How to Leverage the 2020 Color Forecasts

In the last two posts, we shared information about fashion and interior color trend forecasts. After reading all of the reports, writing a couple of summaries, and staring at it all again over coffee, I am starting to get comfortable with the color ranges presented for 2020.

In a world where we fight the tension between “being ourselves” and “being current”,  it is easy to be confused about how to apply this information to our work, if at all.

In this post, I want to share some ideas about how you may experiment with this trend information in order to determine what level of involvement in the new color stories to engage in.

The Easy Part – Color Limited Repeat Patterns

If you are a surface pattern designer and have existing work that is already color limited, these are good exercises for you!
Take a look at your inventory of designs and/or collections and identify some favorites that feel a bit dated or have color schemes you don’t love anymore.
I think it makes sense to think of this in terms of fashion or interiors given the set or resources we have on hand with the last two color letters I sent earlier this week.  

1. Re-color designs intended for fabric aimed at clothing or fashion accessories.

a. Pick some of your older designs and change the color schemes to use the new pantone colors for spring/summer 2020.

b. Create some mockups using your new colored designs and put them on the type of fashion item you envision them on! Is it suitable for scarves, handbags, skirts? Give some thought to how someone would use your designs to make a product.  

2. Re-color designs intended for home decor items.

a. Select one of your existing collections and re-color it using one of the Sherman Williams color schemes.

b. Look at the various paint company predictions. Which ones fit your own home? Which ones do you love? Make your own color combo from the 2020 colors predicted and recolor one of your designs!  

The Not-So-Easy Part

If you are not working with color reduced artwork that can be easily re-colored on illustrator or photoshop, then things get a little trickier.

Some of the artists I work with do all of their work traditionally with watercolors, acrylic paints, or gouache. Some do digital work that uses hundreds of colors.  Our use of color is often an integral part of our work. In those cases, I say, don’t chase the trends. 

However, often we experiment with different colors and we are looking for combinations that evoke a certain mood. A good example are designs that use geometric shapes. So, why not create some new ones with colors inspired by the 2020 trends? 

Another idea is to work on the marketing portion instead. Pair existing work with mockups which use the color schemes represented in the forecasts. Show how your gorgeous designs look on pillows or dinnerware in a home scene with latest nature inspired color forecasts. 

So, here these are a few ideas for those who do not want to re-color existing artwork but want to work with the new trend information:

1. Create a geometric or modern pattern using a 2020 interior trends color scheme.
For example, draw a mandala or create a design inspired by pre-Columbian designs. 

2. Pick a set of your existing designs and show them in scenes or mixed in with 2020 interior color trends.
Create a mockup of dishes or pillows with your patterns and show them alongside solid color ones using the 2020 colors. Alternatively, you could place pillows in a room painted with 2020 colors. There are many mockups out there that allow you to change the color of the walls and add your designs to pillows on a couch, or your artwork to a frame on a wall. 

3. Pair one of your fashion patterns with a solid color from the Pantone 2020 forecast.
Create a fashion mockup set of a skirt featuring one of your pattern paired with a solid top, or perhaps a dress with your print and a solid color handbag. Give it a try!

I hope this letter has given you some ideas of how to leverage the popularity of these new color trends to make your work even more attractive to buyers.

I would love to see what you do, so if you do choose to try some of these ideas out, please let me know!