We left you holding your breath. We interrupted the story halfway in the previous Contract & Hospitality Book of March, revealing only two of the four stories dedicated to Color Trends in 2017. Now the event continues with a fascinating journey through the global trends in the color universe for the coming year. Outstanding guide is once again Judith van Vliet, designer of ColorWorks Europe/IMEA (BU of the Plastic&Coatings section of Clariant) and Vice President of Communications & PR of Color Marketing Group. She will introduce us to the variegated world of colors and the intriguing research and analysis method that leads to the coronation of the “colors of year.”
We have already described how, every year, the five ColorWorks Centres of the world – São Paulo for Latin America, the Chicago centre for North America, Merate for Europe and IMEA, Taiwan and Singapore for Asia Pacific – define a color forecasting guide (ColorForward) at the end of a five-day workshop. This guide contains 20 color directions divided and identified starting with four macro-stories; that is, those underground movements, directions and paths emerging at the global level that influence society on many levels and in many spheres. In other words, every story speaks about a trend, and every trend is represented by five colors.
Delonelination and Nebulove were the first social tendencies to be illustrated. The first concerns a pervasive sensation of solitude, the second reflects the experiential multiplicity that is emerging today in personal relationships. In this way, colors symbolic of inner fragility (beige, blue, brown, orange and opaque pink) flank intense, encompassing tones like red, magenta, lilac, cognac and pistachio.
The picture is completed with the two latest trends and the remaining 10 color directions.
THIRD story: Annoy firm omit
An anagram of My Information, Annoy Firm Omit is a play on words intended to exemplify the prevailing trend in the modern, globalised world: “It is a tendency of contrasts, containing two opposites: on one hand, the desire to share every detail of our lives, on the other, the attempt to best protect ourselves for privacy reasons from the technological intrusions that may arise,” explains Judith van Vliet. And there are many examples that support this research. Let’s take the Faraday mesh bag: a safeguard that, thanks to the specific material from which it is made, blocks radiation and prevents notifications being received. Then there’s The Deep Web, for keeping personal identity completely invisible, accessible through the anonymity network TOR. A new form of communication is also emerging from the young people of Generation Z, encrypted communication, a language in which Emoji are a meaningful component, as well as fun.
The duality of the trend is reflected in the double chromatic range that represents it: on one hand, darker colors, such as Lurking into the deep (a very dark blue verging on green, like the deep sea or, more figuratively, the Deep Web) and Coniuga et Impera, once again with dark and mysterious tones, apparently black but with purplish hints and glitter inserts. On the other hand, the positive aspect of limitless sharing of trends and personalised marketing, is expressed in a fresh, decisive yellow called Gran’ma’a (the word “anagram”); Goldfish Torpedo is intense orange. Indirectly, this color is also linked to applications like Snapchat that instantly allows very brief exchanges of content. Finally, the pink of Bounce, a creative, lively color, even on a soft, flexible medium.
FOURTH story: It’s a trap!
Psychedelia, escape, intox/detox: these are some of the key terms of the fourth and last narrative journey of Color Trend 2017, It’s a Trap! People are annoyed, stressed, on the lookout for new aesthetics and beauty, new perceptions and new horizons. How to reach them? In the most varied ways! An always more common method is through taking drugs. “The statistics show that there was an increase of 80% rise of drugs confiscated in the airports of the United States between 2008-2012” . The phenomenon of the Hangover Doctor is worthy of attention: it is a private visit to cure a hangover in around half an hour. But this search of unexplored confines is also conducted with less invasive solutions. The Redemption Bar in London is swimming against the tide with a no-alcohol bar. In many cities, the Breakfast Rave Party, a place where it is possible to dance in the early mornings before work, is catching on. Another form of escapism increasingly in vogue is Virtual Reality; from Palmer Luckey’s well-known model Oculus Rift to upcoming technological developments capable of recreating the weather and the sense of touch.
So we come to the colors. This psychedelic world of distortion and exploration is first expressed in the pink of Mary Popsicle: this is the color that identifies the growing desire of adults to find a new identity, more playful and almost childish. The opaque white of Mindtrippin’ is clearly inspired by the world of drugs; while the pink & purple tones of Le Freak are a homage to creativity. Ripigliati! (Get yourself together!), thanks to its photochromatic effect represents the intox/detox phenomenon. Finally, acid colors are still trendy, such as the green of Where is the bus? is the color of virtual reality, the fusion of the real and unreal worlds. So we have reached the end of this journey, which has led us to the definition of the four Stories and the unveiling of twenty trendy colors in 2017.
A journey that reveals how the evolution of a trend is underpinned by a process that is as creative as it is scientific, due to the way of relating, analysing and demonstrating data. ColorForward is the outcome of the perfect balance of these components.