Submitted by Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID
It’s been a while since I’ve talked to you about color—one of my favorite subjects. Life, in general, doesn’t offer us too many free gifts, and color happens to be one of the most amazing. All we have to do is open our eyes to accept and appreciate it. As children, we were instinctively attracted to bright colors, making sure we used every Crayola in the box for our innocent works of art. So why, as we go through life, do we become somewhat jaded about color, electing to surround ourselves with safe neutrals rather than the colors that are saturated with personality? Take a look at the color of cars traveling down the highway around you. You are going to be shocked at the overwhelming number of white vehicles, followed by black and then silver. “I don’t want to make a mistake…” “I’m thinking of re-sale value…” “It’s just safer to go with what everybody else does…” These are the reasons (or should I say excuses) we use as justification.
During May of this year I was fortunate to attended the Spring conference of Color Marketing Group International. I love this group, because I’m surrounded by fellow color professionals who understand the power and psychology of color. Fashion, interior design, automotive, recreation, graphic design and technology are just some of the fields that are represented at these conferences. Three days of intense “hands-on” workshops produce forecast colors that are the guiding light for color palettes two to three years out. That’s how far in advance Fortune 500 companies need to know color directions in order to bring their new products to market—in the right colors! You might not be aware of this, but color directions always reflect what’s going on in our society and in our lives. For instance, during the depths of this recession, colors took a serious turn, showing undercurrents of browns and grays in almost every hue. What I saw coming out of CMG’s Spring conference this year, however, was a huge shift in direction on the color compass. Colors are brighter, clearer, and more optimistic. The undertones are now light and airy and colors are reflecting… HOPE.
Let’s talk about just a few of the emerging colors for 2011 and 2012. The strongest new color in the palette is Rasplendant. Picture frosty raspberry sherbet on a hot summer’s day–that is the jazzy new fuschia hue that’s making fashion waves and interior headlines. It has the WOW factor and adds a bit of sparkle to any room. I originally predicted Rasplendant would play a supporting role for interiors (accessories, etc.), but I believe I was mistaken. I am seeing this delicious new color commanding attention in fashion, and playing a starring role in interiors already. If you want to add drama and fun to your interiors—be on the look out for Rasplendant.
Green has had a good run, wouldn’t you agree? So, is it leaving the palette? No—but it is morphing into a fresher version. Rain Forest is the newest green, favoring all the lushness and richness of its namesake. And two highly popular greens, Oldensage and Seacrest are carrying forward to the next two years as well. But green is about to be rivaled by another hue that can carry the sustainability message just as well, and that would be blue. Several new blues are making their debut and one in particular. X-Hale, is a favorite. For those of you who remember your Dad’s or your Grandpa’s 1957 Chevy, this new color was stolen right from that classic car. It’s bright, it’s contemporary, and it’s the perfect vivid mix of blue and green. You cannot look at this color without feeling happy. X-Hale represents a simpler, happier time, when our nation was in a serious growth mode and all things were possible. Now who wouldn’t want a slice of that 1950’s American pie?
One more blue gracing the new palette comes from military inspirations. That is Perpetual. This color is deeply steeped in tradition, reflective of quiet reserve, honor and endurance. What a great tribute (through color) to the dedication and sacrifice our country’s military makes for us on a daily basis. As a nation, we have every good reason to want this color in our future palette. The message is clear.
Yellow is back, and not as the muted yellow-gold from the past several years, but as a crystal clear, liquid yellow that embodies pure optimism. Italians traditionally serve a signature icy liqueur after every dinner (whether you order it or not, I discovered) called Limoncello. In Italy you must eat and you must drink—it’s a prerequisite if you are to enjoy what life has to offer. Limoncello represents the best of Italy and the Italian people’s gregarious nature. So it would seem that our new yellow happens to be well-named. It too represents a bit of over-indulgence and pure fun.
Reflection is the next color joining the palette–one of the favorite colors that emerged from the Color Conference. This is a cameo color that speaks of simpler days. (Do you see a theme developing within this palette?) It’s a warm neutral (pink+peach+beige) that is fresh and youthful. Both Fashion and Interiors will embrace it as a priority player as we near 2011. Reflection actually originated in the contract segment of the market and now is crossing over to residential.
Well, this is a great start to the Color Visions story for 2011 & 2012. But this story can’t be told in just one chapter (or should I say blog). So stay tuned as this evolving tale of color is ‘to be continued’. More color neophytes soon to appear on the radar scope will be revealed in my very next blog–that’s a promise.