This past weekend I was really fortunate to join a group of color experts in New York city for the PPG Global Color Trends Workshop. Although I don’t define myself a color expert, I certainly have caught the bug! I had such an amazing time at the conference, learning how color trends are forecasted and getting my toes wet in the whole process.
I certainly didn’t know what to expect, but the thought I had dreamed up in my head of designers in crisp white suits sitting around a conference table hashing over what was on the runway this fall was certainly not accurate! The process is so interesting.
Unlike most paint brands PPG has a very wide scope, not only do they cover architectural (which is certainly what I think about when someone brings up the topic of paint) but also automotive, aerospace, consumer products and electronics. Basically they provide paint for everything from airplanes to headphones! PPG brands are sold in over 80 countries, so developing palettes and choosing one color to represent them all is a very cultural effort, no small feat.
Day 1 of the workshop, everyone from the different markets presents their yearly homework; sharing what they have observed, put into action, and how they have shared the brand message over the past year. I loved hearing about popular colors at industry shows, they really painted a great picture of their experiences. I even had the opportunity to present about how my blog is connected to the brand, and how building a brand relationship has improved both of our online presence.
Day 2 is when the magic started to happen. When you think of trends most often what comes to mind is what your teeenager is wearing, what is the hot item on the shelf is, and popular colors you see in merchandise. However, I bet you never thought about what affects those color choices. Social, economic, cultural, even political behaviors all play a role! So first thing is to break down what everyone has observed in their markets into trend categories and what language each categories bring to mind.
From there everyone breaks into groups for the cut and paste portion of the day… certainly my favorite part. The group I worked in was focused on a traditional/ heritage/ classic theme. We looked through magazines (american mags plus ones brought from other countries), paint samples, fabric, and other color tools like paint moulds from automotive and consumer products. Then worked it into a board how the colors worked together to build a theme story. I really felt like I was back in school, I loved every minute of it.
This is one of the boards my group worked on. Each photo and color was a representation to support a word, or image, even stereotype of what we talked about in the first phase.
Once each group had completed their boards, we all presented to each other, and the discussions began to choose color palettes to represent each from our findings. The above photo is a tad boring, but I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet!
However, you can flip through the pages of the
This book is amazing, it really puts the perfect language, feelings and of course colors to the trends of today.
Day 3 is all about solidifying the 2017 Color of the Year.
I’m sure you can imagine with over 20 color stylists speaking 9 different languages how this discussion goes. From the color themes everyone had worked on the previous day a supporting color is drawn from each and then it comes down to the voting and debating how it would work in all the markets and cultures. The paint name even plays a big role, I’m sure you can imagine if a color was chosen with the name ‘bouncing baby’ how it would make people feel versus a color named ‘springtime meadow’, it would invoke two completely different impressions.
I wish I could share the finding with you, rather than my black and white photo, but my lips are sealed! The results will be shared in the fall (talk about a big secret to keep!) I can’t wait to put the colors into action, some very beautiful color schemes coming your way!
Looking for the perfect colors on trend this year?