2017 Trend forecasting
The start of the year has shown continuations of many trends that have been prevalent in previous years, however there are several trends that have evolved into something new entirely. There has been a refresh on trends that speak to humanist qualities, that I believe reflects the current cultural subconscious.
2017 will be a year full of contradictions
In most ways, palettes and in practice, these trends are more humble, hand-hewn and natural. However, there is a striking presence that contrasts with that notion and is portrayed by flashy colors, textures, and whiplash juxtaposition. It could be considered extreme, but I think it communicates that we are living in a time where we are experimenting with our boundaries. In a lot of ways, 2017 will be a year without compromise, yet full of contradictions. The common thread found within each of these forecasts is optimism. There is a great possibility of a better future, but will get messy in the process.
So how can neutrals be complex?...
I know it sounds counter intuitive, because neutrals are unbiased in the color kingdom, but hear me out. I have been noticing that the neutrals that I have been drawn to using have been a combination of desaturated colors that blend into one another to create a beautiful swath of gray. The subtlety of it, made me appreciate the grays so much more and gave them the backing to hold their own.
There is more than meets the eye.
I believe this trend got its start from last year's dual colors from Pantone, Serenity and Rose Quartz. As Pantone mentioned, it was their way of adding to the dialogue on the changing perceptions of gender identity. They felt that the color fluidity spoke to the changing perception on gender straitjackets and the need to define femininity and masculinity.
"In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage." - Pantone, Introducing Rose Quartz and Serenity
This is also a callback to the ombré trend that has been around for the past few years. The gentle blending of colors to become something better than the single color on its own, to me has a psychological meaning. Maybe it speaks to the growing consensus of people wanting to come together, to combine ranging diversities that in the end is something far more beautiful and complex than what originally existed? Maybe I'm reaching, but I do think that Pantone did something quite remarkable when they took this stand on the colors they chose last year.
To reproduce this trend, take split complementary colors - that is at least 2 analogous colors from opposite sides of the color wheel.
Then desaturate them and blend the separate colors to include different warm and cool grays simultaneously, while also allow separate hues stand alone as well. This creates a swath of color that is both calming and dynamic.
To offset this year's pale complex neutrals, color saturated blacks will dominate this year's popular colors. These colors are moody and thoughtful. Deep indigo and emerald black have been colors that have been rising in popularity over the past couple of years. However, I expect that inky iris and deep plums will also come to the forefront.
A SENSE OF MYSTERY.
Dark indigo tends to emote a sense of mystery and represent the divining nature of the subconscious. The continued prevalence of these colors could therefore represent the hunger for deeper thinking and feeling. The want for something of real weight and meaning. These colors I think are a portrayal of the overarching want to get back to what makes us human. The want of deeper connections and interactions.
The 2017 Pantone color Greenery, is so fresh and pure, by adding dark, inky tones will add more drama to this placid color. The use of this highly saturated color with black, creates a velvety, enveloping of color within darkness.
Time of Reflection
Copper, and metallics have been trending for some time. Utilizing metals like rose gold, gold and silver, provide for the unexpected interplay of light which use has been holding strong within product markets, interior design and graphic design. Metallics also bring another element, high contrast. Stark white from ambient light sitting in contrast to the faded metallic brought by shade, creates a stirring interaction of light and darkness. Within interior environments, use of metals helps reflect what light there is already in the space. Adding mirrors or metallic objects is a method that can be very useful for small spaces or for capturing light in dimly lit spaces.
In this same vein there have been more diversity of reflected surfaces. Brushed and matte metals have been coming to the forefront especially brass, steel or distressed gold. Antiqued mirrors and metals have been more prevalent addition, and they create more subtle light changes. Having contrast in materials, such as matte colors with metals creates further disparity and interest.
REFLECTING ON THE LIGHT WITHIN.
Colored glass and acrylics are also apart of this reflection trend. Light and dark interplay especially on transparent materials is interesting because they show whats behind the glass and also reflect what is in front of it as well. This creates an interesting dynamic of light and dark reflections in the spaces in which the glass/acrylic breaks up. Colored glass and acrylic also provide an additional layer in which it reflects its color and texture on objects cohabiting the space.
So what does this need for reflection say about us?
I think there is something to be said about how long this trend has been gaining popularity. There is a want for elegant surprise in using metals. The ability to interact and see the immediate changes in metals and reflections, is our own want to see a more immediate impact by our own presence. It's a bit narcissistic, it's true, but I think it's natural for this trend to take place especially in a time where more and more of our surroundings, phones, and electronics are evolving to interact with us and allowing us to feel personalization with these objects. It is then natural to expect that we want more interplay with static objects and environments. The way metals and reflective objects capture light, we want to bring light to different facets of our society.
SHOW YOUR STROKES
This trend is a continuation of the maker movement, embracing authenticity of artists and makers. This trend epitomizes the sense of "wabi-sabi", a Japanese term for perfectly imperfect. To show your strokes means to embrace the process which includes every stroke of your painting or step that it takes to build something. It also captures a moment in the transitory nature of making. Embracing the rough edges, adds another dimension to the final product that results in something vibrant and humanistic.
BEAUTY IS IN THE PROCESS, AND THAT INCLUDES FAILURE.
By including the imperfections in the final piece is a way of showing your strokes. There was a recent example of this that has permeated mainstream media, which is Young Thug's, "Wyclef Jean" music video. Ryan Staake the director of this video, was supposed to co-direct with Young Thug. However as the video illustrates, a lot of money and time were poured into the shoot, and Young Thug never met Staake or showed up for the video shoot. Staake, instead of throwing in the towel took a different direction and documented the entire process of creating this video from start to finish as well as all the things that went wrong and the reason for the bizarre final product.
Here is a shot from the video, where Ryan shares that this is where he wanted to place Young Thug for this part of the shoot. The dotted outline gradually fills to completion while the music track continues in the background. This video goes to show that the process helps in creating a more interesting final product, and what better way to tell a story but by sharing the actual history of something, warts and all.
This last trend reflects the myriad of cultures that influence our daily lives. Mixing and layering of colors, textures and patterns create intense energy. It's our way of embracing our global community. We are are now influenced by cross cultures and trends happening in other countries. Why pick one direction when you can harness the inspiration of 80’s British grunge, new age tribal, and K-pop all at once?
a vibration of energy created by the celebration of global multi-culturalism.
This trend also represents the resurgence of making things that are nonsensical. And in a backwards way because they are absent in meaning, make them have abundant meaning.
Here we go, another contradiction...
Instead of creating art that is flawless, graphic art that is easily read, or rooms and designs that have one theme to revolve around, things are being created despite those facts and in part because of those clichés. We are tired of things that make sense, when so much of life doesn't make sense. So why does our visual culture have to?
This idea harkens back to the early 20th century movement called Dadaism. Interestingly enough this movement was a rebellion against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist interests. Instead of artists creating aesthetically pleasing work for the bourgeois class, they created objects that provoked and called into question, "What is the purpose of art?".
That's why the prevalence of this trend shows itself in juxtaposition, like matte color next to textured prints, or hand drawn/painted scribbles interrupt gorgeous photographs. I think we are in a time where we are proving that just being human is being original and hence all our ideas are original and worthy, no matter how perfect, sloppy or cliché.
What are some other trends on the horizon?
How do you think these trends reflect our current cultural climate?
What are your thoughts?
* All images and design layouts are created by and for Emanate Design unless stated otherwise. Please give credit for anything you pull or give reference to. Thanks! *
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