Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals announces the release of ColorForward 2018, the 12th edition of the annual color forecasting guide for the plastics industry
As it does every year, the international ColorForward team took a deep dive this past September into the state of consumer attitudes and likely color preferences for the coming years.
All four of the global social trends identified reflected an over-arching feeling of sadness, fear and distrust of the conventional world as-it-is. Behind that, however, is what might be termed a "silver lining." A sense of resolve… of determination to endure and a cautious optimism that people can make a difference and things will get better over time. This melancholy mood is evident in the fact that all the colors are toned down and a little bit grey but, at the same time, warm, organic and hopeful.
The ColorForward concept was created to help brand managers and designers anticipate – years in advance -- what colors will connect with consumers on a deep, emotional level. Today, after twelve successful years, this unique design tool is rapidly gaining credibility.
"We will present the 2018 forecast at Heimtextil in Frankfurt in January and at Stockholm Design Week in February, and we have been invited to speak at the prestigious Fuse London design event in December," says Judith van Vliet, ColorWorks Designer and a leader of the ColorForward team. "It is very unusual for a company like Clariant to be consulted on trends by the design community and I think is very real reflection of the respect they have for our work."
The ColorForward advantage arises from its long-term global view of social trends. Other forecasts, van Vliet explains, are more focused on reacting to short-term trends. Clariant, on the other hand, tries to identify the deep-seated emotions that influence how consumers respond to color and, by extension, to a manufacturer's product. She concludes: "I think that's what makes ColorForward different from other forecasts and why we are getting so much attention."
ColorForward 2018 has been completely repackaged this year. The presentation materials are simpler and cleaner. The forecast developers composed a single image for each of the four trend themes. Then, discrete facets of each image are used to represent the different elements of each trend.
The trend colors are offered in a printed booklet and with molded plastic plaques that allow participants not only to see the colors but also to touch them, feel them and hold them in different lighting or against different backgrounds.
It is not surprising then, that the Newmorrow color palette includes a brownish green called Primordial Soup. It prompts references to sewage and death and some have referred to it as "the ugliest color in the world," but it also reminds us of the verdant, rich biological goop that spawned life as we know it.
The colors of LongitudeLatitudeAttitude are Bohemian. They range from a purplish fuchsia, called Nomadness, a warm, almost-orange yellow named Kaleido tribe, and grey blue called Cirrus aviaticus after the contrails of jet planes against the otherwise cloudless sky.
Through the mirror Somewhere along the way, many consumers began to experience unpleasant feelings of emptiness related to their mainstream lifestyles. There is a sense that they have lost touch with their inner selves or, perhaps, never really considered that inner self as they felt their way through their lives. The trend theme named Through the Mirror attempts to capture a sense of ennui -- of being adrift in a modern world while, at the same time, knowing that a spiritual reawakening is possible.
The yoga practice of Taratak Meditation inspires the pearl orange color in the Through the Mirror palette. This Sanskrit phrase is pronounced 'trataka' and means to gaze steadily at a fixed spot in order to focus the mind inward, blanking out visual perception and withdrawing from the external world.
Although the colors of Nerdylicious are soft and subdued like most in the other trend groups, they are nevertheless the brightest and most optimistic of any in the 2018 palette. For instance, Lightning Boot is a transparent almost-orange yellow that is reminiscent of LED lights on a control panel, while Alberting out! is a slightly dirty optical white -- a tribute to the ultimate nerd, Albert Einstein. It reminds one of lab coats gone dingy after back-to-back 18-hour work days.
To learn more about ColorForward, please visit www.clariant.com/colorworks. Clariant also offers seminars at its four ColorWorks locations as well as at selected conferences and at customer sites.