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Clariant Presents ColorForward® Automotive 2018

Clariant Presents ColorForward® Automotive 2018.(Photo: Clariant)

  • 3rd edition adds carpet samples, textured plaques
  • Consumers trends suggest disappointment but also determination
  • Color trends customized for car designers
Muttenz, February 22, 2017 – Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has released the Automotive Edition of ColorForward® 2018. This, the third edition of the color/trend analysis tool for automotive designers and marketers, includes a new prototype format: carpet and textured plaques.

Clariant's groundbreaking ColorForward trend-analysis and color-design tool has been released every year since 2006 to help plastic product designers and marketing professionals make more informed color choices. It presents four global societal trends that can be expected to influence consumers and then links them to colors that evoke an emotional response related to each trend. For the last three years, ColorForward Automotive has focused on the needs and interests of that market.

"This year," explains Roberto Romanin, Clariant ColorWorks® Graphic Designer, "we redesigned the presentation to better show OEM designers how consumer trends can be translated into colors and then how the colors can be used in automotive applications. From the 2o colors in the 2018 palette, we singled out those that our Automotive Team felt are most suited to their industry and then we present them in materials and shapes that reflect the surfaces and textures common in car design."

Because colors don't always look the same when produced in different materials, the 2018 colors are presented in forms that relate to different automotive components:

  • Large plastic plaques, some of which are textured to simulate interior surfaces
  • Small "concept" cars molded in plastic to render curved surfaces
  • Leather swatches (new in last year's edition) for upholstery
  • Carpet samples, which are a new addition for 2018

The carpet samples were developed in partnership with the Performance Yarn Business Area of Radici Group, Bergamo, Italy. A major producer of synthetic fibers, Radici has a state-of-the-art prototyping machine that is able to make carpet samples in minutes. It was ideal for trying out various color combinations and producing the prototypes in the ColorForward Automotive presentation kit.

All four of the trends identified in ColorForward 2018 reflect an over-arching feeling of sadness, fear and distrust of the conventional world as-it-is. This melancholy mood is evident in the fact that all the colors are toned down and a little bit grey. At the same time, however, there is a sense of resolve… a determination to endure and a cautious optimism that people can make a difference and things will get better over time, so many of the colors are also warm, organic and hopeful.

The ColorForward 2018 trends and colors include:

The Newmorrow trend theme reflects a sort of yin-yang mood among consumers. On the one hand, they believe the "system" is rotten; unable to change economic and social conditions that have become intolerable. On the other hand, there is also a conviction that change is still possible… not by government but from grass-roots efforts of individuals and small groups. This change, it is understood, will come only slowly and so there is a need for "cathedral thinking." Just as it took the work of generations to build the huge medieval churches of Europe, changing and improving a corrupt system requires unselfish commitment, a long-term vision and faith that the final objective can be achieved in the end.

It is not surprising then, that the Newmorrow color palette includes a brownish green called Primordial Soup. It prompts references to sewage and death and some have referred to it as "the ugliest color in the world," but it also reminds us of the verdant, rich biological goop that spawned life as we know it.

Dissatisfaction with conventional ways of living also stands behind the LongitudeLatitudeAttitude trend theme. It acknowledges that a growing number of human beings are choosing to have no fixed address. These are the "new nomads." Many are artists, musicians or creative entrepreneurs, but what they really have in common is the desire for a minimalist, wandering lifestyle, limiting their possessions to what they can conveniently carry. These New World citizens cherish the flexibility of a lifestyle that embraces their passion for life on the move and that immerses them in a fusion of ethnicities and interests.

The colors of LongitudeLatitudeAttitude are Bohemian. They range from a purplish fucsia, called Nomadness, a warm, almost-orange yellow named Kaleido tribe, and grey blue called Cirrus aviaticus after the contrails of jet planes against the otherwise cloudless sky.

Through the mirror
Somewhere along the way, many consumers began to experience unpleasant feelings of emptiness related to their mainstream lifestyles. There is a sense that they have lost touch with their inner selves or, perhaps, never really considered that inner self as they felt their way through their lives. The trend theme named Through the Mirror attempts to capture a sense of ennui -- of being adrift in a modern world while, at the same time, knowing that a spiritual reawakening is possible. The yoga practice of त्राटक inspires the pearl orange color in the Through the Mirror palette. This Sanskrit phrase is pronounced 'trataka' and means to gaze steadily at a fixed spot in order to focus the mind inward, blanking out visual perception and withdrawing from the external world.

Out from the gloom that seems to lie behind the other trends described above, there comes the story about the validation of a group of people long stereotyped as a bunch of quirky, overly intellectual misfits – the "nerds." The Nerdylicious trend theme sees these brainiacs finding acceptance as innovators in a complex world, with continuous curiosity and a passion for exploring new ideas and complex puzzles.

Although the colors of Nerdylicious are soft and subdued like most in the other trend groups, they are nevertheless the brightest and most optimistic in the 2018 palette. For instance, Lightning Boot is a transparent almost-orange yellow that is reminiscent of LED lights on a control panel, while Alberting out! is a slightly dirty optical white -- a tribute to the ultimate nerd, Albert Einstein. To learn more about ColorForward, please visit Clariant also offers seminars at its four ColorWorks locations as well as at selected conferences and at customer sites.

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