Trend Letter 1, 2010

Aug 06, 2010


The ebb and flow of home decor trends has always kept us searching for the latest and freshest palettes.  Now,

as we come into a new season, we look towards new colors, varied tones, and updated looks to keep us on the

cutting edge of the art industry.

As we slowly, and cautiously, look ahead at a more promising economic future, our optimism grows. The safer,more comforting colors of the last several years will fade into the background a bit and make way for a new generation of color.  This is one of the more dramatic shifts of the last several years.  We’ll see overall color palettes brighten and darker, muted tones become accents rather than main colors.  Citrus colors play an important roll in this newer, brighter way of life.  One of the newest introductions is coral – a tone that hovers between both red and orange.  Yellow has shown its form subtly in recent months, but will continue to grow in popularity when paired with other emerging citrus hues. 

Of course, on the cooler side of the color palette we find blue and purple still making

headway.  The blues are fresh and watery while the purple flirts with reddish hues to look

like plum.  Green stakes its claim in both the warm and cool sides of the palette.  It plays on

the blue side in aqua and turquoise and becomes acidic when mixed with shades of yellow.


Amongst all these bright, fresh hues, we still have a need for the basics that ground us. 

Chocolate brown, sandy taupe, and cool gray still work as a strong backdrop to showcase a

newer palette.  Pantone’s seasonal color forecast features strong neutrals like Oyster Gray

and Chocolate Truffle mixed with punchy tones like Purple Orchid, Lagoon, and Lipstick Red.


While establishing the color palette is certainly the most dominant aspect of a trend, using it

properly is still hugely important to its success.  Although we’re beginning to see a rise in optimism,consumers are still being incredibly cautious in their purchases.  Consumers will

want to incorporate the newer trends with their existing ones and be able to blend the two

together.  This is more of a dabble in new trends rather than plunging in headfirst.  So to

satisfy the consumer’s desire for a new look, it’s smart to incorporate it in with some of the

old stand-bys.



Using these trend right colors with popular subject matter is the ace-in-the-hole.  Natural elements continue to be a highly popular category.  Elements like leaves, trees, and flowers have been strong sellers for several trend cycles and are still in the spotlight.  Slightly newer on the scene are the birds, butterflies, and dragonflies that have been hot recently across many product categories.  The embellishments and enhancements that the last trend cycles featured have given way to more simplistic sophistication with subtle accents.








We think of trends in terms of how we live our lives. Throughout history, in times of struggle the colors were deeper, darker, and more muted.  In more hopeful times, the colors we surround ourselves with become brighter, more cheerful, and more saturated.  We’re now living in a time more focused on nature, fresher eating, and healthier living.  This is where these citrus and farm fresh colors of veggies, fruits, and open pastures help illustrate our way of life.

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Trend-right for 2009

Apr 08, 2009

Well, we’ve begun a new year once again. 2009 snuck right up and has brought with it a flurry of change and revamping. With the current economic meltdown, a new president, and all the usual changes a new year brings, we need to position ourselves in a new way. The times are calling for change, and 2009 is just the year to do that.

It’s no secret that the slipping economy is forcing everyone to change their methods. Consumers are tightening their collective belt, which is forcing retailers to be smarter and more selective in their offerings. This spikes the competition for shelf space, making those of us in the art industry become even smarter and more selective in our artwork. We need to always be the apple of the buyer’s eye. How do we do this? Why, by continuing to produce attractive, useful, and trend-right artwork of course!

So let’s start with the basics – color. No matter what the image is, color is always key. Even the most simple of images can become a best seller if it has the right colors. The palettes for 2009 are not vastly different from those of 2008. In fact, many of the colors are still the same, it’s just the shades and manner in which they are used that’s changing. The trend shift from year to year isn’t drastic, as if a curtain drops on one palette December 31st, and opens to an entirely new set of colors on January 1st. It’s more of a morphing as months pass, and this year is no different.

The eco-palette remains much the same with one of the few changes being the predominance of blue. Various shades of blue have been a part of this palette for some time, but used mostly as an accent. Now this chameleon-like color is pushing to the forefront and becoming a main color option. Shades from powder and sky blue all the way to indigo and navy are being used along with hues that even border purple. These blues are also invading the green’s territory and creating mixes of teal, aqua, and turquoise as popular colors for this earth-friendly palette. There is also more variety rising in the green hues with newer, fresher shades emerging. Here is where we see the presence of yellow coming into focus. Along with an acidic yellow-green, we see grass green, basil, and emerald popping up. These tones are weighted and given a more earthy feel when paired with chocolate, cream, or honey. These colors are immensely versatile, being used in soft combinations for a subtle spa feel or bright and citrusy for a colorful kitchen. This palette is also where pastels can play a role – buttery yellow, powder blue and soft mint green complement the deeper jewel tones to make up striking color combos.


Spice colors continue to stay strong in the market with the dominant roles changing slightly. Orange seems to be the bigger player, stepping into the leading role that red had played for so long. Orange has gone from Halloween-like to sophisticated and trendy. Rich paprika and coral hues are growing in popularity and will remain strong for some time. Even raspberry flavors will serve as updated shades in this combination, adding some pop to the ochres that rule this palette. Tones of copper, gold and brass fit well with this palette, keeping the metallic story going into 2009. This is where the global influence fits in quite well. Metallics combined with rich, jewel toned golds, oranges, and purples make for a perfect global feel. Look for ethnic patterns in these shades, everything from African animal prints, to Asian florals, to Indian tapestry styles. These deeper tones are comfort colors, and viewed as safe and strong.



In keeping with the current trends, neutrals are certainly not to be outdone. Black & white, a popular combo about a year ago, has resurfaced a bit and is once again working well. Grays of all shades, beige, tan, and browns still dominate as neutrals. These colors make for great combinations on their own or when paired with pops of more vibrant colors from other palettes. You’ll see grays being paired with yellows and browns combining with aqua and blue as popular combos. Even standing alone, these neutral colors create sophisticated, quiet images with a softer feel. This palette is a great one for an antiqued, nostalgic look. A trend in the licensing industry is that of the Victorian era; aged metals, distressed woods, and dirty-washed porcelains. Done in neutrals, this look has an incredibly vintage look. These colors also denote thoughts of natural, organic, and pure.


Last but not Least. So let’s kick this new year off right! By staying in tune with the current trends and thinking ahead, we can be sure to deliver exactly what consumers are looking for. Art is about creating and making a statement, but in our commercial industry, it’s also about meeting the customer’s demands. We have the tools and information, and now we’re ready for the challenge!


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