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BASF annual color trend report

Tue, 31 Jul 2012

Materials giant BASF has presented the findings of its annual color trend report, created by a team of designers scouting out global textile and furniture trade shows for information.

And while some may think color trends are simply at the whim of designers, BASF's report identifies influences such as socio-political climate, interior design, architecture, technology and pop culture.

'Green luxury' is not an oxymoron

The trend towards blues is continuing, while earthy tones and colors also reflect ecological awareness. The idea of 'green luxury' appears in combination with a subtle or significantly reduced sparkle as well as the use of mushroom, mint or broken white colors.

The image of ecology is moving from activism to realism – people are more conscious of the effects of their lifestyle and behavior than ever before. BASF's scouts have concluded that "prosperity – even luxury – and ecology are no longer perceived as mutually exclusive concepts." North America is a good example of this.

Symbiosis between humans and technology

Voice command, touchscreens and advancing HMI systems are changing the way we engage and act within our lives. This has created the effect of colors appearing very artificial, although they may also derived from humans, as seen in skin-toned silver.

BASF predicts we will be seeing colors like LED blue, brilliant turquoise, sparkling black or bright red, with matte finishes reinforcing the link to technology.

Diversity of people and colors

Cultural diversity and identities continue to change perceptions of society. Cultural diversity is also represented by a new type of color: various browns with subtle effects connecting current location and origin moving towards bolder colors such as yellow, violet and emerald.

Emphasizing uniqueness

Individualism follows on from diversity – people want to protect their identity and project it into their homes and other areas. This is expressed in colors that represent something unique or new. BASF states that the drive towards this innovation is based in two areas: the coatings technology as well as the colorants used to combine and bring out the special properties.

BASF's design departments work closely with the technical groups to identify the colors showing the most promise before identifying their feasibility and exploring the possibility of creating previously unattainable finishes.

Related articles:
WGSN-homebuildlife Trend Report Summer 2012

By Rufus Thompson