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Color Trend 2022 - Part One: What is a Color Trend? 

If you have ever been to a Color Trend Forecast event, presented by a paint company, you know they talk about color stories and drivers, which ultimately ends in a color trend forecast. Those are generally large, very well-organized events, and one always leave with a paint color fan deck or other inspirational items. The presentation has beautiful slides, well-researched content and one is totally mesmerized while watching the presentation, but the reality is, after talking to many of the attendees, they really didn’t understand where the stories come from and how the whole process works.

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Let’s get familiar with the 2 groups that are responsible for global color forecasts.

The mission of the Color Marketing Group is to create accurate and relevant color and trend forecast information by connecting global color professionals in their shared passion. Trends usually start with fashion and then it trickles down to other industries. They have international workshops, called Chromazone Workshops and since I have personally attended a few local workshops in Austin and in Dallas, Texas, as well as the International Summit held in Portland Oregon in 2017, I can testify that it is a very serious, very intense process. They collaborate closely with the NCS in Sweden, and based on all the research, feedback from each region globally, a color palette, containing 64 colors, are curated

NCS – Natural Colour System® is a scientifically based color system that allows for accurate cross-industrial color communication for designers and manufacturers, retailer customers. The colors are not actual PAINT colors. Since NCS is based on how we perceive color visually, the system allows you to describe color on all imaginable surfaces. (Think about it as color formulas)

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What is a driver?

Color preferences are not only decided by the individuals that attended the color workshops. It is also influenced by EXTERNAL DRIVERS that reinforce certain color areas more than others. And that is when it becomes a future COLOR TREND

2019/2020 words such as sustainability became more prevalent. Save the planet. Focus on climate change dominated the news

2022 will be described as a post-pandemic world. Our mindset and mood will be a consequence of what we have been through, during these exhausting and uncertain times. Are we going to be scared, scarred, happy, rebellious, "zoomed" out or calm and more focused on nature and our health?

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As per Montaha Hidefi, Vice President Color Forecasting of CMG, a globally experienced event such as the pandemic has an enormous impact on the color landscape and the direction that color follows.

During an interview with her by PCI she said that last year, when CMG started the virtual forecasting process, it was somehow alarming, because while they were forecasting for 2022, most participants were submerged in the “here and now” which was 2020. As if time would stand still for the following two years and we would be in the same situation down the road.

It was extremely difficult for everyone to disconnect from the present. When they examined the over 1,000 colors submitted by participants globally, more than one-third of them were practically achromatic and nearly toneless. But at the same time, they also noticed many chromatic, some muffled and some vibrant, blue, green and yellow colors that balanced the sombre ones.

Color shifts for 2022

After the virtual steering process, in which the regional forecasting committees curated the submitted colors to obtain the regional forecasts comprised of 64 colors, it was evident that the forecast was dominated by neutral shades and moods. Nonetheless, the direction telegraphed soft hues, medium chromas, and pure, vivid colors, depending on the region.

The transitioning period from pre- to post-pandemic is of utmost importance as our moods and attitudes will have a very prevalent impact on how we purchase products, how we decorate our homes after being stuck for so long, becoming one with nature again.

Being isolated, how did that change our mindsets? And how are we going to move forward?

Will it impact the way we vacation, socialize, the way we love, and hug and do we want to focus on the future, the here and now, or just embrace something familiar, something predictable, something of the past a little longer?

Post pandemic transition

In Part 2, I will address the Drivers and Color Stories of the Color Marketing Group with some inspirational images, and in Part 3 I will discuss the 4 color palettes as forecasted by Karl Johan Bertilsson from NCS.

Make sure you stay tuned!

Fascinating stuff!