Finding Color Inspiration in Nature

garden picThey say that green is the new black. But don’t for a moment think that finding color inspiration in nature starts and ends with the color green! Going green definitely holds great potential, especially when you consider how far this movement can go towards protecting nature and all its beauty. But the degree to which color can be inspired by nature extends well beyond shades of green.

Nature is all around you
It's diversity makes nature an endless source of inspiration for new ideas and approaches to choosing color. Stop and think for a moment of the sheer variety of natural landscapes that exist all over this world. Plateaus, valleys, cliffs, oceans, rivers, lakes, brooks, deserts, volcanic islands, botanical gardens, amusement parks, national and state parks, pastures, even a trip to your local farmer’s market are all places with colors inspired by nature.

Most of the time nature’s hues don’t shock or invigorate. Instead, colors inspired by nature are comfortable, inviting, and pleasing to the eye. Subconsciously, we expect naturally-occurring color combinations to be that way because we’re used to seeing those colors together either naturally or when using the Pantone color system. Think earth tone browns and shades of blue that remind us of the earth and sky.

Nature always changes
Stretch your imagination and focus on the way color combinations found in nature change with the changing seasons. Picture a green tree-covered mountain range that turns into brilliant yet warm hues of gold, orange, and red during autumn. Or imagine a gently rolling hill overflowing with multi-colored wildflowers that turns into a satiny mound of snowy white during the winter months.

Now take that same rolling hill full of flowers and imagine how it changes not from season to season, but day by day. Picture in your mind those vivid floral colors awash in shades of gray as a fierce thunderstorm approaches. See how even day-to-day changes in the weather can trigger new bursts of color inspiration?

Next time you’re trying to find the perfect color combination for your fashion or graphic designs, a client’s brand, or for the launch of a new product that promises to save the planet, let nature inspire you. It’s everywhere you look even if you’re sitting in the midst a concrete jungle. Once you’ve found that perfect nature-inspired scene, matching those colors is easy using your Pantone color system!