Color forecasting is the selection of a palette of colors by experts in the industries of durable home, exterior home, home fashion, home office, fashion, communication/graphics, action/recreation and transportation. The groups who issue forecasts include the Color Marketing Group (CMG), The Color Association of the United States and the International Colour Authority. Information in this color forecast is from CMG, a not-for-profit association of more than 1,700 color and design professionals (www.colormar keting.org).
In this venerated organization, members gather to share ideas and ultimately
concur on what direction color will take one to three years out. Recent
group workshops focused on color tracking and identifying color movement
from previous Palettes. The result is CMG’s 2003 Consumer Colors
Current Palette® and 2003 CMG Contract Forecast. Color forecasts serve
as a guide for designers developing new colors for new and existing product
The 2003 Consumer Colors Current Palette forecast features 21 colors,
up from 16 last year. Colors selected are industry-specific and guide
manufacturers to cross-merchandise products so that there is unity and
coordination possible in the goods we buy.
TECHNOLOGY AND SPECIAL EFFECTS
Technology and special color effects are the 2003 primary influences on
color. Metal coloration adds 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 perfect directions for blues.
Whether safe and grounded, watery or atmospheric, forecast blues invigorated
and enliven consumer products while providing steadfast assurance and
stability during cloudy economic times.
Technology will continue to open doors to new colors and special effects,
which allow old colors to look new. Silger, gold/silver special effect,
is a strong forecast direction for fashion in 2003.
WHAT AILS THE ECONOMY
Workshop participants 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 real yell, we protest a total shift to ‘Establishment
colors,’” says Barbara Lazarow, CMG, co-chairman, Consumer Color
Direction Committee, Blonder Wallcoverings, Cleveland, OH. “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
stains and vintage Valentino.
Consumer Color Directions are being impacted by the following emerging
• Commercialized nature colors will dominate new products and the
desire for natural bright 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 and violet.
• Fashion forecasts two blues for 2003, one a turquoise and the other
is Deep Arctic, which appears on CMG’s 2003 Consumer Color Directions
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, heath care, retail, and hospitality/entertainment.
These forecast colors in contract industries will reflect a return to
elegance and sophistication with more luxurious components that reflect
subtle and complex nature influence.
Says Jay de Sibour, CMG, marketing consultant, Kenvil, NJ, “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.”
FASHION AND TECHNOLOGY
Contract Colors in 2003 will more strongly reflect trends in fashion and
technology, with a balance of the influences of sociological, environmental
and political themes that are ever-present. An example of a well balanced
environment 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.
“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,”
states CMG Contract Color Directions Co-Chairman, Karen Martin, CMG, Beaulieu
Commercial, Adairville, GA.
Moved by technology, color will be renewed by metallic and special finishes.
Design’s tactile quality will strengthen as texture and pattern will
be biologically connected. Color and finish will be so intertwined, we
will not be able to think of one without the other in 2003. 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 Directions
Co-Chairman, Kristin Fraidenburgh, CMG, 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 special effect is
inherent to the color and that they are meaningless if separated.”
For more information contact: Color Marketing Group, 5904 Richmond Highway,
Suite 408, Alexandria, VA 22303-1864; (703) 329-8500; fax: (703) 329-0155;
e-mail: email@example.com; www.colormarketing.org.
Karla J. Nielson, Allied ASID, WCAA, is assistant professor of design
at Brigham Young University. She is a practicing interior designer and
has authored several books including Window Treatments, Understanding
Fabrics and Interiors: An Introduction, 3rd Ed. Nielson is a regular correspondent
for Draperies & Window Coverings addressing the areas of fashion,
education and merchandising.