Industry Pros and Millennials Forecast Color for 2020

By Sandy Sampson, Simple Modern Style, Color + Design + Pattern

In early June, Color Marketing Group held the third annual ChromaZone® Color Forecasting Workshop hosted by Art Center College of Design, CMTEL, Pasadena, CA. “We had the largest gathering to date at Art Center’s Color, Materials, and Trends Exploration Laboratory (CMTEL)”, said Sampson.

 © Color Marketing Group

© Color Marketing Group

On a sunny Saturday morning, our group, comprised of textile, interior, product, and graphic designers, product design students, consumer goods and paint manufacturers, and Art Center faculty and alumni, gathered to collaborate on the future of colors across multiple industries.

Based in Southern California, the Pasadena ChromaZone® draws attendees mainly from the Los Angeles area. “By holding this color forecast workshop at Art Center, many of the multi-disciplined students bring a fresh millennial and global aspect to the workshop that we typically do not see at other regional ChromaZones,” says Sampson.

Sampson, VP of PR & Communications for CMG, presented a brief overview of the color tools provided by CMG member companies and utilized in the color design forecasting process. The NCS Colour system is employed as a standard throughout the CMG color forecasting process. RAL Colours, Pantone, X-rite and Munsell color systems are also core to the CMG forecasting process.

 © Color Marketing Group

© Color Marketing Group

Our host, Marshall Hamachi, Associate Director of CMTEL and Associate Professor, Graduate Industrial Design at Art Center, presented an informative talk highlighting the rich resources that CMTEL provides the students and faculty for developing color, materials, and finishes in their product design processes.

 © Color Marketing Group

© Color Marketing Group

Color stories emerged throughout the forecasting process. Each participant brought trend research for 2020 and supporting colors. Our top themes were

  •  irrelevant and how that pushes us to look to the past;
  • how open-source platforms are changing collaboration; and
  • how humanity + machine interactions are becoming more personal.
 © Color Marketing Group

© Color Marketing Group

A returning CMG member, Judy AmicAngelo,  Illuminare, Inc., and ChromaZone participant said, “It was a great pleasure to be a part of the workshop. There aren’t enough superlatives to express how fun and rewarding it was. The participants, a streamlined process, and your direction were superb. I was a chair holder and member for many years and don’t remember getting this much done in such a short time.”
“I really enjoyed the workshop and learned so much. Some highlights (as a student) included: working alongside professionals, networking, seeing the color stories and themes others brought in (often with overlap!), the spirit of collaboration and the food!”— Emilie, Art Center Student
“Zena and I learned about the program on Wednesday evening prior to the event.  We both jumped in with both feet but emerged unsure of our results on such short notice. Our initial experience was very reassuring as we walked into the workshop at CMTEL, Art Center in Pasadena. The day was filled with thoughtful & meaningful work as we rolled up our sleeves and embraced the program with the enthusiasm of a child. Anyone working in color today should have the experience of this workshop! Congratulations to you and Marshall for a successful ChromaZone program for 2020.” — Sandra Todd  | Specification Manager Los Angeles, Panolam 
Art Center’s CMF Design Educator, Kimberly Marte of Design Spectrum said, “It was great to work with other professionals as well as students.” And her AHA! moment of the day was “Watching the students realize what goes into forecasting the future of color.”

A special thank you to CMTEL for hosting the color forecasting workshop at Art Center College of Design.