Heads-up: The color green to return in 2020

Beginning a new plastic packaging design project? If so, consider what colors are forecast to be trending in 2020.

Clariant color-trend watchers see a shift to cooler blues and greens in the palette they developed for 2020.
Clariant color-trend watchers see a shift to cooler blues and greens in the palette they developed for 2020.

Specialty chemical company Clariant has released “ColorForward2020,” the 14th edition of its annual color forecasting guide for the plastics industry. While consumer preferences have been trending toward warmer tones in recent years, Clariant color-trend watchers see a shift to cooler blues and greens in the palette they developed for 2020. In fact, of the 20 colors in the latest edition ofColorForward, five of them are different shades of green. Some are genuine and natural looking, while others seem more artificial or “digital.”

That doesn’t mean the 2020 trend colors don’t include some warmth, says Judith van Vliet, ColorWorks Designer and a leader of the ColorForward team. There are a range of reds, yellows, and even a couple of oranges. These tend to be bright and, in many cases, translucent or tuned up with special effect pigments.

“There are a lot of things going on in the world these days,” van Vliet explains. “Not all of them are negative, but the sheer volume of ideas, images, and information confronting us, and the speed at which it comes at us, can seem overwhelming. Instead of trying to escape, which often seems impossible, people are seeking ways to harden themselves as a sort of emotional self-defense. We see other trends springing from developments in gene modification, increasing surveillance and loss of privacy, and the potential for ultra-high-speed travel.”

The view from Singapore
The ColorForward workshop was held this year at the Clariant ColorWorks center in Singapore. As they have every year since 2006, an international team of Clariant specialists came together for a week-long series of creative exercises aimed at defining four global trend themes that can be expected to influence consumers in the near and mid-term future, and selecting colors or color combinations that evoke an emotional response related to each trend. The result is a tool that can be used to help plastic product designers and marketing professionals make more informed color choices.

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