Color Forecasting

At one point in time, it was very simple to track the descending order of color trends and the amount of time it took to trickle down from one industry to another. But more recently, because of the rapid-fire availability of information and the newer technologies available to produce color in various applications, the lines between industries have become increasingly blurred.

The turn-around time from drawing board to selling floor is more problematic in some areas because of actual production time, but many manufacturers, based on their willingness to adapt more quickly and take advantage of new color directions, are making a concerted effort to integrate the trends rapidly. Yet others opt to move more deliberately, to evolve rather than constantly revolve. In the final analysis, each color change, addition or deletion has to be done very thoughtfully depending on the nature of the product or image. There are no “magic bullets”.

Color forecasting involves an intrepid perusal of all the issues and happenings that might influence color directions in the future. The Internet, various periodicals, television shows that report on trends, trade shows and color forecasting organizations are excellent sources of trend information. As the information is is readily available, products destined for color changes are limited only by the time constraints demanded by research, development and manufacturing. The many areas to watch for signs of impending colors include:

• The world of fashion
• The entertainment world
• Museum collections
• Economic issues
• Sociological issues
• Cyclical patterns
• Lifestyles
• Multi-Cultural mixes
• Technology
• Buzzwords

~PANTONE Guide to Communication with Color

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