here for it. These colors are so playful and nostalgic, they recreate the feeling of being in your childhood bedroom, surrounded by posters of your favorite bands.
For more on color trends, check out the full 99designs by Vista list Trends of 2023 (opens in new tab).