Keeping a pulse on the latest color trends is important for many businesses, from retailers to manufacturers. Done right, color can shape buying decisions, tell stories, and invoke feelings. Color trends help my clients determine the colors to use in marketing brochures and websites. They help shape the stories they tell in window and merchandising displays since the forecasts inform which products they should incorporate so they can be on-trend.

Any business can benefit from the color forecasts. As a service provider, can you use the colors in your next e-newsletter? If you develop products, how can next year's color choices influence your color or design choices today since it'll be what consumers will be seeing tomorrow?

Imagery-based decisions are often stronger than text-based because that visual story is often seen first by our eyes. Text comes later. Colors help bring stories alive.

Sherwin-Williams just released its 2019 color palette and of the six themes, Enthusiast is for those who don't know the meaning of less is more, not less is less. "It's for free thinkers," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "Enthusiast colors is an explosion of texture and colors.

"Colors are a personality," adds Wadden, who shared the six personalities, or themes, for 2019's 42-color palette with me during NeoCon's annual conference in Chicago, the leading event for architects and designers and in contract furnishings industry.

Wadden and her team approached each color in their color forecast as a unique personality that when used on its own or combined, tells a story. By thinking about each palette as a person, they assigned attributes that could inform decisions by business owners or consumers.

Here are the six personalities of the 2019 Sherwin-Williams color forecast:

Majestic blues lead the way in this story that takes inspiration from both the healing energy of spirituality and the cosmos.

More desert-bohemian, this palette is a shift from the rustic looks we've been exposed to for several years. We're going to be seeing more subtle earthy colors such as clay, caramel and browns, reminiscent of the high plains and deserts, notes Wadden.

A bit more masculine in appearance, says Wadden, this color palette is for those who appreciate nostalgia and timeless traditions. Rich and deep colors including copper and gold ground the merlot and gray within this story. Influences range from tweedy menswear to 60's nostalgia.

"The Enthusiast palette is a fresh take on 'maximalism'," says Wadden, who feels it's a natural shift from the popular minimalism as of late. "It's for free thinkers."

"I saw it really emerge last year at Milan Design Week," she says. Bold and vivid colors that want to be noticed in a big way are part of this palette's personality which is influenced by cozy chaos and over-the-top opulence. "More is more," adds Wadden.

Thankfully there will always be a place for nature and the naturalist palette takes inspiration from forest mushrooms, butterfly collections and terrariums. Combining nature-found hues with Parisian culture, Wadden and her team created a color story that celebrates both the lush rainforests and classic and sophisticated details of a French apartment.

"Raconteur is a reaction to Afrocentrism with its soft, sand-inspired colors," says Wadden. Influenced by global style, luxury safaris, and spice markets, the color palette celebrates how we're all connected with rich red to muted mauve hues.

Published on: Jun 15, 2018
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