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1/1/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

Product Color Trends as Seen by Color Research Futurists

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Clariant and PolyOne give peeks at what’s to come in 2020.

As in past years, we often hear from major colorant & additive masterbatch and compounds suppliers—such as Americhem, Clariant and PolyOne, as to what future color trends are on the way. Here’s what Clariant and PolyOne are up to for 2020.

Clariant: The ColorForward workshop was held this year at the Clariant ColorWorks center in Singapore. As they have every year since 2006, an international team of Clariant specialists came together for a week-long series of creative exercises aimed at defining four global trend themes that can be expected to influence consumers in the near and mid-term future, and selecting colors or color combinations that evoke an emotional response related to each trend. The result is a unique tool that can be used to help plastic product designers and marketing professionals make more informed color choices.

While consumer preferences have been trending toward warmer tones in recent years, Clariant color-trend watchers see a shift to cooler blues and greens in the palette they developed for 2020. In fact, of the 20 colors in the latest edition of ColorForward, five of them are different shades of green. Some are genuine and natural looking, while others seem more artificial or ‘digital.’

That doesn’t mean the 2020 trend colors don’t include some warmth, says Judith van Vliet, ColorWorks designer and a leader of the ColorForward team. There are a range of reds, yellows and even a couple of oranges. These tend to be bright and, in many cases translucent or tuned up with special effect pigments. “There are a lot of things going on in the world these days. Not all of them are negative, but the sheer volume of ideas, images and information confronting us, and the speed at which it comes at us, can seem overwhelming. Instead of trying to escape, which often seems impossible, people are seeking ways to harden themselves as a sort of emotional self-defense. We see other trends springing from developments in gene modification, increasing surveillance and loss of privacy, and the potential for ultra-high-speed travel.”

PolyOne: For its seventh annual Color Inspirations palette, PolyOne again aligned with global megatrend and color research futurists to create the 2020 Visionary Collection.

These curated colors represent the myriad viewpoints from which visionaries regard the world—macroscopic and microscopic, aerial and subterranean, virtual and physical.

While PolyOne’s full reveal for Color Inspirations 2020 will take place in the first quarter of 2019, here is a sneak peek at the concepts around which the collection is built:

  • BioXcelerate is a microscopic examination of the intersection of science and philosophy where bio hacking allows us to achieve previously unattainable optimized physical performance.
  • Fluide focuses on the preference to express oneself freely, exploring the ever-evolving nature of a digital culture that supports shifting personas, beliefs and ways of being.
  • In Uncharted, technology allows our imaginations to run wild, enabling us to experience previously hidden locales from new and unique perspectives.
  • Phygital Existence, examines the blurred line between physical and digital worlds, which leads to virtual realities within the ‘real’ world.


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