Color is a crucial visual element to create an impact on your viewers, and it’s a critical aspect of both branding and advertising.
But the colors that better impact and connect with people change with the seasons and the years, just like photography trends have evolved in the past few years. Knowing which tones are in gives you a valuable upper hand to design graphics that truly drive results.
So today, we bring you color inspiration in the form of the latest color trends 2022, compiled from our top stock photo agencies and visual experts. From marketing materials to interior design and beyond, these colors and color combinations will reign over everything in this new year, and are the perfect complement for all 2022 photography trends!
Note: If you want further insight, check Everypixel's Stock Photo Color Trends Report 2021 here, it's super useful to see the progression of color picks from one year to the next! And if you want tools to select the best color combinations quickly, try any of these awesome color wheel design tools!
Shutterstock 2022 Color Trends
Analyzing millions of downloads from their platform all over the world, and with the help of their newly developed Shutterstock.AI software, they came up with the top 4 most trending hues for 2022, that will taint all design styles:
A mute, peachy pastel tone whose warmth invites us to soak in it, bringing us feelings of comfort and peace. It can be combined with other pastels and muted colors like dusty yellows and pinks for a nostalgic effect or contrasted with a sky blue for a soothing, natural effect.
A dark tone of purple with a strong connection to royalty and royal status, this is the boldest color in 2022, despite being more subdued and quiet than vibrant. Paired with jewel tones like emerald green, it produces a contrasting harmony, and it also works as the dark base for more neon-like tones within the same spectrum.
Shutterstock claims this is the most relevant color trend of the year. A more subtle yet still rich tone of pink that resembles blushy cheeks and beach sunsets. For this very reason, it works excellent as a pop of color amongst peachy tones or other pink color palette and also complements a light teal to evoke a Pacific beach twilight.
Green Reigns Supreme
This one is interesting. Beyond design trends, Shutterstock.AI color consulting analysis concluded that shades of green dominated click-through rates and conversion, making this color the chosen one for ads and marketing designs. Shades like emerald, jade, lime, and mint are desirable, but there is a wide range of hues from vibrant colors like neon to cold and dark tones to choose from.
The team at Envato finds that this year’s trendy pigments are in direct contrast with last year’s edgy and complex palettes. In 2022, they say, we are going back to basics with innovative yet classic palettes with a modest twist, from gentle, muted tones to comforting retro and nostalgic hues. Take a look at their 8 top color trends for this year:
Colorful yet subtle, pastel gradients provide a calming, aesthetic foundation for any design that combines the dreamy style of pastels with the simple depth and texture effect of gradients.
Natural Earthy Hues
The resurge of organic design and the ongoing interest in sustainability and environmentalism bring earth neutral colors to the forefront. Rich browns, creamy beiges, and terracotta reds to greens, ochres, and greys have a calming effect and are very present in branding and minimalist designs inspired in the natural world.
Red, blue, and yellow is making a comeback in 2022 thanks to their simple but uplifting effect that evokes vibrancy, optimism, and youthful creativity. Designers are encouraged to play with the tones and shades in this color story to increase the depth and range of these colors to create a classic but edgy look.
On the other side of the spectrum, muted tones from pale pinks and purple pastels to mossy greens and burnt oranges take the lead in a modern, minimalist design style. They are elegant colors that are easy on the eyes and invite calm.
Bold Colors in Flat Design
Flat design style is rising in popularity in later years and is about minimalism, functionality, and usability. Usually centers around empty space, clean edges, minimal details. But designers are now using bold colors to add extra visual impact to flat design.
Based heavily around cyberculture, the Y2K aesthetic that dominated 2000s pop culture is known for its shiny textures and holographic metallics, and it’s now officially back in fashion, with a massive dose of nostalgia. While it has an unmistakable retro feel, the holographic style is more defined and detailed.
The style of blocking out certain sections of a design or image with specific colors is simple yet incredibly effective for drawing attention to certain parts of a design or just to create a visually impactful image. Color blocking is made through complementary or contrasting pairings of colors, but the results are always bold and eye-catchy.
Faded Retro Color Palettes
It is the newest take on the retro trend that has been around for years now. Like muted tones, faded retro colors – think of sun-kissed tones and art deco-inspired palettes– are all about comfort and familiarity.
Freemium stock media site Freepik has a complete visual trends 2022 report, which includes their picks for the trendiest color palettes of this year to influence everything from your web design to your living room decor:
This palette made with opposing temperatures has been helping designers come up with unique projects. And in 2022, we’ll witness how they’ll become even more relevant. The key is to combine the brightest tones of one color with solid dark ones for the other to make elements pop up and stand out.
Overall in visual trends, they see an overall sense of vintage revival. In terms of palettes, neon colors jump to the spotlight once again after their 80s hype.
Strong cold colors combined with washed-out tones will come to the forefront in 2022 as they add a classy, luxury touch to any design.
With their brown, green, yellow, and beige tones, Earth-inspired designs will make for appealing and stimulant visuals.
Graphic design expert company Adobe has a segment dedicated to color: Adobe Color. And it includes an entire section with the latest color trends broken down by industry. They have inspiration palettes and sample images for the colors that are all the rage in various relevant fields; take a look:
The Pantone Color of the Year, which Pantone Color Institution experts select every year after combing and analyzing trends in color all over the globe and across multiple industries, is the ultimate trendsetter for color palettes.
In 2022, the chosen tone is Very Peri, a periwinkle blue that encompasses this transitional moment in our collective lives. The post-pandemic, going from isolation into the new normal. And the mixing of virtual and material realms through rising concepts like the metaverse and trends in gaming and digital design.
Blending the calmness and confidence of blue with the joy and creativity-inducing effects of violet-red undertones, Very Peri is an intriguing tone that invites us to embrace new visions and possibilities.
A hue that works excellent in a lot of the trends we saw above: it can accent a dreamy pastel palette, it’s the perfect analogous tone for rich purples and lively pinks, can be used in enticing color block designs, makes for a beautiful metallic tone, and the list goes on.
One thing is obvious: if you want your visuals to be up to date, you would be wise to include Very Peri –or tones of its color family– in your designs.
What is the trending colors for 2022?
There is a variety of colors that are popular in 2022. Rich purples, peachy pastels, jewel greens, metallic tones and earthy neutrals are amongst the most favored ones.
What colours are in this summer 2022?
Pink and yellow pastels, and earthy colors, are the trendiest colors this summer.
What color is in trend this year?
Pantone's Color of the Year 2022 is Very Peri, a lively periwinkle blue.
Embrace the Power of Color in 2022
And there you have it, those are the top trends in color for the year ahead of us.
Get inspired and find the best combinations for your visuals to make sure you’re both on-brand, and on top of the visual game.
And who knows, maybe you end up setting the trends for the colors that dominate next year!