Monday, March 16, 2009

Ultron Color Trends - Designer Insights Summary

And, now, a summary of the insights we observed from the four designer workshops conducted in 2008 around the country in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

Eight to 12 designers were invited to each event and asked to bring inspiring color chips, samples, magazine articles, photos and swatches. Ann Hurley acted as facilitator and guide for the sessions.

[For background on these fascinating designer events, read Ultron Color Trends - Designer Workshops. You see, Ultron carpet fiber brought together seasoned designers in a first-ever series of four workshops to discuss color trends.]

We felt we got a true vision of “globalization” on a national basis—we were surprised how few regional variations were noted. This has been accelerated by the Internet. Now, anyone can immediately view the newest fashions that walk across the runway, creating a much more trend savvy customer as well as consumer. 

Companies like the corporate IBMs or retailers such as Nordstrom strive to achieve a consistent brand image and corporate identity, whether it’s coast to coast or on a global scope.

Overall Seattle had the more muted, earthier colors with Chicago and New York having cleaner, richer accents colors.

Yellow and red were consistent colors from all areas as well as chocolate brown and variations of the blue-greens.

Designers in both LA and NYC mentioned the importance and “lack of” good blue/grey and navy color ways in carpets. This color family is often not what the designer might select, but a client driven decision due to corporate branding directives.

Greys, especially charcoal, was mentioned in every market location as a good neutral to add a distinctive look, yet not as hard edged as black.

The designers also mentioned the need for carpets that coordinate with fabrics and the mixing or layering of fabrics with the textures.

They mentioned they liked a somewhat safe or neutral color way with a bright accent thread running through the carpet, like a bright red or yellow. 

It’s all about color, textures and mixes—and unusual color combinations with just the right accent!

For the detailed findings from the previous Ultron Color Trends events:
+ Los Angeles Workshop
+ Seattle Workshop
+ Chicago Workshop
+ New York Workshop

What do you think? Are you inspired to develop your own take on Neutrals, Blues-Greens, and Orange-Red-Yellows?


Shannon Bilby said...

Very insightful - thanks for sharing!

CB Whittemore said...

Thanks, Shannon. I thought it was pretty neat to 'see' differences from different cities.

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