The Color Association of the United States-Youth Spring/Summer Color Forecast 2012

Spring-Summer Colors 2012

Spring-Summer Colors 2012

Today’s color trend forecast, the Youth Spring/Summer 2012 Color Trend forecast, comes from The Color Association of the United States (CAUS).  In our last color trend series post we moved away from the more traditional design and color studio’s and reviewed a color trend report that was put together by a well-known fashion blogger.  However, today’s post marks our return to color trend reports that come from more traditional color and fashion influencers.

However, outside of the fact that it was done by a highly established team of color professionals, this forecast was anything but traditional. For starters, it’s the first color trend report that I’ve ever seen that focused entirely on children’s color palettes.  Perhaps, equally as significant, is that fact that the children’s’ palettes in this color trend report draw upon scenes from nature, popular foods and confections, and even business settings.

Overall, this report represents an impressive cross-sectional analysis of how societies use color to induce self-therapy, fashion awareness, and social awareness.  In this sense, the report is as much a social commentary as it is an explanation of current and upcoming color and fashion trends.  This report is also a reminder that fashion trends begin to spring up in societies long before we see them hit the runway.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the CAUS’s Youth Spring/Summer 2012 Color Trend forecast:

“This season, discussion centered around the youth market following a global sensibility. What’s going on in the world is impacting fashion, even for children. The lines between the adult and youth markets are not as defined, with children’s wear designs only slightly tweaked for a younger audience.”

Another unique aspect of this color trend report is that there are only three color palettes instead of the four that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in color trend reports.  Typically, the way that these palettes work is that each of the four palettes corresponds to a particular season.

However, in this instance each palette seems to embody only one season-which is summer so we won’t spend much time today discussing seasons.  Instead we can look at the qualities or characteristics that each of the three palettes exhibit.

The three palettes are as follows:

The Color Association of the United States Spring-Summer 2012 Palette

The Color Association of the United States Spring-Summer 2012 Palette

Farmers Market

This palette exudes a wholesome purist quality that really is reminiscent of a time devoid of technology or modern conveniences.  Many of the colors are earth tones, or shades you’d find in nature.

Here’s what CAUS says about it, “Today’s youth are much more conscious of the environment. They feel a responsibility to look after the planet and are more aware of their food choices. Children influence the purchases made by their parents, and as they begin to demand ethically grown products, local, farmed food becomes a dominant theme in everyday living.”


The confectionary palette looks as if someone had taken a set of pastel colors and dipped them into a buttery film.  The colors are reminiscent of those you’d find in an old fashion candy or cake shop.

Here’s what CAUS says about the palette, “Continuing with a focus on food, Confectionery embraces a more designed, delicate aspect of the food chain. Since the downturn in the economy, small luxuries, such as French pastries offer easy pick-me-ups.”

Summer Camp

The Summer Camp colors seem to have a more relaxing quality to them.  Blue is the color that carries this palette.

Here’s what CAUS says about it, “With a hint of nostalgia, Summer Camp references the place where kids can be kids, without the distraction of technology. After being oversaturated with gadgets, ‘Summer Camp’ presents a glance backwards for this generation of techno savvy youngsters.”

If I could summarize the three palettes into one common theme it would be that our children have finally reached the point where they’re beginning to absorb the limitations of technology and the 24 hour news cycle.  Likewise, they are also beginning to pay closer attention to environmental concerns and as a result they’re quietly attempting to reconnect with the basics.

In a sense, it’s as if the circumstances of the last decade have almost forced our children to grow up much sooner than we’d like.  So the premise of this color trend report is that the children’s longing to discover nature is manifested in their choice of colors, style and dress.   If CAUS is correct then over the coming year we should see the types of colors that were more prevalent at the turn of the 20th century filling children’s wardrobes-refreshing indeed!

If you’re looking to use these colors in your custom line or in your kids’ wardrobes, you can find them at Rock Bottom T-Shirts.  Try searching for Grass on our website or check out our Softy group for styles that feature colors in the Farmers Market pallet.  Many of our girls and toddler styles feature colors found in the Confectionary group.  Search for the color names lilac, lavender, plum, butter, banana and teal to see items in these colors.  Colors for the summer camp pallet can also be found with names like light blue, cobalt, turquoise, aqua, soft blue, iris, periwinkle, royal, silver and more.  Yes, we like our blues!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s color trend report.  Do you agree with CAUS’s assessment of our youth?  Do you see this forecast coming to fruition?  We’d love to hear from us, please let us know by commenting below or on our Facebook page!


Filed under Color, Color Trend Series, Fashion

5 responses to “The Color Association of the United States-Youth Spring/Summer Color Forecast 2012

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