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It’s the beginning of the year, and we’re all trying to figure out what the rest of the annum could look like. Will low-rise jeans really make a comeback? Did scrunchies come and go already? What will colour blocking look like in 2020?
As a design editorial team, whose job it is to present answers to these kinds of conundrums, we look all over the place for markers. We do this so we can tell you, our readers, and to be able to set themes and topics for our content calendar. We look for trending ideas related to product and interior design, architecture, fashion, even plants (remember when blue pea flowers were having a moment?).
But when it comes to colour, perhaps the most important visual medium of sentiment, and ideas, the trendsetters are “in-house”, as they say. For 17 years now Asian Paints (AP), which beautifulhomes.com is a part of, has run an initiative called ColourNext, which presents the company’s colour forecasts for the year.
After all, as the country’s largest paint company, AP is perfectly poised to read the tea leaves on this topic. Srikanth SK, General Manager of IDX Innovation, Design & Digital, Customer Experience, Asian Paints, talks about the impetus to the ColourNext effort: “As market leaders we felt it was important for Asian Paints to investigate the kinds of cultural and social shifts that influence people’s choices, trends and various forms of expression, and then figure out how that affects a segment such as colour.” And February, when winter is at the doors of spring, is the perfect month to unveil ColourNext’s predictions of Colour Trends, Colour of the Year and Wallpaper of the Year.
Beautifulhomes.com got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the process that elevated a family of colours as representative of the year 2020.
THE COLOUR OF THE YEAR IS…
The ColourNext initiative presents consumers with a comprehensive forecast of colours, materials, textures and finishes. But then ColourNext also identifies one colour to capture the essence of the time, labelling this hero as “Colour of the Year”.
For 2020, the Colour of The Year is “Curiosity”. It is a modern, clear shade of blue brimming with energy and inspired by azurite, the copper mineral that is marked out by its complex blue colour. It energises us with an optimism to persist, focus on our pursuits, and be the best version of ourselves. ‘Curiosity’ urges us experiment, be undeterred by failure, and keep going.
Besides the Colour of the Year, there are four trends that AP identifies that will form the overarching inspiration leading designers throughout the year. As the year unfolds, these colour trends become more evident across various design fields including architecture, interior design and decor, product design, textile design and more. Translated into colour palettes, the four trends for 2020 are:
A. Potent: It translates into a colour story that is pure, clean and complete with a monotone palette and pops of contrast, including hues of green and coral in varying saturations.
B. Mystique: This is about deep, mysterious hues made of the elemental colours of wood, earth, fire, sky and water. Think bright orange, blood red, midnight blue, black and dark brown.
C. Blend: Playful, fun and fearless, colours in this palette include a blend of blue, purple-pink, yellow-green, faded cyan and grey.
D. Sonic: Sound helps us relax, learn and energise. The greys and beige in this colour palette represent silence while the blue, pink and orange are about calm, joy and activity.
BEHIND THE SCENES
So how does the company arrive at these conclusions? How do a handful of colours stand head-and-shoulders above the rest of the hundreds to present the energy of miniscule period of time? The colour forecast as well as the Colour of the Year are derived by mapping emerging societal culture and lifestyle choices at a particular period.
Artist Renuka Reddy of Red Tree Designs at the ColourNext discussion.
The forecast process begins months in advance. As part of it, Asian Paints maps consumer behaviour, consumption patterns, socio-cultural sentiments and lifestyle shifts. Then the ColourNext team goes into a huddle with experts from various fields, there are intensive workshops and many discussions. “This whole process sits at the crossroads between many things: emotion, data, social cultural movements, and then there’s the whole process of discussion, arguing and counter arguing that happens between all the institutional and individual advisors that we get on board. It is an inclusive and iterative process that takes almost a year and really makes everyone consider colour as an emotional choice,” says Srikanth SK.
All of that effort culminates in the family that is presented as the Colour Forecast.
But of course, the key is inspiration and application. As Asian Paints’ COO Amit Syngle puts it, “A trend uninterpreted remains just that —an unexplored possibility, an idea ahead of its time, a path less taken. But when keen minds imagine, decode and interpret trends, they become beautiful concepts, products, even objects d’ art!”
For homemakers, this presents the opportunity to look at a fresh array of colours in a new light. This is an opportunity for experimentation, for trying out combinations you didn’t consider before.
Amit Syngle, COO, Asian Paints and Srikanth SK, Head of Innovation, Asian Paints.
At beautifulhomes.com, we’ll help you with loads of ideas. We’ve used the Colour of The Year and colour trends family in a series of freshly styled shoots that we will present to you over the coming days. Stay tuned!
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