Crossville Looks at What’s Driving Color Trends for the Coming Year

While the highly anticipated Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 has yet to be revealed (that happens in early December), Pantone as well as all the major paint companies have been rolling out their 2018 color forecasts over the past few months. In our ongoing efforts to be on top of emerging trends in color and interior design, we have been paying close attention to these color forecasts as well as what influences and inspires them. Here’s a look at the top four factors driving the emerging color trends for 2018.

  1. Color trends are heavily influenced by what’s happening in society and the world around us.
    Today, our lives are more technology driven than ever before. From smartphones and mobile applications to social media and automation throughout our homes and workplaces, we’re inundated with digital innovations, and perhaps not surprisingly, the influence of technology extends far beyond our devices. We see its effects in the emerging 2018  color palettes. Potentially popular hues for the coming year are both synergistic with technology and reactionary with tones that are akin to nature⎯offering contrast to our digital world. This concept is illustrated with Pratt and Lambert’s vivid “Synthesize” and “Intention” color palettes.

The bold hues of the Pratt & Lambert’s Synthesize palette reflect themes of  human connection to technology, technological travel, and the interaction of robots and people.

Synthesize color palette from Pratt & Lambert

The tranquil hues of their Intention palette, on the other hand, speak to our need for digital detoxing, our desire to live with less, and a sustained connection to art of handcrafting as exemplified in the maker’s movement.

Intention color palette from Pratt & Lambert

2. The popularity of colors ebb and flow more frequently now than in the past.
According to Michelle Lamb, co-founder and chairman of Minneapolis-based Marketing Directions, Inc. and the designing mind behind The Trend Curve™, the life cycle of a color trend is about 2.5 years. After its time at the top of the curve, a popular hue then settles into its place in a core palette. Potential reasons for shortened trend cycles may include:

– We have more visual input and are exposed to more diverse influences because of our nearly ceaseless consumption of social media and streaming media.
– Though technology connects us, it also inundates us with more options that ultimately fracture the marketplace. A fractured marketplace is less likely to sustain trends in the longer term, as there’s so much to choose from and consider.
– People strongly desire personalization and customization, perhaps more so than ever as we exist in the wake of mass retailers and large global brands (e.g. Amazon and Facebook). That means individuals may welcome color trends but interpret them for their own styles or move on from them more quickly in order to avoid predictability.

3. Color trends are affected by the design world’s constant search for what’s next.
Designers don’t love what’s now; they prefer what’s next. That means the world of design is constantly in flux as those who lead the industry and guide product selections seek the future and are always looking ahead. This is true for colors in 2018 just as it has been for all palettes in the history of the design profession. Today⎯because of social media, design influencers who are attuned to the future have a much bigger, broader, and immediate platform to share their leading edge finds and preferences. That means more consumers are introduced to what’s next on an ongoing basis, sometimes in real time as they follow designers who share their inspirations as they discover them.  

4. Color trends are a reflection of the priorities and perspectives of those with purchasing power in the marketplace.
Colors come of age as the marketplace comes of age. That means we’re readying for the influence of millennials on 2018 color trends. Millennials are now old enough to buy homes and are attaining the means to do so, thus their preferences are being revealed in up and coming interior decor trends, including up and coming colors. Be on the lookout for hues that align with millennial sensibilities that stem from lifestyles in which tech is fundamental, tattoos are common, cool coffee houses and craft breweries are in their neighborhoods, tradition is okay as long as it’s not boring, and sophisticated and whimsy can coexist.

As more of the 2018 color trends and colors of the year are announced, we’ll be reporting accordingly. Stay tuned to our social media profiles to be apprised of the latest and greatest in the realm of color trends!

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