Categories / Inspiration
This Year's Must-Know Color Trends
Marc Schenker March 31, 2021 · 8 min read
The Year of Neutral ColorsWe all know the neutral colors on the color wheel: black, gray and white (sometimes beige and brown, too). What may surprise some, however, is the prediction that neutral colors are going to make a big impact in 2017. Their subdued tone may not make them people’s first guesses, but, then again, these times are anything but ordinary. According to Home & Garden Television, folks are going gaga for neutral colors when it comes to bigger buys, such as furniture, vehicles and even your basic carpets. It seems that many of us just want to play it safe with color choices when we spend a lot of money on a material possession! Anything from rich gray to camel hues are in. The great strength of neutrals is their dual-use ability. You can use them standalone just as easily as you can use them to contrast with brighter colors. It’s this flexibility—and, by extension, safety—that’s making neutrals popular for 2017. Interestingly, Pantone, the highly regarded creator of the Pantone Matching System, has also predicted that neutrals will factor into color trends for this year.
Pantone Weighs in With Its Color PalettesA big influencer in color trends and, by extension, design is always going to be Pantone, so it makes sense to check in with them to see where they believe color is going to go in 2017. According to Gifts and Decorative Accessories, Pantone has identified nine, distinct color groupings that they see as making a big splash this year. In no particular order, they are:
- Daydreaming – Colors here bring about thoughts that are weightless and light; examples are Nile Green and Yellow Iris.
- At Ease – This palette features neutral colors of both cool and warm persuasion mixed with muted tones for a sophisticated “graying.”
- Native Instincts – Think along the lines of softer Earth tones, smoky orchid, and Carmine red.
- Florabundant – Sumptuous floral hues like Red Dahlia, Pink Yarrow, Baton Rouge, and Chrysanthemum dominate this grouping.
- Acquired Taste – Colors not normally put together characterize this palette with offerings like Brandied Melon, Mulberry, Pale Gold, and Orange Chiffon.
- Forest Bathing – Shades of blue-green and green feature here, along with colors like Acid Lime and Grape Kiss.
- Reminiscence – Nostalgia is invoked in this palette with offerings like Sepia Tint, Maritime Blue, Rattan, Bird’s Egg Green, and Martini Olive.
- Raw Materials – Colors such as Zephyr Pink touch on the health and wellness-inspired theme of this palette.
- Graphic Imprints – While black and white form the base of this grouping, vibrant colors like Opaline Green, Blazing Yellow, Orange Popsicle, Prism Pink, Dazzling Blue, and Fandango Pink round out the entire palette for an electrifying set.
Color Trends Based on Lifestyle ThemesDesigners know all too well that color is actually a form of expression, based on moods, feelings and perceptions. This may help to explain why much-vaunted paint manufacturer, Behr, is basing its 2017 color predictions on lifestyle themes. The company says that color trends will revolve around these themes in 2017:
- Life Is a Peach
- Everything’s Rosy
- Polished Aqua
- Artful Magenta
- Laid Back Gray
- Lemon Burst
- Jade Dragon
- Midnight Show
Restlessness in Color TrendsFor some, restlessness figures to be a big factor in determining what colors are hot in 2017. Factors like spirituality, nostalgia, self-expression and a state of cultural flux are all drivers of this color-trend movement, at least according to Sherwin-Williams’ 2017 colormix Color Forecast. This brand has identified four, distinct color palettes that will make an impact this year:
- Noir – Based on the theme of nighttime, noir epitomizes colors like golden yellows, moody neutrals, and Nordic blues to create a palette that romanticizes melancholy and darker hues for a dramatic though soothing effect.
- Holistic – Colors such as wild browns, blush rose, and even artic neutrals define this unique palette that’s based on radical transparency and sustainable design. When amassing experiences becomes more attractive than purchasing items, you get this holistic color palette.
- Intrepid – Aptly named, this palette communicates ideals of self-interest and forming one’s own identify. Because of this fiery energy, expect to see colors like caviar, sierra redwood, kimono violet, and citronella dominate this color grouping.
- Unbounded – Heavily inspired by the immigration upheaval in several parts of the world, unbounded represents the reality that communities and people are moving towards more interconnectedness than ever. As such, expect to find colors like mudslide, Adriatic sea, coral reef, sealskin and freshwater to epitomize this global consciousness.
A Cornucopia of Many Different PiecesIt’s safe to say that, after listening to the experts, 2017’s color trends are heading in a lot of different directions, not necessarily conflicting. The broader themes for 2017 are tied into the overall mood and circumstances happening on the world stage, which are beyond most everyone’s control. In such times, it’s perhaps not shocking that many of the color predictions this year are heading into soothing territory that explores themes like lightness, relaxation, vibrancy and connecting (or maybe that’s reconnecting) with the self, which is the building block of every achievement. Designers looking for inspiration from 2017’s color trends have plenty from which to pick! Whether it’s the strong showing of safe neutrals or the confidence of brighter and more vivacious colors, incorporating them into your projects goes a long way to demonstrating to your clients that you’re getting out in front of this year’s color trends.
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