How Britton Forecasts Color Trends

September 20, 2019

Woman posing on photo shoot set

We Mingle at Trade Shows, Leverage Our Proximity to Taste Makers, and Trust In Our Partners at the Color Marketing Group To Bring Color Expertise To Our Clients. 

Color is the foundation of all the work we do at Britton Marketing & Design Group. We helped Vera Bradley, our first ever client, continue to capture the hearts of its loyal customers by injecting more and more ravishing colors, season after season, into our photo shoots for the brand’s catalogs, advertising, social media, and store design. We’ve also teamed up with many paints brands, including Dutch Boy and Pratt & Lambert, to bring their eye-catching palettes of color to more consumers through revitalized in-store merchandising, as well as digital content about the latest design and color trends.

We are often asked by clients how we developed such a deep expertise in color, especially in the fashion and home goods categories. While much of it comes from our more than a decade of experience working with color-trended consumer goods, we do rely on a few trusted resources and methods to make sure we stay on top of the latest color trends.

Color is the foundation of all the work we do at Britton Marketing & Design Group.

Large interior wooden closet

What Stays In Vegas Doesn’t Stay In Vegas

Every winter and spring, the BMDG team travels to trade shows all across the country in search of the latest trends in color and consumer goods. Often, this means getting the chance to escape chilly temperatures in the Midwest and spend a few weeks in sunny Las Vegas. During our stay in Vegas this past year, we attended the International Surface Event, which focuses on flooring, countertops, and other home surfaces, as well as the MAGIC fashion expo and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. Other trips included the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishing Market, the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, and NeoCon, also in Chicago, which is the most important commercial design show in the world.

This year we noticed the popularity of natural colors for vinyl flooring at the International Surface Event. Homeowners want to capture the authentic look and feel of objects found in the natural world, but also have the stress-free maintenance of vinyl. The colors that were most popular were those that looked soft and unfinished: light naturals and grey-based color palettes. One emerging company rubbed actual metals, such as copper and brass, into the hardwood for a new architectural aesthetic.

At the International Home +Housewares Show in Chicago, we noticed so many matte pastels brightening up booths, whether they were used on kettles or skillets. Metallics were still very popular, but it was great to see the pearlescent metallics offered by Le Creuset. Overall, a wider range of colors was on display for even the most mundane household items, such as the kitchen scissors from Faberware.

According to Amy Reff, Creative Director at BMDG, “Attending trade shows—even those that feel like an unlikely or unexpected fit—gives us an opportunity to see brands spotlighting their products and services in a single location. It’s a great chance to observe and process bigger upcoming trends as a whole that those brands might not even realize they’re a part of (yet). Sometimes this includes new products, sometimes it might be an innovative display.”

 

“Color is reactionary. It has an emotional connection with the consumer that reflects his or her desires.”

Aerial Photograph of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Keeping Our Eyes Open—Everywhere

Of course, you don’t have to travel to Las Vegas or Chicago, or even to New York City or Los Angeles, to get a sense of what’s happening in the world of color. All you have to do is keep your eyes open as you go about your normal day—and really look.

One of benefits of BMDG’s location—in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the heart of what we call the New American Middle—is our proximity to so many manufacturers of consumer goods. From Proctor & Gamble down in Cincinnati to KitchenAid up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, to the brands of Sherwin-Williams Paints in Cleveland, we keep a close eye on what all these industry taste makers are up to (and many of them are our clients), especially when it comes to color. And that’s not to mention the “RV Capital of the World” of Elkhart, Indiana, or the Big Three automotive companies up the road in Detroit, all of which pay close attention to the colors consumers are asking for—or don’t know to ask for yet.

Danielle Hartmann, an Art Director at BMDG, says, “To me, color is reactionary. It has an emotional connection with the consumer that reflects his or her desires. Living in a progressive city in the Midwest, I often find color trends emerging through architecture, textiles, and nature. Living in a state of constant pressure both in the digital and physical world, we often find grounding in our roots—moving away from the grays and incorporating more color that feels primitive and empowering.”

For years, BMDG has had a close relationship with Color Marketing Group, a professional association of designers, marketers, color scientists, consultants, educators, and artists, all of whom come together to discuss and exchange ideas on the latest color trends.

For years, BMDG has had a close relationship with Color Marketing Group, a professional association of designers, marketers, color scientists, consultants, educators, and artists, all of whom come together to discuss and exchange ideas on the latest color trends.

Cacti and desert landscape of Tucson, Arizona

Trust in Color Marketing Group

For years, BMDG has had a close relationship with Color Marketing Group, a professional association of designers, marketers, color scientists, consultants, educators, and artists, all of whom come together to discuss and exchange ideas on the latest color trends. Every year, CMG brings all of these color professionals together for its annual International Summit.

This year’s summit will be held in November in Tucson, Arizona. BMDG is usually involved in the creative and marketing for the event, and this year we designed the summit’s logo, which was inspired by this year’s theme: Radiant Mirage, a reference to the illusion of water that is often seen in the deserts around Tucson.

The CMG International Summit is a crucial building block for all the color expertise we offer to our clients.

“What I have loved about attending Color Marketing Group’s International Summit is the diversity in the collection of professionals that get together,” says Molly Stronczek, Senior Art Director at BMDG. “It’s important to hear different perspectives when discussing future trends and how they apply to colors, materials, and finishes because everyone brings their own expertise and knowledge to the table. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about industry innovations and forecasted color trends for the years to come, and how they affect different areas of the world.”

To join us at the 2019 International Summit, visit CMG’s website and sign up.

Photos: International Housewares

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