Vintage design, the Hygge movement, Palm Springs and… empathetic design? Dulux’s Colour Planning and Communications Manager, Andrea Lucena-Orr, shares the big ideas behind this year’s trending palettes.
September 18th, 2017
In the modern day, ideas and culture are blending and clashing more and more. In such a fascinating landscape for creation, it’s no surprise that art, culture and design are being influenced by the changing nature of our 21st century way of living.
Human connection during a climate of discontent provides a key inspiration for one of four concepts in the 2018 Dulux Colour Forecast, created by Andrea Lucena-Orr and creative director Bree Leech.
Days before Milan Design Week, Andrea and Bree meet with the European division of the Colour Marketing Group to discuss underlying factors shaping current trends. This worldwide association comprises professionals from diverse industries, including fashion, automobile design, leather and plastic – all unified by the manufacture and expertise in colour.
“We talk about what is on people’s minds, what factors affect where colour is going, and what’s happening from a tech and pigment perspective,” says Andrea. “It really does help us understand the fundamentals behind why colours shift.”
The Kinship palette, with its warmth and earthiness, takes a cue from the emergence of a more active and socially-engaged public awareness.
“There is so much going on in the world – people want to be kind again. A sense of solidarity is really coming back, particularly among the younger generation,” says Andrea.
The Essential theme, which touches on the Nordic slow-living philosophy of Hygge, is a fittingly tactile one, including raw finishes, organic materials and imperfect items. ‘Balance’ being the main title of this year’s forecast, this is a concept which advocates for it in our relationship with tech – unplugging from our phones, and living in a more connected way.
“It’s about slowing things down and tuning into the details. People don’t want things to look glossy and new these days,” says Andrea. “Things need to be more lived in, with a bit of a story.”
Speaking to a society which fairly fetishises the globetrotter lifestyle is the Escapade colour range. This brings in a laid-back Miami vibe, and references the pop-culture hues of the Nineties. Inspiration also came from a stellar Louis Vuitton installation at Milan, set in a beautiful old mansion, filled with sand and a palm tree.
“It was all about selecting colours that are fun and don’t take themselves too seriously,” says Andrea. And yes, Millennial Pink makes an appearance.
Finally, the jewel-tones in the Reflect theme evoke the throwback culture of retro vintage, and the concept of design legacy.
“At Milan this year, there were quite a few major design houses celebrating big anniversaries,” says Andrea. “Kartell, for instance, re-launched pieces from their first collection in different colourways to celebrate their 50th year. So it’s all about looking back while moving forward.”
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