Preview Progressive Palettes
Created in collaboration with experts across multiple industries and research with over 500 designers, James Cropper’s Progressive Palettes report explores the biggest influences when it comes to colour today. It also takes a look at the future.
By Richard Bracewell, Marketing & Technical Director of James Cropper
“There’s been a landslide of change in just a decade, with the vast majority (of contributors) agreeing that the biggest driver of colour for design in recent years has moved from fashion to social media. And change doesn’t stop there..."
"The rapid pace of change isn’t a shock to me; we’re an industry which excels at innovation, and with that comes a need for speed, agility and the ability to adapt. What I do find surprising is the impact that seemingly unconnected things have on brand identity and packaging specifically.
The top five influences designers cite as impacting the colour choices made for brand identity and packaging are personalisation, Brexit and the Trump era, the unboxing trend, sustainability and the gender debate."
“Take sustainability for example; who could have imagined how much prominence recycling of coffee cups and the plastic crisis would gain in the national consciousness, but for 73% of UK designers, this is also having an impact on the briefs they receive, the materials they specify and the colour choices they make every day.
Or politics; we’re living in a particularly charged time here in the UK but even politics abroad has never felt so close to home. For UK designers, their work is being shaped by this."
So, what’s clear is that colour palettes are more progressive, political and environmental than ever. What’s incredibly refreshing is the industry’s role in connecting to consumers on an even deeper level.
With over 175 years of papermaking heritage, James Cropper has established a reputation for its colour expertise.
Its on-site colour lab holds around 4,000 live shades that can be produced with some 200,000 colours stored electronically.
The company has been active in growing its technical capabilities in line with the increasing significance of colour when it comes to brand identity and packaging design.
Eighty per cent of designers say consumer desire for individuality and personalisation is having a significant impact on the colour choices that brands make, from monogramming at the point of purchase to offering customers multiple colour and design options on gift packaging becoming more prevalent than ever.
The research highlights the design industry as being defined by change and pace, powered by innovation and agility, and one which keeps a keen eye on the future.
When it comes to colour trends, a new order of influence is also at play. Fashion has historically been the undisputed champion of style, inspiration and colour trends; however according to the branding and packaging designers who took part in this report, fashion isn’t the pinnacle of influence on colour that it once was. Over the last decade, social media platforms have superseded the catwalk and become the number one influence on colour across a multitude of sectors.
Looking forward, eighty percent of designers predict that technology will become the biggest influence on colour by 2030, meaning colour will shift on its axis again, while some clear themes are shaping the landscape of colour now and for the future.
THE FRAGMENTATION OF INFLUENCE
Influence has become complex and fragmented, leading to colour palettes being more progressive, political and environmental than ever.
The top five outside influences designers cite as impacting the colour choices for brand identity and packaging are:
- Brexit and the Trump era
- The unboxing trend
- The gender debate
Our contemporary issues-driven world means that designers have an enormous amount to navigate when it comes to the colours they choose.
The research was carried out in 2019 amongst 518 designers, 200 of whom were packaging designers.