Dedicated team of colour forecasters deliberating over the ‘Colour of the Year’.
The art of forecasting colour trends

All Colour Families

Have you ever wondered how colour trends are created?

Dedicated team of colour forecasters deliberating over the ‘Colour of the Year’.
The art of forecasting colour trends

Each year, we choose a colour that we believe encapsulates the mood and key trends of that coming year. Inspired Violet, our 2013 Colour of the Year, is a striking statement colour associated with wisdom and honesty. Described as a shade with two sides to its character, indigo gives a sense of tranquillity and restfulness but also has a dazzling, rich quality.

This colour isn’t just plucked out of mid-air. In fact, Dulux has a dedicated team of colour forecasters who deliberate over the decision for weeks. It all starts in September, when our colour-obsessed design experts invite independent experts in the fields of interior, industrial, product, fashion and architectural design to discuss the key trends for eighteen months ahead.

Once our colour forecasters have selected their key colours and trends, around twenty of Dulux’s senior colour experts from around the world spend three days narrowing down the broad trend concepts into a dominant trend idea, five trend stories, colour palettes and the colour of the year.

A phrase that’s brought up constantly during these workshops is the ‘Zeitgeist effect’. This basically means that everyone seems to be talking about the same things or designing with the same materials and colours in mind. By tapping into the Zeitgeist effect, our colour experts are able to capture the mood of the moment, a vital part of the forecasting process.

After the workshops, the colour forecasters create concept or ‘mood’ boards, which helps them develop a clear idea of what each trend means. “An image says a thousand words, so concept boards are a vital part in telling the story,” says head forecaster Heleen van Gent. “We start with a huge pile of photos, magazine pages and books, and then distil them down to a handful of images that perfectly communicate the trend. This becomes our inspiration or jumping off point for the photography.”

Next, the team starts the process of photographing each trend. “We work with several photographers and stylists each year,” says Louise Smith, one of the senior global colour designers. “This keeps the photographs looking fresh and ensures the different trends look as diverse as possible.”

Once the photographers, stylists and decorators have gone home, our colour forecasters verbalise the qualities and dimensions of each trend. Have a read at and let us know what you think.

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