Technical Absorbents

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Clariant presents new automotive edition of ColorForward 2018

Clariant’s ColorForward trend-analysis and colour-design tool has been released every year since 2006.

22nd February 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Muttenz

Interiors, Transport/​Aerospace

Clariant, a leader in specialty chemicals, has released the third automotive edition of ColorForward 2018, a colour/trend analysis tool for automotive designers and marketers, which includes a new prototype format: carpet and textured plaques.

Clariant’s ColorForward trend-analysis and colour-design tool has been released every year since 2006 to help plastic product designers and marketing professionals make more informed colour choices. It presents four global societal trends that can be expected to influence consumers and then links them to colours that evoke an emotional response related to each trend. For the last three years, ColorForward Automotive has focused on the needs and interests of that market.

“This year, we redesigned the presentation to better show OEM designers how consumer trends can be translated into colours and then how the colours can be used in automotive applications,” explained Roberto Romanin, Clariant ColorWorks Graphic Designer. “From the 2o colours in the 2018 palette, we singled out those that our Automotive Team felt are most suited to their industry and then we present them in materials and shapes that reflect the surfaces and textures common in car design.”

Melancholy mood

Because colours don’t always look the same when produced in different materials, the 2018 colours are presented in forms that relate to different automotive components. The carpet samples were developed in partnership with the Performance Yarn Business Area of Radici Group. A major producer of synthetic fibres, Radici has a state-of-the-art prototyping machine that is able to make carpet samples in minutes.

All four of the trends identified in ColorForward 2018 reflect an over-arching feeling of sadness, fear and distrust of the conventional world as-it-is. This melancholy mood is evident in the fact that all the colours are toned down and a little bit grey. At the same time, however, there is a sense of determination to endure and a cautious optimism that people can make a difference and things will get better over time, so many of the colours are also warm, organic and hopeful, the company reports.

ColorForward 2018 trends and colors

The Newmorrow trend theme reflects a sort of yin-yang mood among consumers. On the one hand, they believe the “system” is rotten. On the other hand, there is also a conviction that change is still possible – not by government but from grass-roots efforts of individuals and small groups. This change, it is understood, will come only slowly. It is not surprising then, that the Newmorrow color palette includes a brownish green called Primordial Soup. “It prompts references to sewage and death and some have referred to it as “the ugliest colour in the world,” but it also reminds us of the verdant, rich biological goop that spawned life as we know it,” the company explained.

Dissatisfaction with conventional ways of living also stands behind the LongitudeLatitudeAttitude trend theme. It acknowledges that a growing number of human beings are choosing to have no fixed address. Many are artists, musicians or creative entrepreneurs, but what they really have in common is the desire for a minimalist, wandering lifestyle. The colours of LongitudeLatitudeAttitude are Bohemian. They range from a purplish fucsia, called Nomadness, a warm, almost-orange yellow named Kaleido tribe, and grey blue called Cirrus aviaticus.

Somewhere along the way, many consumers began to experience unpleasant feelings of emptiness related to their mainstream lifestyles. There is a sense that they have lost touch with their inner selves. The trend theme named Through the Mirror attempts to capture a sense of ennui – of being adrift in a modern world while, at the same time, knowing that a spiritual reawakening is possible. The yoga practice of ‘trataka’ inspires the pearl orange colour.

Out from the gloom that seems to lie behind the other trends described above, there comes the story about the validation of a group of people long stereotyped as a bunch of quirky, overly intellectual misfits – the nerds. The Nerdylicious trend theme sees these brainiacs finding acceptance as innovators in a complex world, with continuous curiosity and a passion for exploring new ideas. Although the colours of Nerdylicious are soft and subdued like most in the other trend groups, they are nevertheless the brightest and most optimistic in the 2018 palette.

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more