Design trends 2023/24 – autumn and winter inspiration

Design trends 2023/24 – autumn and winter inspiration

 It’s lovely and fresh out! Get comfy, grab a cup of hot cocoa and come this way while we discover design inspirations as the weather turns colder.

Life really does move that fast: the weather gets colder out of nowhere, and suddenly you’re back in your mid-season jacket. Don’t panic: we’ve scoured the length and breadth of the Internet and put together a rundown of the latest of trends for the coming months. Sit back, get comfy and be inspired.

Seasonal trend colours

Pantone colour trends 2023/24

This year, once again, it’s over to the Pantone Color Institute to present the latest on-trend colours and palettes. The defining theme in autumn and winter 2023/24 is the balance between bold, dynamic tones and neutral modern classics. Bright colours such as yellow, red and pink meet subtle, cool beige, white and grey tones. Check it out – and enjoy those creative colour names while you’re at it.

Vibrant autumn shades:

  • Red:Fiery Red (PANTONE 18-1664 TCX) & Viva Magenta (PANTONE 18-1750 TCX)
  • Orange: Coral – Persimmon (PANTONE 16-1544 TCX) & Red Orange (PANTONE 17-1464 TCX)
  • Reddish brown:Fired Brick (PANTONE 19-1337 TCX) & Red Dahlia (PANTONE 19-1555 TCX)
  • Yellow-green: Sharp Green (PANTONE 13-0535 TCX) & Kohlrabi (PANTONE 14-0255 TSX)
  • Barbie/candy pink: Conch Shell PANTONE 15-1624 TCX
  • Light blue: Lacecap Hydrangea (PANTONE 14-3921 TSX), Persian Jewel (PANTONE 17-3934 TCX), Blue Atoll (PANTONE 16-4535 TCX)
  • Bright yellow: Spectra Yellow (PANTONE 14-0957 TCX)
  • Gold-green: Olive Oil (PANTONE 16-0847 TCX)
  • Lilac and purple: Sparkling Grape (PANTONE 19-3336 TCX) & Rose Violet (PANTONE 17-2624 TCX)

Classic, neutral tones:

  • Beige: Pale Khaki (PANTONE 15-1216 TCX) & Peach (PANTONE 12-0912 TCX)
  • Dark green: Forest Night (PANTONE 19-0414 TCX)
  • Cream white: Seedpearl (PANTONE 12-0703 TCX) & Coconut Milk PANTONE 11-0608 TCX
  • Grey tones: Dark grey – Lava Smoke (PANTONE 18-0202 TCX) & Light grey – Nimbus Cloud (PANTONE 13-4108 TCX), Silver (PANTONE 13-4403 TCX)

The big six for the season ahead

  • Red: The style icon of the colour spectrum symbolises passion, energy and daring. In autumn/winter, the colour trend will be represented by Fiery Red, a bright and intense shade that catches the eye and boasts a strong emotional charge.
  • Yellow: This radiant shade is this season’s undisputed hero. Yellow is a colour we mainly associate with warmth and bright sunshine. That’s why Pantone recommends a bright yellow with an intense brilliance for this time of year. It’s perfect for mixing and matching with neutral tones like black and white, as well as bolder colours such as red and emerald green.
  • Candy pink: Summer’s Barbiecore trend has real staying power. A cute and playful touch gives your designs that unique soft feel. Powder and candy pink in particular are the on-trend shades for fall/winter. Candy Pink looks perfect paired with white, beige and black.
  • Grey and silver (metallic): Grey is one of the most popular neutral colours as the weather turns colder. Lava Smoke grey, for instance, conveys a sense of subtlety and sophistication without the heaviness of classic black. It creates striking contrasts with colours such as pink, green or yellow.
  • Blue: Dive into autumn’s icy waters. Blue is the perfect colour to add a touch of freshness and serenity to your designs. Blue Atoll and Lacecap Hydrangea are the most popular shades of blue for the autumn/winter season. Blue Atoll is currently becoming a true fashion trend for clothing and accessories, evoking the crystal waters that surround desert islands.
  • Cream white: Unlike bright white, beige and cream white are slightly subtler, toned-down shades. Like the Pantone colour Coconut Milk, for instance, with its creamy white base. As it’s much softer than pure white, it looks great with other colours.

These blog posts have the lowdown on the best colour combinations and how to create a striking palette:

On-trend patterns and prints for autumn and winter

  • Creative floral patterns: One of the top design trends for the season ahead. Impressionistic, in full bloom or inspired by nature – let your imagination run wild. A bright idea: use watercolour techniques for your own floral designs.
  • Back to nature: These prints and patterns are inspired by the botanical world around us. From freshly picked flowers, beautiful blooms, smaller nature sketches and utopian visions of the future to chaotic, intense designs.
  • Animal prints: Another top trend in prints and patterns this autumn/winter. Experimental and abstract animal patterns and colours, structured prints and new takes on classic animal prints are bang on trend. Spoiler alert: leopard print is always a hit – but this year you can dare to go beyond the natural colour scheme. How about a splash of neon, for instance?
  • High voltage: Stay fully charged – with bold patterns powered by creativity. Experiment with intense, bright colours, neon highlights and prints with that electric feel. Feel free to turn down the contrast, too, and let your designs embrace a beautiful, kinetic blur.
  • Links and weaves: These patterns use a mix of different structures. In a look inspired by retro designs, patterns are linked and interwoven to create lovely lattice effects. The colour palette stays subtle and muted.
  • Pigmented flowers: Vibrant and full of life – these smudgy, hand-drawn blooms are bang on trend. Colourful hand-created contrasts such as dots and lines, simple, naive brushstrokes, structured layouts and playful geometric patterns are the design tools of choice here.

Short and sweet:

  • Our top tips: opt for a LOT of colour, get to work with repeating patterns and dare to mix and match
  • Create fun, expressive designs
  • Hyper-realistic prints are a must
  • Opt for floral motifs for bold and colourful highlights – the more creative, the better

On-trend styles and motifs for the months ahead

  • Mixed dimensions: These designs blur the boundaries between real life and the digital realm. Simply combine photography with digital illustration, 3D elements and geometric shapes to create striking designs. It may seem dystopian and unsettling at first glance – but this look certainly has a smile on its face. Hilarious cartoons and bright colours offer broader perspectives on a photorealistic world full of surprises, curiosity and the joy of discovery.
  • Acid graphics: Also known as Y2K grunge, acid graphics are the next stage in the ongoing Y2K revival. Hallmarks of this style include dirty, worn-out structures, chrome and metallic colours, broken patterns and amorphous shapes. This special twist on nostalgia evokes darkly stunning memories and is inspired by the late ’90s goth subculture.
  • Complex compositions: In 2023, visual storytelling gets more literal AND more abstract with these compositions. These illustrations combine several scenes into one. You’ll find one figure taking photos, while another lazily paddles a canoe, and another climbs a mountain – just like in a hidden-picture puzzle. The trend doesn’t just catch the eye – it’s creative confirmation that we live in world of constant synchronicity.
  • ’90s space psychedelia: Over the past year, we’ve seen ’60s-style psychedelic elements make a strong design comeback. This style creates bright and intricate worlds with a playful sense of escapism. Nineties space psychedelia is a new and spirited evolution of this trend. Instead of natural motifs like melting mushrooms and colourful clouds, the focus here is on linking past and future.

What a wild ride we’ve taken through the colours and patterns for the seasons ahead. Take a little time to decide which trends are right for your designs. You’ll find creative ideas and techniques to match here.

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