Color Trends Reflect Who We Want to Be in 2013

These color and design themes may not speak to you right now but you’ll begin to see these color schemes everywhere…now you can be on the leading edge.  Color is tied to our emotions and culture and you can get an idea of  the emotional nature of where, as a society and global culture, we see ourselves going in 2013 and 2014.  Where the history of war and conquest shows us some of the darker nature of humanity, the history of art, color and design can give us insight into what is inspiring us, and how we strive for beauty and to be surrounded by those colors and furnishings that help make sense of the world around us.

Color is medicine for our spirits.  60-95% of our decision to by something is based on it’s color.  We choose those colors based on two basic things: what is going on inside us (memories, emotions, feelings) and what is going on outside of us (economy, our generation and socio-economic group, our friends, family and co-workers). Whether it’s a car, a laptop or cellphone, or your coffee mug and linens—all come in colors that marketers know drive our decisions to purchase a product or not.

William Butler Yeats is quoted, “We are happiest when for everything something inside us, there is a corresponding something outside of us.”  We want our wishes and our personalities to be expressed in the designs and colors we live with, work with and wear and drive…and they are.

“Color & design stories” are based on people.  Marketers develop ‘personas’ to give names and faces and personalities to segments of the population.  This helps marketers address the needs of real people; it also helps marketers and designers determine the styles and colors that will appeal to individuals of a certain genre.

The 2013-14 color trends reflect what is happening on a global scale.  As we become more regionally sensitive, more aware of nature and the world around us, and more in need of fantasy, expression, and escape from things we cannot control, trends move towards colors that help us downshift into delight more quickly when we arrive home or even at our offices and the things we buy to get from here to there.   Colors, toned yet rich, are at the forefront…not so many clean brights, we are needing vibrancy with softness around the edges.   Some palettes are subtle with and surprise and interest is added by a brilliant green, aqua or salmon color; others are sultry and given levity with copper, silver or jewel tones.

Let’s look at the 5 themes as defined by PPG for their Global Color Market.  Which “type” do you fit into? Which of these would you like to live with?

  • Everyday Hero
    Everyday Hero Swatches
    The Every Day Hero favors a low-key, functional aesthetic. Highlighting designs and products that simply work well with no added fuss or embellishment, this theme embraces clean, crisp lines, order, lightness, honesty and simplicity. Everyday heroes select eco-friendly materials; they shirk any design aesthetic that comes across as ostentatious. A mellow yet optimistic vibe is the foundation of the color palette. The hues are soft and desaturated, as if sun-faded or gently worn with time. Earthen, terracotta shades of red and brown warm the palette, while khaki, grey, and white serve as neutrals.
  • Ellusion
    Illusion Elusion Swatches

    Ellusion highlights a playful and fantastical design ideal, like a fairy tale environment for grown-ups. The perfect escape from reality, this is a theme that balances dark and dramatic designs, melding delicate and playful forms. Loaded with whimsy and a fl air for the extraordinary, this strange enchantment gives Illusion a sense of wonder. As with the overall design aesthetic, the color palette is a mix of dark and delicate. Bright colors such as fuchsia and sea foam are the energetic middle ground between dramatic black and the pale pinks, blues, and greys that serve as neutrals.
  • Discreet Luxury
    Discreet Luxury Swatches

    Discreet Luxury is a classic twist on contemporary design that embraces both a masculine and feminine aesthetic. Relying heavily on texture, surface design, and material to convey craftsmanship, this theme emphasizes the importance of integrity in design. The expertise of the past and modern-day styling work together to create a look that is luxurious, elegant, and inviting. The color palette conveys the mood of the theme by pairing rich, sumptuous reddish-browns with rich blues and pale blues and greys. Mixed metallics are a feature of this theme, and a copper brown can easily read as a metallic as well.
  • Artful Expression
    Modernistech Swatches
    This deeply expressive theme embodies a live-out-loud spirit, but also celebrates a deep, emotional connection to tradition and multi-culturalism. Playful yet sophisticated, this theme is a touch bohemian and is loaded with intense hues, graphic patterns, and bold and dynamic palettes and prints. For those comfortable with vivid color as a permanent part of their environment, this palette is pure energy, with vibrant mid-tones and bright colors from the full spectrum working in powerful combinations. Hybrids such as mustard yellow, olive green, and salmon shades provide energy and suggest constant flux.
  • ModernIsTech
    Artful Expression Swatches

    Minimal yet fashionable, with the added appeal of futuristic-looking technology, Modernist Tech rejects any outdated aspects of daily life and instead seeks to identify a sleek new vision for living. This theme is a true blend of the modernist spirit with the stark but friendly appeal of contemporary technology. It is cool and precise without feeling cold; chic without feeling snobby. The color palette includes blocks of black and white against almost-primary hues, offering concrete grey shades as a midway point between the two. The grey provides subtle warmth while lending to the decor, sophistication.

Check these out and let me know what you think?  Can you see yourself living in these styles and colors?  You may not now, but in a few months you’ll be surprised.

Everyday Hero is a design and social aesthetic as our culture moves into a more casual expression of life, and solutes the joy of working, whether on Main Street or Wall Street.  Earthy, terracotta orange hues, cornfield yellow, lichen greens and warm grey act as neutrals basic denim blues are essential.

Illusion is for those of us who, in one room or in our entire house, condo or urban loft want to touch fantasy.  It’s a palette full of contrasts; 80s brights – sharp fuchsia and magenta play against hues of teal dark plum and lilac are dramatic against midnight black fleshy pink, metallic blush, and tinted white ground the palette.

Artful Expression is a modern, global version of Bauhaus with artistic tribal patterns and up-to-date colors—blocked colors and simple design is on the forefront.  Vibrant and energetic palette comprised of mid-tones and brights in hybrid hues, mustard yellow, and moss green, kelly green, teal, and sky blue,  reddish oranges, purple-reds.

Discreet Luxury rich, bold and understated…contemporary with classic details, this segment embraces both masculine and feminine in our love of rich luxury with modern day global sensibilities.   In design and in color, sumptuous browns  dominate the palette,  from dark chocolate  to cinnamon to soft mink …rich, rustic red and metallic copper and gold add elegance  faded black and delicate pinkish grey add a touch of timelessness

Modernist Tech is futuristic, pared down, bare-bones luxury where design and aesthetics become one.   This palette is primary and literal–easy to imbue spaces with blocks of color and simple  tribal pattern.   Primary red, yellow, and blue take a slightly darker turn soft neutrals ground the palette khaki green and pale cosmetic-peach add a touch of the unexpected.

How long before your clients might ask for these?  There’s a way to know based on where you live and the socio-economic range of your ideal clientele, when they will be on board with these or any trends.

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