Not only is “Deep Purple” (a rich red and majestic blue) one of the selections on the Color Marketing Group’s 2003 Consumer and Contract Color Directions palettes, but so are an atmospheric and ethereal “Wisper” (smoke) and the tropical Ocean Cruise (water). What goes around really does come around.
More than a flashback or an exercise on what you can remember from the 1970s, Color Marketing Group’s forecasts have a direct business impact. The right color, color specialists will tell you, will sell a product as often as its benefits—perhaps more often. In the new year ahead, when clients look to refurbish or redecorate their interiors, offering design themes using the hottest color palette could mean the difference between selling a window treatment and working to create a whole new room.
Colors to buoy our spirits and help us bounce back from an uncertain
economy will be key for consumers and will affect contract clients
as well, according to Color Marketing Group (CMG), the international,
not-for-profit association of more than 1,700 color and design professionals
who identify and forecast color trends for all products and industries.
In both markets, color selections for 2003 will bring a renewal of elegance and sophistication and lead to a fashion fusion.
Participants in CMG’s Consumer Color Direction workshop agreed that the ailing economy is the primary influence on the 2003 Consumer Color Directions Palette. “We have experienced newfound energy using full-chroma hues that can lift our spirits and provoke our senses. With a rebel yell, we protest a total shift to ‘establishment colors,’” says Barbara Lazarow, Blonder Wallcoverings, Cleveland, OH, co-chairman, Consumer Color Direction Committee. “For color we look to the prosperous times of the ’20s and ’60s and to the glamour of the ’30s and ’40s. Automobiles sport Gatsby colors in glittering golds and pearlescent whites as well as silver-tinted whites and taupes. These colors translate well into luxury fashion, as the Fashion Workshop discussed rich velvets, shimmery satins and vintage Valentino.”
More than 600 members of CMG gathered in Orlando, FL, in April 2001 to forecast colors for consumer products in 2003. Industries represented in the forecast included action/recreation, communications/graphics, fashion, durable home, exterior home, home fashion, home office and transportation.
CMG members from these industries develop cross-industry short- and long-range color forecasts for manufactured products. CMG’s forecasts serve as a guide for designers developing new colors for new and existing product lines.
“CMG members participating in the 2003 Consumer Color Directions Workshops focused on an industry-specific palette and a much larger Forecast Palette with 21 colors, up from 16 last year,” says Terri Buch-O’Dell, Nevamar Decorative Surfaces, Odenton, MD, co-chairman, Consumer Color Directions Committee.
Special effects and technology reign supreme as other primary influences on color. Metal colorations add new direction. The newness of liquid silver and its techno influence when married to gold or to white is equally important to the shimmering elegance of golden tones and the opulent impact of silver. The search for the perfect blue yields four directions for blues. Whether safe and grounded, watery or atmospheric, forecast blues invigorate and enliven consumer products while providing steadfast assurance and stability during cloudy economic times.
According to CMG, these Consumer Color Directions are being impacted by the following emerging trends:
• Commercialized nature colors will dominate new products and the desire for natural bright colors on action/recreation products.
• The influence of energy-boosting, saturated chromatics from the ’60s on color for these products will be evident by 2003.
• A more energized dusty rose form of mauve will return as well as violet.
• Fashion forecasts two blues for 2003, one a turquoise and the other deep artic, which appears on CMG’s 2003 Consumer Color Directions Palette.
• Technology will continue to open doors to new colors and to special color effects, which allow old colors to look new. Silger, a gold/silver special effect is a strong Forecast Direction for fashion and also appears on the 2003 Consumer Color Directions Palette.
Inspired by fashion and stimulated by technology, the Contract/Commercial Colors for 2003 follow fashion’s lead by creating Fashion Fusion, described as a human connection to our various daily environments of office, health care, retail and hospitality/entertainment. In addition, colors in contract industries will reflect a return to elegance and sophistication by utilizing more luxurious components that are both subtle and complex in nature, according to CMG.
More than 700 CMG members gathered in Boston, MA, in October 2000 to forecast colors for contract and commercial markets in 2003. Industries represented in the forecast included product manufacturers for office, health care, retail and hospitality/entertainment environments.
“Color is no longer uni-dimensional. New technologies in color design, materials and manufacturing have opened an exciting world of color expression for creators and users of color in all industries. Pearlescence, metallics, iridescence, texture, layering and even colors that change with lighting conditions have given designers the ability to create fresh approaches to their products and materials,” says Jay de Sibour, CMG president and marketing consultant, Kenvil, NJ.
Although sociological, environmental, economic and political influences are ever-present, contract colors in 2003 will more strongly reflect trends in fashion and technology, and the emergent desire to combine the two into a well-balanced environment. An example of this may be found in the office design of high-tech companies. Currently known for their bright, high-energy environments, these companies will move toward a more permanent and stable atmosphere.
According to CMG Contract Color Directions Co-chairman, Karen Martin, Beaulieu Commercial, Adairsville, GA, “Fashion’s influence of luxurious fabrics in warm, comfortable color combinations, complemented with fine handcrafted detail will be instrumental in creating a personal connection to our surroundings.”
Moved by technology, color will be renewed by metallic and special finishes. The tactile quality of design will strengthen as color, pattern and texture will be biologically connected. In 2003, we will not be able to think of color without also thinking of its finish. This complexity will be important to the consumer in adding the quality appearance desired in the marketplace.
“New technology has allowed us to view color as three-dimensional instead of just a flat surface,” explains CMG Contract Color Direction co-chairman, Kristin Fraidenburgh, American Silk Mills Corp., New York, NY. “Metallic, pearlized, holographic, lacquered and sueded effects are just a few special finishes that are being combined with color to change its dimension. It is a growing belief that the special effect is inherent to the color and that they are meaningless if separated.”
Pinkle Non-gender specific, this aged pink depicts vintage velvets and Victorian rose gardens.
Sweetheart Romance of the ’40s moves vintage red to the blue side. Lighter values translate to fashionable pinks.
Cheeky Recalls the blushing bride of the glamorous Art Deco era. Cosmetic based, it celebrates the marriage of pink and peach.
Red Satin Future vehicles sport a revved-up red. Old World opulence enhances this conservative communicator.
Iron-Ore-ange The influence of copper on orange creates a sophisticated and mature background with ethnic undertones.
Lemon Meringue Silver flirts with gold in this zesty confection reminiscent of the Great Gatsby and vintage roadsters.
Shimma A shimmer, a shake, a little golden flake. This pearlized metallic adds new sophistication for corporate communicators.
Lion King Regal gold crowns the king of the jungle and recalls Moroccan markets.
Exploring Khaki Borrowed from the animal kingdom, this safari green recalls rain forest moss and buried treasure.
Frond Natural chroma takes a commercial turn in this tropical green.
Soda Green Effervescent, this soothing green quenches our thirst for serenity and illuminates from within.
Cinder Blue Silver sideswipes this mechanical blue driving it into the cool grays.
Blue Aire Technology melts retro blue in this freshened breeze from the ’60s’ classic cars.
Deep Artic Seriously conservative, this dusty navy anchors our spirits in a safe harbor.
Ocean Cruise Tropical waters purify and energize blues while technology adds a sporty edge.
Root Beer Copper-based, this rich brown pops.
Champagne Bubble Celebrates the marriage of silver to gold with Art Deco glamour.
Newtral Bisque ware, unglazed ceramic and raw plaster inspire this softened matte gray that offers a lower contrast alternative to dark and white combinations.
Gargoyle Burnished gold, pewter and silver fuse to form this complex alloy.
Silger Technology’s influence on fashion, “silger” is a gold overlay over silver. It functions as a warm “newtral” as background or foreground to prints and can stand alone.
Squash Representing the natural evolution of orange, this warm and comfortable, non-gender-specific color bridges the age gap from youth to maturity.
Red Lacquer This life force color is a multi-cultural, dramatic red that clearly defines the direction of red. It is slightly browned, polished, layered and hand-rubbed.
Wisper Atmospheric and ethereal, this pale purple is a fashion-inspired, color-infused neutral.
Basalt This liquid, flexible neutral gray is a tectonic color, Earth’s basic building block.
Chill A cool, icy splash of pale blue-green represents the inner child of an adult palette. Its cool presence is much needed to balance the other warm spicy colors.
Lily Pad A “ribbiting” color that leaps from outside to indoors. This green goes inside out.
Tapenade As an eco-tone bridging forest and wetlands, it is rich in nutrients. This tasty olive from fashion acts as a backdrop for the brights.
Deep Purple Inherently regal, this purple provides a perfect musical balance between rich reds and majestic blues.
Color Marketing Group (CMG), founded in 1962, is based in Alexandria, VA. Color Designers are professionals who enhance the function, salability and quality of a product through their knowledge and appropriate application of color. (703) 329-8500; fax: (703) 329-0155; www.colormarketing.org.