Now Trending: Color!?

Picture of ice cubes over a red background.
Friday, May 29, 2020

In the first segment of our two-part blog series on color trends and their role in the consumer buying process, we provided background on an exciting research project we embarked on with color and trend forecaster Laura Perryman.

In this post, we take a closer look at the three overarching global design trends that Perryman uncovered. Each of these trends have become part of our design team’s inspirational toolkit as we work to develop exciting new decorative finishes and effects that we can bring to our customers.


Incognito’ can be described as unobtrusive and reassuring underpinned by a “less is more” feeling. Driving this trend is the assertion that “consumers prefer to navigate undercover to purchase freely without pressure. Products and branding sweep away conventional signifiers of age, race, gender, and style.”

Understated luxury is a hallmark of this trend, which can be communicated using unique but subtle surface effects to deliver experiences with the following attributes:

  • Anonymous and discreet?
  • Overtly neutral?
  • Unbranded and non-gendered?
  • Immersive darkness?
  • Refined tactility?
  • New minimal?
  • Illusory effects?

From a color perspective, cool and warm neutrals comingle with blue-based tones of mint green and petrol to create depth and convey a sense of tranquility. An industrial undertone travels through the look, which is accentuated with clean lines and smooth surfaces.?

The addition of lustrous effects will help pique the interest of consumers but not be distracting. Sleek chrome is key to this trend, giving a nod to both technology and innovation. Complementary finishes include ‘Tactile Chroma,’ which plays with contrasts of color and sheen to create an aura of elegant simplicity while the dark shimmering shades of ‘Deep Lustre’ add drama to captivate consumers.

Human Nature?

The ‘Human Nature’ trend focuses on the beauty of difference within Earth’s natural landscape and being mindful of nature and respecting its rhythm and flow. It recognizes the keen ecological awareness of the next generation of consumers and that they wish to consume goods that take greater care of the environment into account.

This trend is wholesome and human with colors and textures that instill emotional connections with our surroundings and can be associated with themes such as:

  • A sense of authenticity?
  • Surfaces formed over time?
  • Gentle aesthetics?
  • Naturally dry?
  • Worn away color
  • Raw tactility
  • Beautiful imperfections??

When it comes to packaging, the focus on appreciating variations in the environment inspires unique, multi-layered designs that draw consumers in while mineral, gritty surfaces lend themselves to finishes and effects that reflect the natural landscape. Oxidized mineral effects can give the appearance of weathering over time, while colors like rich, deep earth tones and powdery pale neutrals embrace the diversity of nature.

Radical Eco

?The ‘Radical Eco’ trend bursts with energy and optimism and organic offerings inspire dynamic aesthetics. The key drivers for this trend were identified as “Millennial and Gen Z consumers that approach eco-consciousness with joy and playfulness and who are seeking fun, organic based products and experiences.” Hallmarks of this trend include:

  • Bursts of raw color?
  • Vegan doesn’t mean drab?
  • Super foods?
  • 100% natural ingredients?
  • Organic saturation?
  • Mouth-watering flavors
  • Fresh and vibrant surfaces

When it comes to package decoration, natural ingredients can be echoed with a variety of effects, from tactile coatings to mouth-watering finishes. Colors relating to this trend have a natural vibrancy, inspired by fresh organic produce with beetroot purple, strawberry red and carrot orange packing a punch. Effects and finishes of these colors have a natural transparency, with inspiration taken from the juices of freshly cut fruit.

Taking Action

Consumer trends can sometimes hide in plain sight, but by broadening horizons and seeking input from specialists such as Perryman, we are able to generate exciting new technologies that deepen our portfolio and take our ability to help customers differentiate themselves in the market to new heights. The first tangible outcome of the collaboration with Perryman is a new promotional package (or gifting tin) that captures the Human Nature trend. We look forward o launching other concept packages based on this exciting research.