The Wonderful World of Color
HERE ARE GROUPS of people today who make much ado about color. Not for the purpose of fighting social injustices, but for the pleasure of dressing up for social events. Every year, those on the pulse of fashion stand with bated breath to learn what colors are hot and which are not. As can well be seen by retailers’ stock, this spring, fashion designers have opted for “surprising neutrals with innovative splashes of corals, yellows and purples to create a spring in bloom” [www.fashiontrendsetter.com].
Just who decides these things? Apparently, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Color Marketing Group (CMG) is one in an elite group of professionals that does. Sans the use of crystal balls, rabbits’ feet or potions containing ingredients too difficult to pronounce does CMG ‘predict’ color’s future from year to year. In fact, CMG’s revelations can be as obvious as the sky is blue.
Each year, CMG, a 45-year-old not-for-profit international association comprised of 1,000 color designers “involved in the use of color as it applies to the profitable marketing of goods and services,” plays host to a major conference to decide the coming year’s Consumer and Contract Color Directions Forecasts, according to John Bredenfoerder, CMG’s president. The forecasts are developed through the collaborative efforts of approximately 400 of CMG’s members. In advance of the conference, each member prepares his or her own Color Directions Forecast. During the conference, comprised of a variety of color and design workshops, each workshop “develops a Color Directions Forecast, which then goes to a Steering Committee. There, the process is repeated, until a general consensus forecast for the entire conference is developed,” explained Bredenfoerder.
It may or may not be surprising to learn that the foundation for these forecasts are generated largely through a non-scientific, very predictable mean: by simply paying attention to what’s going on in the world. For example, Bredenfoerder said the influences that dictate color “run the gamut from social issues to politics, the environment, the economy and cultural diversity.” He said “an understanding of the influences provides the most useful information, and it is the input of so many color designers that gives each forecast its tremendous validity.”