What Fall's Top Colors Can Teach You about Branding & Design

Autumn is a sensory overload in the best way possible: the crisp, sweet air; the golden light; and the brilliant leafy displays of red, yellow, and green wrap us in a hearty embrace and signal that it’s finally time to trade in the breezy trappings of summer for the rich, comforting flavors, textures, and colors of the new season.

The power of color runs deep: a study from 2006 found that people make up their minds about other people and products within 90 seconds, and between 62 and 90 percent of that assessment is based on color alone. To help unlock that power, we’ve pulled together our favorite shades from the Pantone Color Report of Fall 2017 along with some ideas for how to apply them to your Spark projects or use them to support your brand’s visual identity. Precise color matching in Spark is easy; just apply the hex codes listed at each color description below into Spark Post’s color picker or in your brand manager, and you’ll be on your way to autumnal color magic!

If you’re defining your brand’s visual identity, the meanings behind the following hues and the color families they come from can help you make smart color choices. And if you’re just looking to refresh your social media communications, understanding what color connotes can help you achieve maximum message-to-visual harmony.

Tawny Port

This rich, velvety hue is perhaps the most classic of the fall colors. It’s evocative of seasonal foods such as ripe figs and simmered beets and conveys luxury, warmth, and elegance. Reds are the attention-getters of the color family, having long been thought to produce a physiological attraction in viewers. But the muted blue tones in Tawny Port add a sophistication and make it an excellent choice for a statement background, or as an accent color paired with other fall neutrals such as gray, Navy Peony, or, for an uber-romantic combination, Ballet Slipper.

Ballet Slipper

The advent of Millennial Pink, also known as Tumblr Pink, catapulted pink hues into ubiquity years ago, reclassifying them as a lifestyle staple. Ballet Slipper is a soft, fresh take on pink that exudes playfulness and charm, while still working like a neutral. It is a great option for when you need to create contrast, as with text overlay on a color background, but want something more exciting than white or gray. Pair with the bolder colors of the fall palette, such as Marina, Shaded Spruce, Tawny Port, Grenadine, or Autumn Maple for an on-trend contrast. Check out a couple examples below:

Shaded Spruce

Shaded Spruce is just about the dreamiest green we ever did see. Greens convey vitality and growth, and this blue-tinged shade delivers the protective, sheltered comfort of an evergreen forest. Use it as a background to set the mood, or as a more subtle motif throughout your visual content to help convey serenity or endurance. As a bonus, this deep green is a wonderful tie-in for the holiday season without being over-the-top. We love how it pairs with a vibrant red:

Or with subdued greys or hues in the same green family:


This lively red gets its name from the brightly colored cocktail mixer derived from pomegranate juice. It is a powerful, exciting, and confident hue that will bring text and images to the foreground. It’s an effective choice for encouraging people to make quick decisions, as with calls to action such as “buy now” or “click here.” It also a great choice for adding a splash of drama by applying it as a finishing touch to important details, as a figurative (or literal) cherry on the top of your graphic cake, such as the images below.

It’s tempting to call Navy Peony the new black, but in our opinion it’s even better. Blues are used in design to convey tranquility and trust; this deep, revitalizing hue works well as an anchoring color or neutral, but is easier on the eyes than black and does not overpower the way that black sometimes can. Try it paired with a lighter color, such as Butter Rum, Ballet Slipper, or Golden Lime for text (instead of black) and watch your messaging fall into line. As an added bonus, it works beautifully with a variety of neutral tans and browns as well:

Get started creating seasonally sensational Spark projects! Tag your projects #adobespark on social for a chance to be featured.