There seems to be two camps in the colour industry. Colourists (CMG) who believe colour trends are important and critical for products, cars, etc and Colourists (IACC/NA) who think choosing colour based on trends is just plain uneducated. Since I’m a member of both, I agree with both sides and there’s a context for each as well.
If manufacturers did not know the colour trends, it would be almost impossible to decorate your house for example. It’s nice when you can buy an upholstered chair (for a fraction of the custom price) for your bedroom at one store and then buy a matching duvet at another one to coordinate. Let’s face it, there’s probably not a lot of burgandy and teal placemats (from the 80’s) available right now, or enough people that would buy them even if they were. As a designer, when you are called to choose drapery for an interior that’s really dated, the options are very limited even in the world of custom fabrics.
It’s critical to understand colour trends when specifying exterior colours. If you choose a colour for an exterior that is at the end of the trend cycle right now, in 3 years it will look 10 years old. Because then the new colour trends will be more mainstream and colours that are dated will look even older then they actually are because the trend will officially be over 10 years old. Better not to choose a trendy colour at all unless it fits with the architectural style of the building and also works with the geography and demographic of the area.
As I tell my participants all the time, there is no one place where you can get all colour knowledge tied up in a box with a red bow on top. If you want to be a well-rounded colourist/artist, its important to know the correct colours that would be appropriate in a hospital (IACC/NA) if you were specifying colour there. And you would do my True Colour Expert workshop if you wanted to get the undertones to coordinate (in any environment). Then you would become a member of the Colour Marketing Group if you were interested in networking with other professionals in the colour industry. At the CMG Conferences you will find colourists from every industry. You could be sitting next to someone that picks the colours for your ipod shuffle or someone else who creates fan decks for paint companies. It’s the best place to network with other colour professionals (if that’s what you want to do).
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