Color palettes

A palette is a limited selection of colors that a designer uses in a collection to ensure that all the color elements sit together in a controlled way. Restricting yourself to a set of colors is an important part of the creative process: a garment or outfit can be totally reinvented by merely changing its colors.

The more colors you include in a palette the more challenging it is to use. A limited palette ensures that designs have a natural continuity. As a rule of thumb, novice designers should avoid palettes with more than eight colors. As you gain experience, the number of colors you use will become a matter of personal choice in keeping with your design style.

When creating a color palette, many students and designers use the reference books of tear-out color chips produced by Pantone. These uniformly sized color blocks are convenient to use and look tidy on a mood or presentation board. All the colors have individual reference numbers, recognized throughout the fashion industry, which you can quote when talking to clients, dyers, or manufacturers to avoid confusion about exactly which shades you mean.

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