New 12 Tone Plumes at Indigo Tones

A few articles back, I mentioned how a True Winter impressed me so much by focusing what matters to her life into one word: fairness. I thought a lot about it and decided my word would be excellence. After a week, I didn’t feel I’d hit the target yet. Reflection, thinking, and asking found a more sincere and enduring word that holds everything I am and want to be: learn.

If things started out perfect, life would be monolithically boring, like a world without competition, flat, repetitious. That is seeing What Is while thinking What Is. Now, seeing what is and at the same time thinking how it could be more is the brain region that took 4 billion years to evolve. It’s what makes humans different.

When LEARN gets plugged into DREAM, possibility has no limits. We’d never have gotten the iPhone 2, 3, 4, 4S, 5, and 6. Starting out perfect is a tedium that makes my blood run cold. It goes so against something very fundamental about why I think humans are here. There’s nothing I do today, my doctor, my clothing designer, or my colour analyst, that I hope isn’t better tomorrow. Some folks might slot these ideas somewhere between irritating and corrupting and they’re not wrong and I’m not right. We just aren’t meant to be together.

Innovation and improvement are brainstorms come to life so we can touch them. The first time I saw a projection keyboard jump out of a phone, I was blown away.



Sorry, that was a tangent but I could not get stopped. It’s way up there in Topics I Care About. Kerry may be reading this thinking, Will you please shut up about the meaning of life thing? You’re distracting the readers!

Right, Kerry, you’re right. Back on topic. But listen, big congratulations for what you’ve done with your swatch books. Thank you for sharing your own growth as a colour analyst to teach us more. I hope to do the same over the years.

The Indigo Tones swatch plume palettes have been esthetically beautiful right from the start. How beautiful is actually quite surprising once you really see them. I wrote about them once before, here. Not only are they lovely to own, they are a highly diversified way of teaching us about our natural colouring. In my dictionary, natural colouring, Season, and Tone are synonyms for personal paintbox, my very own colour wheel, and the pigments that filled in the lines of me. (Don’t hold anyone else to my dictionary, OK?)



The colours are extremely Season-accurate. Each swatch is quite large. This was true in the previous Books.

For those of who see today and the status quo as nothing more or less than a starting point, the new palettes are outstanding. This is definitely not a lukewarm upgrade. All of them are more dense and rich in colour, some (on mine, purples and darks) more than others (where the higher colour intensity is less distinct). The production technology appears to have improved, but that may be just an impression from having more pure colour.

The more time I spend matching fabrics and cosmetics to Season, the more I’m realizing that matching a single swatch to a garment doesn’t work very well. A colour analyst may be able to do it faster with practice because she knows all 12 Seasons equally and is versatile with hue, value, and chroma, but I still shop with my swatch book and compare every purchase I care about. We all have human sight. We can’t tell if we can’t compare. We can’t judge one dimension, say, chroma, when another is extreme. Hard to call the real saturation of something that has low value (darkness), which is why so many Soft Summers get told they contain Winter – because by just looking, we can’t tell they’re dark and muted, not dark and intensely pigmented. Dark colours tend to seem more saturated even if they’re not. The only way to know is to compare their colouring to a known quantity like the drapes.

Personal Colour Analysis has to work for the Person part. You. Your colour-matching success is more likely by backing up a few steps and matching the entire swatch collection to the garment. The idea is detailed more in this article.



I don’t believe we can own too many Colour Books of swatches. The more slants, the more translations, the more tools we have to get our thinking right, the deeper our possession of it. I once talked about owning 2 Books from different companies. Today, I believe that if you could find 8 accurate ones, you should own all 8. Not a single colour would have to be repeated. Every colour system, every colour format, every new interpretation adds something. The less narrow the concept in our head, the more layered, accurate, and interesting the outcome.

You have many thousands of colours. Since you don’t want to carry a wallpaper catalog around when you shop, decisions have to taken about which colours to include. This is like an expansion set. About half of them are new colours, different enough from the original to be two separate colours. Those Dark Winter greens that so many clients are finding and enjoying are a great addition.

The balance for the creator is how to give women a wardrobe and a sense of their Season’s colours. If new colours are coming in, old ones have to be replaced. I have both Books because I didn’t want to lose any blues but I love all the extra reds. Some people hide in black. I hide in red.



Right now, I’m learning to recognize the lightest colours in the 3 Winter palettes. They’re complicated. I have a theoretical knowledge of them but finding them in fabric has been hit-and-miss. This rendition of those colours shows them to me in a different way that I can imagine better in clothing. I can picture it more easily hanging on a rack or a bolt of fabric.

Kerry’s comments:

The Dark Winter book was changed more significantly than some of the other books in terms of colors. While those more autumnish colors are part of the dark winter harmony I felt that they didn’t reflect the overall season best and searched for other threads that did. On every book I added some new threads but my main goal was really to reflect the essence of the season in a harmonious layout while providing the most variety in colors possible. So, it’s not going to be true that there are so many more colors in most cases – it’s a different and hopefully better representation of the seasonal tone harmony.


Thank you to Kerry Stich of Indigo Tones for these photographs and the permission to use them.

I will let Kerry talk to you about your own Season’s Book and other questions you may have. You can find her at


For someone who knows her colours, this is a gift she would simply adore. Adore and use. What more do we want from a gift?



13 thoughts on “New 12 Tone Plumes at Indigo Tones”

  1. First reaction on reading the first paragraph……. argh, what about FUN??

    Followed by….. yeah, ok, I’m definitely a spring.

    The fans look gorgeous!

  2. I’m trying to marry “perfect” (the verb) to “fun”. Not quite there yet.
    The fans are beautiful.
    How does one hide in red? Does it give you a sense of wearing a cloak of invisibility? Do you become the lady in red, with no one looking past the color? I’m confused.

  3. Hiding in red? I do it, too! Red is easy. It is at its purest in a medium value. And every season can do medium, whether it is the lower or the upper border.
    Add a pinch of soot and it gets to be slightly dark and softened and therefore quite good for all the Darks, while still giving the impression of being bright and happy and youthful. And there are a lot of items in red around. Almost every new clothing line has red in it. Even if there are only three different colours, one of them is red!
    And since red is medium, it is easier to distinguish the hue, something that gets increasingly more difficult at the lightest and darkest extremes. So getting something in red is easy.

    Christine, are all the fans (from indigo) sorted with the darker colours on the outside? Might be nice for the dark seasons, although maybe the more difficult ones should be outside?
    I have the fan from True Colour and there the lighter ones are on the outside. What I also like about that fan is, that the colours go from edge to edge. But the canvas tends to reflect the light differrently than clothing, so maybe a fan with real fabric would be a nice add-on.

    As for a word, I’d prefer honesty! I’ve read somewhere, that Autumns are honest and direct and Winters totally lack empathy. Well, I am Dark Autumn, and I am known in my circle of friends for my blunt deliveries. They seem to appreciate it, though. Who loves you more: the one, who always tells you, how fantastic you look? Or the one, who stops you from butt-fattening pants?

  4. Hi, Im very interested in color analysis and the whole idea of finding colors that may make you look your best. Of course, I probably started out like everyone else here reading Carole Jacksons book (I read Color For Men, not Color Me Beautiful lol). I really enjoyed Color For Men and thought Carole Jackson’s book nailed the color palettes.
    With a desire to learn more, I came across the Pretty Your World website and found out the 4 seasons had been expanded to 12. I was excited about this because some of my favorite colors were in Autumn. Anyway I found out I was a Deep winter and ordered one of Loras swatches. However when I received the watch I didnt feel it was an accurate representation of the season. For one, she recommended deep Chocolate brown for deep winters but the color wasnt even on the swatch, as well as true blue, lemon yellow,pine green…And colors that would be apart of Carole Jacksons Spring palette & summer palette, such as bright red & rasberry, were in the deep winter palette as well.

    A little unsatisfied I came across Indigo tones, and checked out dark winter but i still do not feel like this is an accurate representation. There is no true blue, lemon yellow, fuchsia pink. And there is also orange which i thought winters could never wear.

    I know I have no where near the amount of experience as Lora or Kerry but I dont think the colors recommended flatter me as much as the ones in Carole Jacksons Book. For example a true blue(not in the dark winter) vneck would look way better on me than a moss green (In the dark winter palette) vneck…

    Im still new to this, so feedback would be great.

  5. I just purchased and received the new Light Summer plume from Kerry. It is SO much prettier than the photo….you truly must see the plume in person to appreciate it’s beauty. I am of the opinion the changes in the Light Summer fan are all good ones. Should you decide to purchase one, you will NOT be disappointed!

  6. I just received my new True (Cool) Summer plume from Kerry at Indigo Tones. I already had the previous plume. I absolutely love this new one! The colors are so pretty. I like the way the threads portray the colors. It’s very easy to place next to fabric for comparison. My plan is to carry both the plumes with me when shopping so I can see how things harmonize. You definitely won’t be disappointed if you buy these new plumes.

  7. Gregory,

    You called yourself a Deep Winter which suggests that your analyst was using a system other than Sci\ART (where we call it Dark Winter). The various colour systems don’t share identical palettes because they don’t share identical beliefs about the colours that belong in the 12 Seasons. Also, if your analysis was done other than in person and you are not quite comfortable with the palette, perhaps the Season is a little off? If you liked CMBs Winter palette and want to have the colours you mention are missing, you sound like a True Winter, or a Dark Winter that leans on the cool side, or else you really are Dark Winter who needs time to incorporate new and less stereotypic colours. TCA and Indigo Tones palettes are based on the Sci\ART system and have palettes that I find spectacular on any Dark Winter I’ve seen them on. Dark Winter and True Winter colours are not the same.

    I think the dark colours are at the ends of the strips, yes. There’s just no perfect design that every user will love. For me, it doesn’t seem to matter which end the lightest colours are at, though I do have other things I’d change or adjust.

  8. I so get your musings, Christine. They are a breath of fresh air. I, too, find that it takes forever to really “learn” one’s colors and that this is maybe not a bad thing. Your comment hit home here: “…so many Soft Summers get told they contain Winter – because by just looking, we can’t tell they’re dark and muted, not dark and intensely pigmented”

    Oh, yes. In David Zyla’s system I came out closest to his Antique Winter as to the EFFECTS my coloring produces (very faded and misty). Also my deepest basic color is definitely not represented accurately in the pre-fab palettes (usually). It can easily be mistaken for a Wintry hue. It took some time before I realized that the difference was in the saturation, not in the depth of it.

    I don’t know where you’ve “traveled” in the color world since last we crossed paths, but one runs across descriptions in different systems that can seem confusing when you try to compare them. Most systems name for the hue, but some like John Kitchener’s name for the EFFECTS of a palette. Two women may have the same general palette (more or less) but differ in the EFFECTS produced. So to have the same effect as the typical person of another season does not place you in that season. You just have to adjust things like saturation and contrast sometimes, regardless of the name given to the color palette. I’m still finding the 12-Tone to be THE fan to go to for color comparisons, but I have to step the saturation back a couple of notches or else use colors in more transparent applications.

  9. I recently purchased the Indigo Plumes Bright Winter swatches and agree, they are REALLY beautiful. Can’t recommend enough owning as many sci-art based versions of your season’s fans as you can. I had a number of items in pinks, turquoises and particularly reds that didn’t have a perfect fan match before I received my Indigo’s but I couldn’t part with them because they really felt and looked flattering I thought. Well, they blend seamlessly with the Indigo palette and my colour confidence is bolstered! It is hard to know sometimes whether a shade “fits” with your swatches or is just a variation of a shade that would belong perfectly in a different season. I’ve found that my children will give a two second reply to ” do you think this colour belongs with this group?” that is mind-bogglingly accurate!

  10. Hi Christine, my Question if you had to have a second fan would it be indigo or corporate?

  11. I have not seen all the corporates (from TCA), only DW in fact, but from that one, I would choose corporate.

  12. I think my word would be “meaning.” I’m not sure of my season, but I was so obviously a Summer in CMB that I’m probably a True Summer.

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