I have not written on here in a very long time, so I will begin with a brief catch up of what I am doing now. I completed my Foundation Degree and I am now studying BA Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds Arts University; a dream degree for me. I am loving the course, I feel like it is so suited to me and I am loving all the new and exciting things I am learning. I have decided to try and write on here a bit more now because I think it will be a good way to express my thoughts and ideas within my own work during my degree. It will help me to reflect on my work continuously and also keep a record of how I think I am developing as a designer in my own practise, which will be great for me to look back on. Not only this but I would also like to use this space to just empty my brain a bit more of all the thoughts and feelings that build up in there. I’m a big thinker; I’m interested in a lot of things and I do enjoy thinking about my opinions on certain topics and deeply analysing in some cases. So instead of keeping all my thoughts locked up where they sometimes get lost and can sometimes become meaningless, I thought writing them down in some form would help me to not only express and discuss these thoughts/opinions but also writing things down can help to form new ideas and opinions; basically I just want to learn and expand my knowledge and thoughts on things.
So, ramble out of the way, onto the actual post…
Today I went to a Design, Colour and Trend Event with uni, it was the first of these types of things that I’d been to so I didn’t really know what to expect, but I LOVED IT. I find listening to what people are doing with their careers and potential pathways for myself, so inspiring and also motivational, because one day that could be me.
One of the talks particularly really interested me and gave me so much food for thought, which was from Marianne Shillingford, the Creative Director for Dulux. Colour for me has always been something so important in all the work I do, so hearing about how colours and the trends are created was something I really enjoyed.
She spoke about our relationship with colour as humans and how theres much more meaning behind the choices we make with colours than we may first realise. She told us how we as humans are always interested in nature as it connects us to the earth and so this is always inspiring us, even more so recently with the rise of the digital age as nature gives us the inner peace we all seem to be searching for now to get away from the buzz of social media. Another theory we were told about was that after a global disaster has happened such as an earthquake or a tsunami, straight away we may be sad however after this our human behaviour causes us to go into party/celebration mode. Because of this, after a global disaster has happened the colour trends often see a rise in highly saturated ‘party’ colours (I guess to make us feel better). On the other hand during periods when we are in economic stability we tend to opt for cooler more neutral tones because there is not that need to cheer ourselves up through colour. She also spoke about how colour is used to express how we feel, so if we are feeling particularly confident one day we are more likely to wear a coat that is bright magenta whereas if we are feeling unconfident with our mood we are more likely to wear something more dull. As someone who is really interested in psychology and how us as humans really work when it comes to thought processes, decisions etc I found this so interesting and it really showed me that colour isn’t just the mundane, meaningless stuff that we may sometimes think of it, theres actually a lot more to it.
Marianne told us briefly about the process that takes place when putting together and forecasting trends as this happens way way in advance. They talk to people from all sorts of specialisms and not just colour experts. This can include architects, artists, designers, but also social experts, economic experts and religious people. This is because everything that is going on in the world will affect the colour trends, since how we are feeling affects our choices in colour so much. I think it is really cool how a colour trend can somehow reflect on and represent what was going on in the world at the time and how there is a sort of timeline of what has happened through colour.
She then went on to talk us through the colour trend for this year. Firstly explaining the overriding ideas/ feelings that are currently prominent in the world. No surprise but this is politics and in particular a fear of politics. As well as this a fear of our lives as humans going forward in the digital age; for example being out smarted by robots, being unable to escape and switch off from social media, the pressure of social media. Therefore because of this we as humans are looking for quiet and stillness in day- to- day life, a way to escape the uneasy feeling of being in the current world. We are also developing a new way to define luxury. It is not necessarily what it was before; something of high quality, but luxury in the current climate could be the idea of stillness, escape, feeling of home and being offline. Therefore because of what is currently going on in the world, our needs and wants as humans are changing which then links to the sort of colours we want in our lives, hence affecting the colour trends.
Pictures taken from Dulux website.
So because we are wanting a way to escape, needing to press pause and retreat to a safe sanctuary in our homes, Dulux’s colour trend for this year aims to try and give that. The colours have very high grey contents, giving muted tones and nothing too saturated, to make us feel at home and at ease, to get away from the busy feeling of social media. The colours have a very natural, organic feel to them which signifies a return to the familiar (nature rather than digital) as a way of grounding ourselves. This really interested me because I know that the rise of the digital world is definitely affecting us in many ways we don’t realise, but for it to even affect the colours that we choose to decorate our homes with; that just made me think, everything has a purpose.
Overall like I’ve probably said many times, the talk was so interesting to me and inspired me massively. The colour and trend industry is a place I really could see myself being placed in the future as I am so passionate and interested by it. Colour has more to it than people think, us as humans must have a reason as to why we pick anything and so the fact that our psychology/mental state/mood affects the way we choose and use colour completely makes sense to me. How using certain colours in our homes can make you feel a certain way and even affect our mental wellbeing/have health benefits is an amazing thing.
Sorry for the rambley nature of this post, but thanks to Marianne from Dulux for a great talk!