Link Between Color Use and Economic Trends Discovered
July 20, 2009
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - People's choice and use of color is strongly influenced by the state of the economy, according to a detailed analysis into color trends conducted by AkzoNobel, the world's largest paint and coatings company.
The research, which included studying the best-selling colors supplied by the company's global Decorative Paints business, shows that while regional preferences can have an impact on color usage, trends in interior design have been fluctuating in waves over the last few decades as the economy has ebbed and flowed.
"Analyzing color trends has shown us that during an economic downturn, neutral colors such as black, white and grays are favored for interiors, while more intense colors are used when people feel more confident," explained Stephanie Kraneveld, Global Color Training Manager for AkzoNobel Decorative Paints.
"At the end of the 20th century, for example, neutrals were predominantly used. When fear and uncertainty surrounding the dawn of the new millennium faded, color began to reappear in homes, varying from bright, vibrant colors to less saturated tones. What we're seeing at the moment is that in Western Europe, sober whites and off-whites are the most popular; while in the U.S., beige and grey are dominant. In Asia, however, fresh colors such as clean yellows, pink and light blue are preferred, which could well be related to the local economy."
Kraneveld adds that these trends are likely to shift again in the months and years ahead. "Mid-tones will tend to predominate overall, with cleaner off-whites and fewer heavy shades evident, indicating a move towards colors that are lighter in mood and more optimistic in feeling, which will lift our spirits as we move on from the tough economic times we're currently going through."
The color trends presented by AkzoNobel are part of the company's Color Futures™. The result of ongoing worldwide color trend research, forecasting and development, Color Futures provides international style and design trends for interiors and exteriors, which have been translated into color trend palettes.