Major coatings manufacturers announce the global architectural and automotive color trends.

PPG Architectural Coatings Announces 2012-2013 Commercial Color Trends

Architects, designers, commercial builders and building owners can now use the PPG Paint Color Portfolio “fan deck” with 2012-2013 color trends to help them update, renovate or build new hotel, retail, office and health care facilities. Within the fan deck, each of the four commercial segments features six color trends along with more than 120 architect- and designer-sized color swatches.

The color and design trends for these industries represent current societal, digital and demographic influences. Consumers are more aware of their surroundings, from the interior of convenience stores to product packaging and websites. Consumers expect everything to be more design and color-focused, whether it’s the hotel where they stay, the retail store they shop in, the office they work in or the health facility they visit.

The four commercial segments featured in the PPG Paint Color Portfolio are:

Hotels have become a runway for interior designers, reflecting an atmosphere of style and design around the world. With this aesthetic flair, hotel guests are talking as much about their stay as about the fine restaurants and landmarks they visit. These six color palettes are best suited for use in hotel rooms, lobbies, meeting spaces and internal restaurant spaces. Hotel color trends range from fauve, nautilus and cradle to cradle with a more neutral look to idol, mad hatter and neon life that feature bright colors and more adventurous pairings.

In these uncertain economic times, retail shop owners are providing in-store experiences centered around design, color and even scent. The retail color scheme focuses on furnishing interior and exterior retail spaces with a palette of choices from calm and traditional – neo classic, super basic and organic – to the more vibrant – provocative, playful bespoke and futurist techno.

Color, furniture type, overall design and amount of natural light – these design elements can influence how you feel and work in a certain space. This palette reinvents museums, dental offices, creative agencies, yoga studios and engineering firms, to name a few. The studio palette offers a creative space with playful color blocking, while symphony provides a modern take on an industrial work space. The other four color schemes include livewell, forma, neochic and atelier.

Health Care
Heath care facilities are now looking like spas with more natural light, more private rooms and more nature to aid in promoting wellness. The health care palette is best suited for pediatric clinics, patient rooms, waiting rooms, long-term clinics, research facilities and doctor’s offices. Atlas, a calming palette, is featured for doctor’s offices while colorescape focuses on nature themes and vibrant colors for pediatric hospitals. The four other palettes for the health care group include: homezone, chrysalis, wateressence and evolution.

To obtain a copy of the PPG Paint Color Portfolio “fan deck,” contact Jeanette at

Akzo Names 2012 Color of the Year

Take-charge optimism will take hold in 2012, according to a color trend analysis completed by AkzoNobel. Akin to a political party convention, AkzNobel's color experts, from all parts of the globe, gather annually in September (The AkzoNobel Color Convention) to report out and examine trends in architecture, design, fashion, entertainment, politics, and business in their respective markets. The group then translates these dominant trends into a global color palette.

Drawing on a variety of cultural sources and influences from art, technology, nature and popular culture, AkzoNobel's "color psychologists" winnow down the colors expected to be in vogue in the following year and elect a “Color of the Year” − one likely to resonate across AkzoNobel's diverse global markets.

Migrating from a citrus yellow, the 2011 color of the year, AkzoNobel's color experts believe we're "progressing into something more confident and robust" as we head into 2012, with "Possibilities" selected as the dominant theme. In terms of a color palette, this translates into full-bodied hues. More specifically, a blushing, lively juicy Red (Terra Cotta Rose) was voted the 2012 Color of the Year.

According to AkzoNobel, Red is a powerful mood modifier, reflecting passion, power and festivity in Western societies. Children prefer it to other colors, while adults are attracted to those who wear red in public, says the company's analysis. In Asia, Red equates to good fortune, marital bliss and insightfulness. Red also grabs attention, alerts us to danger (and unprofitable entities), and conveys valued meaning.

Sico's Paint Palette for 2012 Reflects Growing Trend of Self Expression

From social media networks to environmental issues, people today are more comfortable expressing themselves than ever before. In the year ahead, this growing trend of self expression will make its way into home decor as Canadians increasingly choose to surround themselves with colours that reflect their personal style, says leading Canadian paint brand Sico.

“The 2012-2013 paint colour palette is full of take-charge optimism,” explains Mylène Gévry, Marketing Communications Manager for Sico. “From full-bodied hues with strong character to hushed pastels, the coming year’s palette represents people’s growing need for and interest in expressing concepts, viewpoints and approaches.”

What’s more, in today’s complex, highly networked world where lines blur between cultures, people are often overwhelmed by the quick pace and excessive amount of information accessible to them, Gévry says. As a result, “when it comes to home décor, colour influences for 2012-2013 are all about making selections that remind us of our more intimate activities and interests, and the important role we play in the bigger picture.”

Our need to take charge – influenced by our public sharing of personal information through social media, being more aware of our impact on the environment, or taking time out from our busy lives for quiet meditation – is reflected in a paint palette dominated by reds, greens and neutrals, from charming corals, garden greens and dark soil browns to nude pinks, pastel blues and subtle mauves, Gévry explains.

According to research conducted by Sico’s international team of colour experts, there are three prevailing colour themes for the year ahead, each reflecting our over-arching need to make, and celebrate, personal connections: Living Scrapbook, One Small Seed and Delicate Mix.

Living Scrapbook:With Facebook, MySpace and blogs having created a giant wave of creativity and fresh thought, this theme represents how a culture of showcasing “Who I am” in the digital space has crossed over into the physical world of home decor. Reflecting the quirkiness of personal tastes, Living Scrapbook presents a balanced, warm and charming palette featuring contemporary corals like Sico’s Ming Red (6052-65), sky blues such as Santorini (6005-31), olive greens like Olive Chartreuse (6102-54) and luminous yellows such as Star Coral (6099-42). Modern, yet slightly degraded and non-mainstream, the colours of this theme remind us that self-expression is more than just sharing our hobbies and interests -- it’s about daring to be different and inviting the rest of the world in for a visit.

One Small Seed:  We may not be able to change the world on our own but we can take small steps, like planting a seed in a pot and helping it to grow. This theme highlights a personal connection to and awareness of how our actions affect the world around us. The need to care for our environment isn’t new, but what is growing is our desire to personally relate to nature by inviting it into our homes – even on a small scale. Inspired by the process of photosynthesis, popular colours in this group include garden greens like Sico’s Namibian Desert (6142-74), dark soil browns like Pen and Ink (6206-73) and pastel blues like Lunar Month (6009-21). By surrounding ourselves with colours that remind us of earth, water and clay, we are comforted by the notion that nature will help us if we help it.

Delicate Mix:In a time of recurring economic and political turbulence, triggering an overwhelming, continuous flow of information all around us, we are drawn to decor that allows us to pause, reflect and enjoy the quiet. The colours in this palette exude subtlety, silence and visual stillness while promoting harmony, modesty and perfect balance. They offer simplicity with a hint of refinement and elegance, a new type of luxury that is more about appreciating the time and effort spent creating a piece of art or furniture as opposed to expressing wealth through glitz and excess. Highlighting this palette are elegant neutrals, nude pinks and subtle mauves such as Sico’s Grey Drizzle (6207-21), Satie White (6172-11), Frangipani (6178-31) and Furtive Mauve (6175-21). These colours, which celebrate the mind while soothing the soul, pair well with nuances of forged iron, steel, aluminum, polished concrete, wood, copper and oiled leathers.

For more information about Sico’s colour trends for 2012-2013, or to view the new colour palette online, visit

Dunn-Edwards Paint Announces Color Trends with Simply Refocus 2012

Dunn-Edwards Paint has launched its color and design trend forecast for 2012 called Simply Refocus. With four color stories and references to its Perfect Palette color system, these trends can be found online at

“A re-emergence of color is what we are seeing across the board. People are not afraid of color anymore. It defines our surroundings and lifestyle in more ways today than ever before,” said Sara McLean, Color Marketing Manager at Dunn-Edwards.

Four color and design stories are represented – Simply Sentimental, Simply Refined, Simply Revolutionary and Simply Essential – each representing an attitude to color and design, which many of us can associate with. Each story provides inspiration, design prescriptions and a range of 12 colors from the Dunn-Edwards Perfect Palette color system. “The colors within each story provide the designer with ideas for walls, furnishing and décor – a full palette to work from.”

Simply Sentimental showcases a return to beautiful, layered design. With references to turn-of-the century color and design ideals, this is a story for those who appreciate pretty and saturated color along with many layers of design.

Simply Refined defines the latest trends in neutrals. With downtown loft references and spare attitudes to design, this story thread is for those appreciative of the clean, refined ideals in design.

Simply Revolutionary takes you on a journey into the world of science and technology with an eye towards those with unconventional attitudes to design. Splashes of bold, vivid color play with unusual design elements to surprise and delight the senses.

Simply Essential taps into the art of craftsmanship and fights against the technology-driven age. With colors grounded in earthy, pigmented colors and rich in color, this story provides a rustic, yet timelessly modern aesthetic.

Automotive Color Trends: White is Favorite Color for Automobiles, According To PPG Data

White has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in the world according to data from PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), the world’s leading manufacturer of transportation coatings. Approximately 21 percent of 2011 model-year cars around the world have been white. Silver and black were tied for second most popular at 20 percent.

In North America, white was first (20 percent), silver was second (19 percent), black was third (18 percent) and gray was fourth (15 percent). Red and blue were tied for fifth (9 percent),

naturals such as browns, tans, golds, oranges and yellows were sixth (7 percent), green was

seventh (2 percent), and other/niche colors were last (1 percent).

In Europe, black is the most popular color (26 percent), followed by white (19 percent), silver (16 percent), gray (15 percent), blue (9 percent), red (7 percent), naturals (5 percent), green (2 percent) and other/niche colors (1 percent).

In the Asia/Pacific region, silver (25 percent) is the most popular color, followed by white (23 percent), black (17 percent), gray (8 percent), red (10 percent), blue (7 percent), naturals (7 percent), green (2 percent) and other/niche colors (1 percent).

At this year’s annual Automotive Color Trend Show held at PPG’s offices in Troy, MI, the coatings company presented its ideas for future vehicle colors. Titled “Expression,” the show highlighted the influences of insights from PPG’s other color- and coatings-oriented businesses. PPG’s global automotive OEM coatings business works closely with the company’s other businesses to gain insights related to coloring a wide range of products such as cell phones, laptop computers, large appliances, homes, buildings, airplanes, ships and heavy equipment. As such, the company has unique expertise in color trends.

“Color is one of the most basic means of human expression,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG Manager, Color Styling, Automotive Coatings. “The palette of colors being developed for the automotive segment is being influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, media, auto shows, color popularity and new pigment technology.”

PPG presented automotive designers with 70 new exterior shades for consideration in their designs of the 2014-2015 model years. These included colors such as Goldeluxe, a silver with an influence of a gold; White Nougat, a soft creamy white with a highlight sparkle; Muddy

Waters, a tone of brown with a pearl luster effect; Grape Spritz, a blue fused with a purple highlight; and Pot O’Gold, a light green with a hint of gold.

PPG also recently completed an online study of consumer opinions regarding the importance of coatings and color as they relate to new car purchases. Some key findings of the survey are:

  • 48 percent of the automotive consumers who responded said they generally choose products based on color.

  • 77 percent of the automotive consumers said exterior color was a factor in their automotive purchase decision.

  • Vehicle color is an important factor in the choice of vehicle, according to 30 percent of the automotive consumers.

  • The same percentage – about 31 percent – of the automotive consumers said they are willing to pay extra for a vehicle that expresses their personality through color.

  • Owners of large luxury cars, sporty cars and large premium SUVs said they are willing to pay the most extra get the color of their choice.

  • 40 percent of the automotive consumers said they would prefer a wider range of color choices.

“Our consumer research has clearly shown that color is critically important to car buyers,” Harrington said. “It’s why we do what we do. But more importantly, it’s why PPG puts so much effort into researching, evaluating and understanding trends as they relate to color.”

In addition to color trend forecasting, PPG is continuing to develop new paint technologies that offer automotive design options to enhance appearance and help automobile manufacturers differentiate their brands. For example, matte finishes have become increasingly popular at automotive shows. A matte finish eliminates the glossy sheen and light reflections on painted surfaces. It is a low-gloss finish to the vehicle’s paint that does not reflect as much light as a traditional glossy clearcoat finish. The matte effect enhances the lines of the vehicle and gives a satin, or anodized, high-tech look that defines the shape of the vehicle’s body. Matte finishes have become popular on niche vehicles such as premium sedans, sports cars and limited editions.

White, Silver Most Popular Car Colors in the World According to DuPont

White/white pearl has emerged as the fastest growing color to tie with silver as the world’s leading automotive color choices, according to the 2011 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report. A substantial increase in the popularity of white/white pearl globally in 2011 has enabled it to surpass longstanding rivals black and gray, to join silver at the top of the world color ranks in this year’s report. The DuPont report, in its 59th year, is the longest running and largest of its kind in the industry, includes automotive color popularity rankings and regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world.

In 2010, white/white pearl was tied for third with gray in the world color ranks with just 16 percent share, but its ongoing popularity in North America, combined with a surge in popularity in Europe, China, Korea, South America and South Africa, has helped to increase its position in 2011 to 22 percent globally. Black and gray dropped to third and fourth, respectively, in this year’s report with red and blue strengthening and holding positions in fifth and sixth place.

The top global vehicle colors in DuPont’s report are as follows:

  1. White/White Pearl and Silver – tie, 22 percent

  2. Black/Black Effect – 20 percent

  3. Gray – 13 percent

  4. Red – 7 percent

  5. Blue – 6 percent

  6. Brown/Beige – 5 percent

  7. Green – 2 percent

  8. Yellow/Gold – 1 percent

  9. Others – 2 percent

“While white/white pearl has historically been a popular color for vehicles, we’ve seen a bigger shift in its popularity this year than DuPont expected,” said Nancy Lockhart, DuPont Color Marketing Manager.

Silver and black have long been recognized in the top three for color popularity. However, in the past few years, white/white pearl has been steadily growing in popularity outside of North America. In 2011, it jumped by more than four percentage points, according to Lockhart. “There has been increased consumer acceptance for white, and our OEM customers are meeting consumer demand for the clean look it brings to vehicle design,” she said. “Silver and black were once the top colors of luxury, but white has increased in this area. The overall trend for casual luxury has spread to numerous vehicle types. The expectation to have a luxurious feel to the vehicle is globally sought. Classic white and pearlescent white effects are inspiring luxury design.

North America: White/White Pearl Continues its Lead, Followed by Black and Silver
White/white pearl, with 23 percent market share, dominated North American vehicle color for the fifth consecutive year, led by the truck/SUV segment, with 29 percent. The intermediate/CUV segment found white to rise from 16 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2011. Black/black effect captured 18 percent in the region, and led popularity in the luxury vehicle segment, while black effect continues to increase over solid black on luxury segments. Silver decreased with 16 percent share overall in the region, but continued to lead the compact segment in North America with 20 percent. Gray had 13 percent of the market and was in fourth position across all segments, and red maintained its fifth place rank with 10 percent of North American market share overall. High impact colors of bright blues and yellows with tempting hues of brown/beiges and greens continue to fill the region with colorful choices.

Europe: Luxury Segment Continues to be Dominated by Black
In Europe, black/black effect continued its popularity, with 25 percent share, led by the luxury/luxury SUV segment, with nearly 40 percent segment share. Black/black effect has maintained its leadership in the region since 2007. DuPont expects this trend to continue in the near future, especially regarding black effect. White/white pearl made a surprising surge of about five percentage points over 2010, to reach 20 percent share, which is primarily because of the popularity of solid white across all model segments.

“White also is seen as inspiration for the ecological megatrend in Europe, because it represents modern minimalism and future technology,” said Elke Dirks, DuPont color designer for Europe. “This trend also resulted in a considerable increase in white/white pearl in the luxury segment,” she explained.

Gray (18 percent) and silver (15 percent) decreased in popularity this year, and blue rounded out Europe’s top five colors with 7 percent of the vehicle market.

Silver Tops in China, South Korea; Japan led by White/White Pearl
Silver topped the Asia Pacific region overall with more than 25 percent share in the region and repeated its No. 1 position again this year in China and South Korea. White/white pearl was second overall in the Asia Pacific region, with slightly less than 25 percent of the market, led by Japan and India, where it ranked as the No. 1 color in those countries.

In China, silver topped the market with 26 percent share, though it fell seven percentage points from 2010. Black/black effect was No. 2 in China again this year, but dropped more than nine percentage points, as blue has increased in the small car segment and other colors are more widely used for vehicles in China. The decrease in black is evident as blue shows increased usage in the small car segment and other colors are more widely used.

Japan’s color popularity was led in this year’s report by white/white pearl, with 26 percent share, down from 28 percent in 2010. Black/black effect also saw a decrease, to 20 percent share, but it overtook the No. 2 spot from silver, which ranked No. 3 in this year’s report with 19 percent. Blue (9 percent) and gray (9 percent) completed the top five in Japan, with gray increasing 4 percent over last year. 3

“In the Asia Pacific region, we are seeing color trends shift to nature and the environment with the color blue,” according to Kumiko Ohmura, DuPont color marketing manager, Asia Pacific. “We’ve seen a decrease in black, as blue increased in the small car segment and other colors are more widely used in all segments,” she continued.

In South Korea, silver represented nearly 30 percent of the market in 2011, followed by white/white pearl at 25 percent. Black/black effect slipped to third position in South Korea with 15 percent, down nine percentage points from 2010.

In India, light shades continue to top the charts with white representing 28 percent of the market, silver following closely with 27 percent, and gray in third position in the country with just 9 percent share.

South America, Brazil: Silver Tops Vehicle Color Choice
Silver led the South American market with 30 percent share and also was the color of choice in Brazil. The second most popular color in South America, black/black effect, represented 19 percent of the region and white/white pearl was third in the region, with just 17 percent of the overall South America market, and similar share in Brazil.

White/White Pearl Tops South Africa; Russia Prefers Black
South Africa had the world’s highest market share of white/white pearl of any region or country analyzed by DuPont in this year’s report, with those vehicles representing 40 percent share. Silver followed, with nearly 22 percent market share, and black/black effect rounded out the top three with nearly 12 percent share.

In Russia, black/black effect is the most popular car color, with more than 23 percent market share. Silver ranked second, with just over 22 percent and white/white pearl represented nearly 15 percent of the market. Of note, green captured 7 percent of the market in Russia, and though its share decreased from 2010, it is still more than any other region included in the DuPont report.

DuPont 2011 Trend Show “Sense of Color” Showcases Emotions and Dynamics of Color
In addition to its 59th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, DuPont develops an annual color trend show to share with the world’s leading automotive manufacturers as they seek to develop color palettes for future vehicles. This year’s trend show, Sense of Color, showcases the emotions and dynamics of color. The senses play an important role in understanding if a color is loud or quiet, powerful or somber, exotic or sophisticated. DuPont Performance Coatings demonstrates the influences of colors by how tasteful, touching reminiscent or calming a color will react with consumer preferences and moods. The 2011 DuPont trend show is segmented into four groups, as follows:

“Déjà vu” – The colors in this group are intense and meaningful as DuPont remembers similar versions of these colors from the past. Rich greens and reds, like “Green Velvet” and “Flashback” are historic colors that symbolize thoughtfulness, heritage, comfort and stability. New sparkling effects and intense colors bring a modern fit to white and dark red. Modern shades of gray and beige bring relevance and quality to the hues, favorites for a mature market and exclusive vehicles. 4

“Sound of Silence” – Although the colors in this group are slightly muted and quiet, the calming colors featured in this group are determined to make their mark. The eco-friendly hybrids and energy-efficient technologies are thought provoking inspirations for the future. In this group, color is influenced by nature’s palette and the fast-growing world of technology. Sophisticated metallic, soft hues “Crescendo” and “Silent Auction” and earthy tones “Minor Gamut” and “Speechless” coexist in this group, and its dynamic make-up is a natural trend for global consideration.

“Touch of Blue” – This group focuses on the intense emotional attributes of color, inspired by the environment. Home accessories and interior design inspire some of the bright and rich blues in this group. Fashion inspires this group, as well, particularly in the pale blue and grayish undertones. The sense of familiarity and dramatic impulses of the light metallic and chromatic hues make this group popular among all vehicle segments, which includes contrasting sober shades like “Tactile Teal” and “Tickled Blue.” DuPont has tracked blue trends in all markets, including automotive to best new style spaces for the automotive segment. This demand is expected to grow as the global focus on blue increases.

“Matter of Taste”– The exaggerated and unusual colors featured in this group offer a creative menu of colors that spotlight international flavors. Powerful shades of yellow, green, pink and purple bring excitement to a fearless group of colors. Caramel, tangerine and other savory colors are eye-catching and perfect for new vehicle launches, brand colors, concept vehicles, limited editions and the aftermarket. They put the individual taste of the driver at the forefront and include colors “Sweet Caramel” and “Berry Fusion.”

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit