My husband recently asked me a question that’s been weighing on his mind. Are there seriously designers who pick what color is going to be the popular color for the year?
There are a couple of players in the color industry that everyone looks to for guidance. They forecast the upcoming trends in colors, and other industries trust their instincts. Pantone is the top of the pyramid for the color industry. The Pantone Color Institute is where trained consultants help businesses find their brands’ color(s), develop color strategies, and predict color trends. That’s also the base for the elite panel of designers who pick the color of the year. They don’t just throw a dart at a wall of color and hope for the best though. There’s a lot more to it.
Interested in learning more about color? Try my Color Wheel Guide post!
The designers actually tour the globe looking for design influences, picking up on the mood from current events, and emotional reactions. Then the panel gathers near the end of the year, assess their findings and narrowing it down to the top influential color for the next year. They make a big announcement in December that designers all over the world wait for in anticipation.
As of late, other big companies have started to make their own predictions and announcements which, as you will see, are not always in sync with Pantone’s forecast. Some of the other major names are ones such as Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Behr, and Dulux. It’s a good idea to look at those colors as well and get an overall feel for the tones that will be hitting the markets around you.
I have conveniently placed them all together for you below!
Color Of The Year 2018
Pantone: Ultra Violet 18-3838
Benjamin Moore: Caliente AF-290
Sherwin Williams: Oceanside SW-6496
Behr: In The Moment T18-15
Dulux: Heart Wood 10YR 28/072
In reality, the forecast can be hit or miss. This year the general public had a different idea for their ideal color. If you open up your Pinterest account, odds are you will come across a common decorating theme; a light sage green. So really, Behr was the closest to the mark with In The Moment, and the others were way too adventurous. Shout out to Dulux for Heart Wood, also a gorgeous color.
So why does a Color Of The Year panel even exist?
It’s actually a big deal for more than home decorating. Products are designed and dyed based on the color trend forecasts. Fabric companies use these predictions to get their seasonal clothing lines ready for market. Furniture companies use them to decide what models to create and display. Decor items in retail stores will complement the chosen colors. Ads and marketing will use this color and the global influences behind it for their own campaigns.
Since the panel are trying to base a future trend off of past events and general atmosphere, they aren’t always able to anticipate a mood swing or drastic events that effect lives the world over. It does give people something to look forward to though, and the anticipation can be a moral booster.
And these guys know their stuff.
Color is serious business to them. A lot rides on their color sense. So even though we aren’t seeing a ton of this color right now, you’ll often see it everywhere a year or two later. But by then they are already looking for the next color influence. Always a step ahead of the game.
Year In Review
I have had my preferences over the years, and usually, I find myself becoming endeared to the chosen color over the course of that year. Probably due to all the amazing products that come out in that color. I have noticed that some of the past color choices become a hit two years later. Take the Pantone Colors Of The Year 2016 for instance. Rose Quartz 13-1520 and Serenity 15-3919 have popped up in spades lately! And I love them! At the time, I wasn’t too keen on the actual colors. But my how they’ve grown on me.
And yes, that was colors plural. Pantone named two separate colors to share the title that year. It was the same time that there was a big movement for the lgtbq community. Pantone was all over showing its support with its decision. The title had never been shared before.
I look forward to the Color Of The Year announcement. Not only am I fascinated by color, I admire the process too since I know there is a lot of thought behind every selection. And I think it’s fun to try dissecting what the meaning behind it is. Watching the new color get worked into various color schemes, and products is also entertaining. I love to follow the upcoming trends, even if they are not suitable for all design styles.
What do you think? Do you look forward to the annual announcement? Or do you think it is a pointless subject? I’d love to hear your opinion so leave me a comment!