Now that 2014 is halfway through, watch for trend forecasters to spill what they are seeing in their crystal balls for 2015 and beyond. One of the first is Sherwin Williams; as they unveiled their 2015 Colormix forecast last week at Neocon. Jackie Jordan, SW’s Creative Color Director recently wrote a bit about the process leading up to the final selections:
Every February, the Sherwin-Williams trend team convenes in a large conference room in our Cleveland, Ohio, headquarters to start work on the yearly color forecast. We share our most significant research, deliberate over tremendous amounts of information, synthesize it into a set of well-defined concepts, then use them to validate the color and design directions for the coming months and year.
Despite the fact that it’s so dreary, overcast and frigid outside — or maybe because of it — the conference room really heats up, fueled by passionate conversation and spirited debate. Materials, imagery and color samples fairly fly around the room, as we assemble seemingly infinite arrangements. Success comes when we finally, finally — and collectively — agree which drivers affecting future design trends are meaningful, relevant and validated; that the design philosophies and sensibilities of the industries’ influencers support the drivers; and, most important, that our chosen hues are reflective of the consolidated findings behind each color story.
This year’s conversations wandered in so many different directions — from outer space to under the oceans, from Africa to Brazil, from Japan to Hawaii. Research covered just about everything: architecture, community, urban development, economics, consumer behaviors, sporting events, fashion, craft, culture, change, astronomy, growth, balance, unexpected humor and serendipity. And of course photography, print, pattern, texture, materials and product design played important roles in helping to reveal the upcoming color stories.
Here is the 2015 Colormix forecast starting with Unrestrained:
Life is a Carnival, and we’re celebrating: from bold, ethnic-inspired colors, designs and crafts to the Bohemian lifestyle. But today’s wandering nomads aren’t starving artists — they’re fusing the carefree spirit of the gypsy with the sophistication of the jet set.
Artisans and purveyors of luxury goods are getting in the spirit, putting an irreverant spin on their work. South Africa and its colorful art scene exert a strong pull, while the 2016 Summer Olympics will rivet the world’s attention on Rio de Janeiro.
“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” That phrase was fantasy when it was born during the Sputnik era. Today we’re living it. The sci-fi dreams of the past have become everyday reality — from space tourism to undersea resorts. No longer confined to our earthly plane, we look to the beyond and find colors that are supernatural and magical.
Unusual atmospheric events, including a decade-best aurora borealis and a rare sequence of “blood moons,” will keep our focus on the heavens in the months ahead.
Happy days are here again! We’ve weathered the recession. Our revived good spirits echo the optimism that followed World War II, when GIs returned home from exotic locales. Like that era, we’re expressing ourselves with bright florals, but today, our fascination with the tropics runs deeper. We’re exploring the secrets of the rainforest, applying the medicinal and cosmetic benefits of its botanical bounty. We’re looking to the natural world in other ways, too, incorporating green spaces into even dense urban environments — trusting in nature to keep our spirits bright.
Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, we’re poised for change. As modern life and technology rush at us, we seek an oasis where we can find balance, mindful living and tempo giusto (the “right time,” or the steady, regular beat of the heart).
We look to earth and sky for inspiration, finding raw beauty in striations and gently blurred hues and patterns. Artisans break the mold, creating objects that aren’t what they seem. Shapes are layered and deconstructed. In this moment, silence is the greatest luxury, and metamorphosis is the mother of invention.