A look inside the 2022 color forecasting process

I was puzzled when my group leaned an earthy, cozy, coffee shop vibe. I wondered how I could be so “off” in my color forecast?

You’ve probably wondered why when you walk through the mall, you see the same colors over and over and over again. You think to yourself “lime green must be really popular this year”….and then you walk outside and a shiny new lime colored automobile goes flying by…

Well, actually, two years ago, a group of color professionals from a wide variety of industries from around the world got together—as they do every year—to collect and curate color trends to forecast the colors you are seeing now.

Color professionals from the paint, furniture, ink, packaging, textiles, automobiles industries put their heads—and their palettes—together to look for common themes and common stories about where the collective psyche will be in two years.
As I prepared for this process, it was my considered opinion that by 2022 we would be post-Covid, desperately seeking optimism, hope and the great outdoors. My proposed palette included clean, vibrant colors (yellow, orange, green and blue) and a couple of “new neutrals,” as I believe near grays have run their course and we’re not ready for a return to beige.

Imagine my confusion when my group leaned heavily toward earthy, cozy, coffee shop colors—moss, mocha and charcoal!!  I chalked it up to the fact that most of them were coming to the table from an interior design perspective rather than graphic design…but still wondered why I was the outlier.

Several weeks later, when palettes from around the globe had been curated down to four (North American, European, Latin American and Asia) I received the final color boards in the mail.

To my delight, the North American color board was made up of three distinct categories:

  • Pure, vibrant LOUD colors
  • Tranquil “new” neutrals
  • Earthy hues

The European forecast is similar, but decidedly more subdued.

The Latin American colors are also similar, but with a slightly more earthy spin.

And the Asian Pacific palette has a chalky feel.

When 2022 comes rolling around, be prepared to see outrageously vibrant tropical colors, alongside a pale sky blue and a delightful version of periwinkle.

For more information on the forecasting process or specific shades, give us a call.