For visual artists, photographers and graphic designers there is real value in understanding color trends and color theory.
Color Trend Resources
Color forecasting is not an exact science as indicated by somewhat contrasting reports included here. Regardless, for artists, there is value in knowing the trends.
Colors trends can be found in many leading consumer products, including paint, home furnishings and fashion.
Manufacturers of automobiles and appliances also follow trends to help make color choices. Quite often, similar color trends straddle large segments of consumer products.
Color Trend Leaders
Companies such as Benjamin-Moore, which is a leading manufacturer of residential paints, provide clues to new colors. In an ad hoc manner, painting trends tend to inform home furnishing trends. As such, it’s not unusual to find common color trends between painting manufacturers and fashion forward home furnishing retailers such as Crate & Barrel, and many others.
Color of the Year 2013
Benjamin-Moore predicts colors in 2013 will come from a pastel palette, including Lemon Sorbet, which it announced as its Color of the Year with this statement:
Luscious lemon sorbet (2019-60), our Color of the Year for 2013, is the perfect transitional color between the mid-tones and saturated colors seen in today’s home furnishings and the softer, lighter pastels which are emerging for 2013.
This beautiful yellow harmonizes with other trending pastels in the mint, coral, pink, blue, and vanilla families. Uplifting without being overpowering, lemon sorbet (2019-60)complements almost any color palette and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces.
Color Market Group Predicts Re-Blue
Color Marketing Group, a leading international association of color design professionals, predicts that Blue will dominate the color movement for a number of years. The number of BLUES represented across all CMG’s regional color forecasts is a key indicator of its importance. What is driving the rise of blue? Blue is a stable, comfortable, and a well liked color that is always present in a color palette.
Global/environmental issues regarding water and the political atmosphere are driving factors in the movement. Mineral blue pigment mines are becoming scarce. There is a push toward use and acceptance of synthetic blues which are cleaner, mineral blues more complex. The pricing of pigments is an issue.
Warmer, tropical, watery, blues with a touch of green dominate the movement. Blues are regarded as relaxing and calming, but when not careful with tone, they can become depressive and distant. Previous blues have been cleaner, more political, Olympic, and historical/traditional. Now people want warmer more aqueous blues. Blue is a popular color in many industries, but has met
resistance in others. Blue is popular across ages and demographic ‐ it is a reliable color. Our best color friend.
Color of the Year ReBlued:
“Color needs to reflect our mood, desires and state of mind. This fresh, true blue can be as energizing as it can be soothing. It’s just the right hue for moving forward.” says CMG’s President, Mark Woodman of Global Color Research Limited.
“RE” plays on several key lifestyle trends: REcycling, REnew, REmember, REwind, REcalibrate, REward and is REliable. RE‐BLUED works well with all colors of the palette; from warm and cool.
Blue is embraceable. As we move away from denim and indigo influences, this mid range blue takes over as the new desire. Its reliable nature comes from its ability to bridge generations, products and finishes.
Trends and Inspiration
In my book, How to Profit from the Art Print Market, there is an entire chapter devoted to trends and inspiration. I don’t expect any independent artist to slavishly follow painting, home furnishing, or for that matter, other trends. However, there are clues to help you sell more art all around you.
Start making a habit of being aware on a conscious level how color palettes are changing. If your learn to let these influences inform you in ways that make sense for what you are doing with your art, you may find it easier to get more of it sold. This is particularly true if your market includes art prints, posters, giclees and the licensing market.
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