When it comes to trends and color forecasts, Pantone is the top deciding institution. Every year designers of all disciplines wait with baited breath to find out what their Color of the Year will be. Just take 2016’s Serenity Pink – its popularity in fashion, home décor and even packaging (i.e. Glossier) has been tremendously visible.

We sat down with Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color InstituteTM, to find out more about the trends ready to make a big impact in 2018.

First, we’re dying to know – what is Pantone’s Color of the Year?

The Pantone Color of the Year is such a great way to engage designers and creatives to have those all- important color conversations. I do hope we will surprise as well as inspire everyone with our choice for 2018. Please keep your eyes peeled for our Pantone Color of the Year 2018 announcement on December 7.

Tell us about what the trend forecast is for 2018?

The overarching color message for 2018 is this desire to break away from traditional thinking. Colors are revitalized, hues are mixed in novel combinations and new color directions express a fresh approach that will satisfy the consumers continuing demand for newness.

How does Pantone come up with these trends?

Pantone offers a variety of different color trend forecasts and reports. In order to create these different forecasts, our team at the Pantone Color Institute combs the world looking for new macro color and design trends and influences. This can include directional trade shows, the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and hot new artists, fashion as well as all areas of design, popular travel destinations, new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color as well as relevant social media platforms.

There are two trends in particular – “Far Fetched” and “Tech-Nique” – that seem particularly innovative. Could you tell us a little more about what they are and how they’ll impact design?

While each of these trends speaks to a future vision, they each impact design in a different way. “Far-Fetched” speaks to the connectedness of our global world and the blending and coming together of multicultural influences in unexpected ways, while Tech-Nique, with its vibrant colors and focus on material shine and light related technology display a modernity and cutting edge feel that takes us into the galaxy.

Some of the trends – “Playful” and “Intensity” — feel similar to some we’ve seen before but appear to have a new spin on them. Can you explain how?

Most trends are simply an evolution as opposed to drastic upheavals. In the case of “Playful”, our desire to have fun with color and creatively express ourselves continues to grow. Products and design that are quirky and out of the ordinary get our attention and put a smile on our face. “Intensity” speaks to color depth and highly evolved color combinations. No longer is flat color enough. We are looking to colors that have a certain complexity; colors that display strength; colors that create potent mixes.  

“Verdure” is based on nature, regrowth and renewal. It seems like earth-related trends have exploded these past couple years and are here to stay. How do you see it evolving?

Nature is here to stay. The more technology pervades our life, the more we seek balance in the natural world. Greens and blues will continue to remain strong. Earthier orange and brown tones. are becoming more important. Green infused yellow shades also coming into play here as well as the warm brownish taupes.

Is there a difference in how Pantone sees color-trends for fashion and interiors?

While color today is applies to lifestyle as a whole, what is different between color trends for fashion and interiors is the application and the approach.   When it comes to fashion one can wear something for a brief period of time and then put it back in the closet, whereas with interiors, for the most part you are living with that color choice every day so you may approach your purchase more carefully.   A color that may work for a dress may not work for a sofa even though both are focal points. For interiors that same color might be better used on a pillow as an accent.

Is there a particular way for our readers to find out more about these trends at AmericasMart?

I would suggest to your readers to attend our color presentation on trends and to visit those areas at the show which highlight where color and design trends are headed.

For those who’d like to be even more ahead of the curve, we recommend attending many of the talks at AmericasMart happening this January 9-16. There will also be trend related celebrations, such as the inauguration of the In Living Color exhibition, featuring vignettes by designers such as Brian Patrick Flynn, and the Color of the Year and Bloom Bash Parties on the 12th and 13th of January. You can check out more of the exciting events happening at AmericasMart here.