What influences the graphic designers who are designing your marketing collateral, direct mail, packaging, and displays? According to Jack Bredenfoerder, director of BV Color Strategy, five factors are impacting the use of color in any design project:
1. How the eye sees color.
This refers to the interaction of the object, the light source, and the observer. The same color appears different to the eye based on lighting conditions. Depending on how and where color is used, color choices will differ.
2. The culture around us.
Design trends are influenced by the culture around us, including colors of state, colors of religion, color conventions, and colors of groups (sports teams, corporations, organizations, schools).
3. Psychology of color.
Not everyone agrees on the emotions or meaning that colors evoke, but there is little disagreement that certain colors inspire certain emotions. Use color to do more than look pretty. Use it to influence emotion.
4. Color fads, trends, and cycles.
There will always be color fads, trends, and cycles. To anticipate emerging trends, Bredenfoerder suggests watching the New York runways and the Hollywood red carpet, since fashion designers are often harbingers of the trends that reach the world of print and digital design.
5. Color influence and forecasting.
Color forecasting is an active, ongoing creative process that incorporates more substantial influences such as politics, medicine, and culture. Today, the yearning for simpler things of life can be seen in color trends that relate to playfulness, nature, and joy.
The takeaway? Color is a powerful tool, but just like fonts and design style, they are always shifting. Don’t get stuck in the past.