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Colour use, as in fashion, is always changing and shifting; and it is good to understand the direction in which it is moving. The international ColourFuturesT team is a group of consultants from around the globe, both internal and external to ICI, who meet together to forecast evolving trends in colour and design.
From their travel and observations of upcoming design, architecture, fashion, art and street influences, they identify global design themes and colour movements.
The 2008 Colour Futures book is the fifth that ICI has produced. And over this time there has been a significant shift in the colours that reflect the prevailing mood.
Over the next year the predominant colour is predicted to be a warm expressive yellow. A colour that conveys both respect for the past and optimism for the future.
2008 sees a move towards colours that are well defined and unambiguous. In recent years we have seen greens blurring into yellows etc, but this year returns to clear definitions between each hue area.
Shades are easy to live with, drawing their inspiration from nature and the landscape: gone are some of the more outrageous synthetic shades of recent years. The palettes have a realistic and sustainable feel; colours that have a sense of solidity and permanence, but which are combined in new and unexpected ways.
The four strongest trends identified by our ColourFutures experts for 2008 have been named 'Explorer', 'Growing Respect', 'Ebb & Flow' and 'Art Form'.
For each theme, an associated palette of colours is proposed.
While not a colour scheme in themselves, they can be used as a starting point for a project based around the chosen theme.
This theme is about travel to collect experience not banal tourism; a blend of different cultures which, like fusion music, give a new perspective; a youthful adventure to 'capture the moment'.
The palette perfectly captures this diverse mixture of influences; sometimes plastic, sometimes natural, sometimes chalky - it is used with a sense of joyous abandon without due concern as to whether the combinations are 'tasteful' or not.
This theme emerges from the yearning for a time when life was simpler and communities were supportive and sustainable.
This sense of responsible simplicity and respect is reflected in a palette that balances the weathered mid-tones of bark, shale, rust and mustard with the paler botanical shades of pollen, apple and moss.
This theme is inspired by the molecular aspects of water in terms of its movement, colour and reflectivity and its ability to carve out organic forms of great sculptural complexity and beauty.
These shades are both ultra contemporary and timeless - a layering of tones and hues that allow our imagination to swim free.
This theme is inspired by the Modernist movement of the last century and Bauhaus in particular. Warm dusty greys are offset by hints of yellow - lemon, mustard and mimosa. Their use is disciplined and the overall effect is one of seamless, open and welcoming simplicity that offers a visually challenging concept of stillness.
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