As we prepare to move into a New Year there will be plenty of preparation done by businesses looking to scale and level up in 2017. With these preparations, there should be room left to look at office design, color palette choices, and what your 'look' will feel like in 2017. Architecture, design, planning and consulting firm?, Gensler's Senior Associate, Nestor Santa-Cruz discussed his 2017 color trends thought and I was thrilled to get his experienced insight.

Going Date-Less In 2017

One of my favorite pieces of information from the conversation between Nestor and myself was the term 'date-less' and what that means when applied to design. This is core to what I practice everyday in time-less product design. Date-less is the idea that space or product design needs to have a long lasting effect, both seeing into the future, while maintaining classic beauty, allows room for growth with a design concept that consistently represents the mission of a company year after year. It's about the marrying of modern with traditional so that both look amazing but also feel like somewhere you belong or something that belongs to you. This concept has not proven an easy one to apply by any means, and there is plenty of over-design or a lack of design in attempting success. Both of these mistakes can really hurt a brand, product, or business significantly.

So What's On The Color Trend Forecast Already?

This might be the year that surprises us even more in its strong shift - where colors/design need to reflect more than the consumer's interest. They will also need to reflect your brand message, your environmental stance, your inclusiveness - all of these intangibles come across when imagery-based decisions are stronger than informed (text-based) decisions.

Color is one of the most predominant tools that designers can use to influence and tell a bigger story of the space, the brand, and so on.

2017 Color Trend Influences

Manipulating color: Filters are ever-present in digital life, and now they come to real life. This is not just using saturated or true colors anymore. Colors can be manipulated, corroded, and even textural.

Not just an accent anymore: Color lends to part of the environmental feel of a space or impression of a product and can be applied to the whole while maintaining a classic (or date-less) feel.

Every color can be neutral: With this new manipulation of color, every color can become neutral - not just white, black, and beige.

Collecting colors to create new palettes: This year, collection and curation moves beyond the traditional color combos and pairing "odd" colors you wouldn't necessarily think should go together into full palettes.

Nestor Santa Cruz's Office Color Predictions for 2017

  • Emerald Green
  • Mustard Yellow
  • Indigo
  • Graphite

Greenery (AKA 15-0343) - "Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous political and social environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose," says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director.

While I personally dream in color (often), in my opinion, Pantone's Color of 2017, Greenery, is not at all 'perfect' or even a sale-able color for product design. It is a wishful environmental message that should not be confused and adopted unless it really is appropriate for your product design. Green has to be just the right green to be time-less or date-less. This will trend out quickly and not be worth matching on products.

However, from an environmental or office design standpoint, Nestor's opinion of Greenery is this, "This selection by Pantone proves what we have been observing in recent workplace design: Nature is in. And it logically follows that hues of greens that are bright and organic could support this interest in connecting to nature and light... It's a very transparent color, which fits well with the desire for openness and more collaborative workplace settings."

Some colors are synonymous for the brands they represent, like Tiffany Blue, or Coca-Cola Red. This is important because the story is important, and having a color palette a company can identify with helps create a vocabulary between the designers and the end-users that actually means something to both.

The world of color is evolving as quickly as the trends that try to keep up. 2017 looks to be no different as we see our senses combine to create atmospheres, products, and brands that look and feel like success.