Today I thought I would take another peep into the world of paint. Blue, blue, electric blue…
These kind of things don’t go out of date so quickly so I’ll commence with the over-arching story that in 2017 BASF predicts that blue will be a trending colour. “Blue continues to gain strength as an automotive color,” Paul Czornij, head of design for automotive paint supplier BASF’s Color Excellence Group, said. “It has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things.”
Czornij expects the colour to join white and other neutrals as the most popular color among car buyers. The effects of technology on a person’s mood, which then impacts expression, also inspired this year’s color compilation, according to Czornij (source ANE).
In response to this, I had a look at the new car launches from a variety of websites and picked out all the blues (the Grandland above is not from the Paris show, though). Sure enough there appeared a noticeable number of blue vehicles, some new and some revisions.
This summer BASF moved a little further into the future, offering Atomium Blue as a hot pick for buyers in 2022. Whereas in 2017 BASF suggested the interest in blue related to an attraction to nature, in 2018 the reason cited was “thanks to your upwardly trending interest in science and space travel.”
The same colour trend is explained this way: “Dark colours, blue hues and complex effects represent the omnipresence of technology” (source).
BASF and PPG do dominate the search results for colour trend research. I had to dig down to page two of the Google search to find the blog of hard-working Paul Tan where one can read Nippon Paint’s trend colours.
That review seemed to be derived from user insights as well as expert comments. It is also a colour review focused on the Far East. The Transient Glow colour range were what I think of as Cuban and S American colours: bright yellows, purples, vivid blues. Essential Balance comprised warm tones and warmish metallics, something like the gold/beige combinations of the US market in the 1990s.
Seeking Adventure (above) is rather harder to describe: I see a touch of Arizona in this though the vivid lime green and the two blues are not in keeping with the palette. The palette Conscious Being (below)…
…is a more conventional range of cool blues and metallics. The bright blue known as lush ultramarine would be very interesting if it was a non-metallic.
Further digging in the sub-strata of the theme produced this nugget, from Akso Nobel: it’s about the Colour of the Year 2019: “Last year, many of us were left unsettled by global events, so we closed our doors to retreat and regroup. Now we feel ready to throw everything open and face the world again. Our trend research shows that people are experiencing a renewed sense of energy, optimism and purpose. There’s a desire to reach out, engage with others, to make things better and “be the change”. That can be anything from marching for women’s rights and fishing plastic out of the ocean, to small acts of neighborly kindness. People are ready to seize the moment.” That colour is spiced honey. It’s not an automotive, it’s a domestic wall-paint looking very like beige.
In something of a contrast, the AARP views orange as this year’s hot colour, so to speak. So, that means between now and 2021, orange has to creep in. The AARP showed six versions of orange already available in the catalogues: the New Beetle in a “habanero hue”, a Lamborghini in pumpkin orange, a Corvette in Sebring orange, a Honda in orange fury, a Renegade in orange fury and a BMW X2 in sunset orange. I don’t think the AARP’s view is more than the opinion of one author though.
Dezeen provides more substantial research from WSGN, the trend forecasting service. Neo-mint is the colour for 2020, they say. “According to the trend forecaster, which is headquartered in London, neo mint is a gender-neutral colour with “an oxygenating, fresh tone that aligns science and technology with nature”. Again, it’s not an automotive colour though.
Research on interior automotive colours is even more scant. Possibly this is because it is subsumed under general colour trend work. Kneitz, an Austrian fabric firm, digested the colours shown at Geneva and described it as a major source of inspiration. This seems to me to be reactive. For what it is worth, they were interested in the Rolls-Royce Phantom with a colour called Whispered Muse and the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge interior (white and skin beige).
The overall impression I get from all of this is that the data is of widely variable quality and whatever happens most cars will be white, grey metallic or black.
Bucking the blue trend: the Skoda Karoq, left until last. One other thing is that I have begun to see more bright metallic red-blue cars on the streets here, most noticeably the Grandland that introduces this article. Even under the dull light of autumn Jutland it stands out nicely.