The Joy Of Colour
Jane Boddy – European Creative Contributor – The Pantone Institute
In my years of working in the design world, I have seen colour become one of the most talked about topics. Across the fashion industry, interiors and product design from tech to automotive; the list is endless. In my opinion it was the birth of millennial pink in 2016 that raised the profile of colour as a statement. I love what millennial pink has done for colour and made it a hot topic.
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Whilst there has always been endless talk and deliberation about the key colours for each season, one of the biggest topics over the past few years is how the different colours make us feel. A prime example is yellow renowned for its feel good factor. It embodies a sense of joy happiness, cheerfulness and most importantly optimism. The wavelength of yellow is particularly long which makes one of the most powerful of psychological meanings when we talk about colour psychology. It is also one of the easiest colours to see.
The ability of colour to project feelings, emotions and identity cannot be underestimated. It has the power to create connections and to uplift mood. Our world has become both smaller and larger as we live locally but experience the wider world digitally. It can help us switch between moods, matching our sense of vitality or creating a feeling of calm.
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The feel good aspect of colour is something I am often asked about. Joyful colours are trending both within fashion beauty and interiors and there is a real confidence out there to embody their use. This trend that has been developing through the seasons but now due to the pandemic colour is a tool to help lift our spirits and make us feel good both at present and for the future.
What makes this use of colour new and fresh is not the use of a singular colour. The real joy comes from the combinations and for me it's often about combining colours which would not traditionally sit together. Unexpected colour combinations which are really cool colours separately, but which might have once felt a little bit uncomfortable, now thrive together.
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One of the most important colour groups for 2021 are the softened brights. These tones are playful, juicy and cannot avoid making you smile but they are a lifetime away from the harsher brights from previous seasons such as Gen Z yellow. Pantone colours Strawberry Pink, Bird of Paradise Citrus and Pastel Lilac, are great examples.
The freshest way to use these is with another key group now developing as a trend for 2021 and which I call acid tones. Pantone’s Lime Sherbet and Evening Primrose are two of my favourite examples of these tones. They are on the cusp of being a Neon, but are soft and fresh.
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All these colours are really on trend right now. They can appear a little scary on their own but when mixed with the softened brights they harmonise in a really modern way.
This is a time to embrace colour, and use it as a powerful tool What’s not to love.