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Colour Forecasting for Fashion • Kate Scully & Debra Johnston Cobb

Colour is a powerful selling tool. It is the first thing to catch the consumer’s eye. How do colours arrive on the catwalk or the sales floor? Why do different companies all seem to choose similar colours each season? The answer lies in the work of the huge colour forecasting industry.

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Book Description

How does a brand or retailer ascertain the right color, or palette of colors, for their products? What is the process by which designers, product
development teams, and buyers choose color—and where do those colors come from?


Color forecasting is the process of predicting the probable color and trend directions across the spectrum of fashion and related consumer products. It provides direction for designers, product developers, and retailers, assisting them in choosing colors that will appeal to the customer and drive sales. The role of color forecasting—researching, predicting, and ultimately interpreting color in order to drive sales of a product—has evolved as a legitimate and necessary enterprise, and one that the student of fashion design, product development, or fashion marketing and promotion needs to understand.

While color forecasting involves a great deal of research, it is also a creative process and should be an enjoyable one. Unfortunately, for many of us the concept of color forecasting can be uncomfortable, implying guesswork and an element of risk. This book aims to demystify color forecasting by exploring why and how seasonal palettes are developed. Combining their experiences and contacts in the fashion business, the authors offer a practical guide to the skills and methodologies needed to build a timely color palette that connects with the wants and needs of consumers.

Printed in English, Full Color Paperback, 192 pp.
Lawrence King Publishing, Ltd., London UK
February. 2012

Condition: Near Fine / Line New

Video courtesy of Trends TV (Youtube)

Chapter 1: What is Color Forecasting? defi nes color forecasting and why it is vital to the business of fashion, exploring the meaning of color to the consumer and explaining the industry’s timing and development cycle.

Chapter 2 : Why and How Has Color Forecasting Evolved? looks at the history of color forecasting in apparel and the forecasting business in its current position.

Chapter 3: The Language of Color explores our perceptions of color, the evolution of color theory, and the language and tools for managing color communication.

Chapter 4: Understanding Color Cycles examines the ebb and fl ow of consumer preferences in fashion and looks at the factors driving fads, trends, and cycles.

Chapter 5: Color Forecasting Tools and Methodologies is a practical guide to the process of developing a seasonal palette, from observation and analysis to concept, organization, and use of color theory and cycles to build a saleable color story.

Chapter 6: Color Application shows how the forecaster’s palette is then translated to the product and used in the retail setting.

Chapter 7: Intuition and Inspiration in Color Forecasting discusses the influence and effect of creativity in the forecasting process and the development and practice of intuition.

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About the Authors

Kate Scully is a colour forecasting consultant and Senior Lecturer In Fashion Promotion at UCA|Rochester University for the Creative Arts in the United Kingdom. She has worked as the Colour and Fabric Editor of several forecast publications as well as with many leading fabric manufacturers and Retail Brands researching and developing commercial colour and trend directions. Debra Cobb has researched trends and developed products for Fibre, Fabric And Apparel Manufacturers In the USA, including: Guilford Mills, Ge-Ray Fabrics, Unifi Inc. and Hanes brands. Debra is a regular contributor to textile trade journals in North America and europe including Knitting International,  and Textile Insight.