HOT HUE: French Roast

Pantone’s French Roast dominated the catwalks during the fall 2012 lineup back in February, so it’s no surprise this gorgeously rich hue has taken root in promotional wear as well. Earthy and solid and a perfect substitute for black, French Roast (a brown with velvety undertones) offers an excellent way to update ordinary neutrals and infuse a promotional campaign with style.

Dark brown will be a big color for fall 2012 for both women and men,” says Michelle Tillman, senior merchandiser of product development at Alternative Apparel, “particularly in the young/contemporary market.” It works well when combined with the burgeoning bright-color trend (with judicious pops of screen-printed color). “There is a lot of neon in the market as well as a resurgence of pastels,” she adds. 

Taraynn Lloyd, of Edwards Garment Co., explains how dark brown can be used effectively in a promotional campaign.  “A dark brown woven shirt is an excellent choice for employees at a coffee bar, café or even an ice cream shop,” she says. “Because the color is rather rich, it reminds the patrons of the products they came into the store to purchase.” Dark brown also has excellent color-matching attributes. “Dark brown tops blend well with black or tan pants,” Lloyd says, “and the look is easily embellished with embroidery in order to promote the brand.” 

Tillman suggests that the hue has potential appeal for a variety of businesses. “Numerous colleges and professional sports teams (especially football) utilize brown in their color palettes,” she says. She mentions in the surf industry  “dark brown is always used for basic surf tees with graphics.”