April 15, 2016
Look around your home, your office building, your car, and just about any store you shop in. Everywhere you look there is color, especially bright or more saturated color.
Advancements in technology have made color a part of our world like never before, with an increasingly broad palette of eye-grabbing colors on interiors and exteriors of buildings and consumer products.
Colors are, more than ever, utilized as a means of personal expression. History and trends have also shown that in periods of economic recovery, color preferences tend to get brighter, cleaner and bolder in most regions as people’s moods become more optimistic and forward-looking. And when people want to express themselves, they gravitate toward bold, bright colors. But what does this trend mean for manufacturers of decorative paint and coatings?
A little goes a long way
Bright paint colors are still more prevalent in warmer climates, such as Latin America and southern Europe, than they are in temperate climates such as the northern U.S., Canada and northern Europe. Color choices in decorative paint tend to reflect the climate and culture of the region.
Tropical color schemes reflect the bright flora and fauna of a locale, with bright reds, oranges, blues and greens, while residents who live in desert climates may prefer more muted, earth-tone colors, and the color palette in a heavily forested region such as the Pacific Northwest is skewed toward dark greens and browns. But how are consumers actually using their color palette of choice?
In short, bright or expressive colors are used as accents.
When selecting a color motif for a home or a business, decorators often select paint to harmonize with drapery, trim and furniture. Wall color typically accents the fabric in a room, whether it’s drapery or furniture upholstery, and decorators often paint one wall in a bright color – an offset or accent wall that serves as a backdrop to the fabric choices.
Properly utilized, bright paint doesn’t dominate a room – four walls covered in a bright hue would overwhelm the average person – but it does serve as a striking accent. The key is using bright color as a focal point that draws the viewer’s eye, much like a large piece of artwork hanging on a wall.
Responding to demand
As the recent trend toward brighter colors illustrates, color trends are constantly evolving. And that means architectural paint and coatings companies can’t rest on their laurels. A color palette that represented a typical standard color selection as short as five years ago may now appear outdated at point of sale.
By understanding and embracing the brighter colors trend, architectural coatings companies can decide what changes to make to meet growing consumer demand.
First, utilize yearly color forecasts as trends develop. Forecasting changing tastes in color is an inexact science. However, there are some reliable color forecasts you can follow that have a track record of pinpointing annual color trends. Most of the larger, global paint suppliers produce color forecasts before each coming year and monitor the emerging color trends for the following 12 months.
As consumers seek brighter, bolder colors in their decorating themes, meeting the demand may necessitate changes in their current colorant offering your company is using. Colorant suppliers should be measured on their ability to help you evaluate your current color space and make colorant recommendations to update your color systems and merchandising to meet the changing needs in the architectural coatings marketplace. That includes finding the right colorant lower-VOC chemistries to deliver colors with superior opacity and lightfastness.
The landscape of color is ever-changing, as are consumer demands. But it’s the responsibility of every company in the architectural coatings space to monitor changing color tastes and develop the expertise and partnerships to adapt as the landscape changes.
Chromaflo Technologies is a leading provider of colorants for the architectural coatings industry. Contact us at (440) 997-5137 to discuss brighter, bolder color options for your customers.