Well, we’ve begun a new year once again. 2009 snuck right up and has brought with it a flurry of change and revamping. With the current economic meltdown, a new president, and all the usual changes a new year brings, we need to position ourselves in a new way. The times are calling for change, and 2009 is just the year to do that.
It’s no secret that the slipping economy is forcing everyone to change their methods. Consumers are tightening their collective belt, which is forcing retailers to be smarter and more selective in their offerings. This spikes the competition for shelf space, making those of us in the art industry become even smarter and more selective in our artwork. We need to always be the apple of the buyer’s eye. How do we do this? Why, by continuing to produce attractive, useful, and trend-right artwork of course!
So let’s start with the basics – color. No matter what the image is, color is always key. Even the most simple of images can become a best seller if it has the right colors. The palettes for 2009 are not vastly different from those of 2008. In fact, many of the colors are still the same, it’s just the shades and manner in which they are used that’s changing. The trend shift from year to year isn’t drastic, as if a curtain drops on one palette December 31st, and opens to an entirely new set of colors on January 1st. It’s more of a morphing as months pass, and this year is no different.
The eco-palette remains much the same with one of the few changes being the predominance of blue. Various shades of blue have been a part of this palette for some time, but used mostly as an accent. Now this chameleon-like color is pushing to the forefront and becoming a main color option. Shades from powder and sky blue all the way to indigo and navy are being used along with hues that even border purple. These blues are also invading the green’s territory and creating mixes of teal, aqua, and turquoise as popular colors for this earth-friendly palette. There is also more variety rising in the green hues with newer, fresher shades emerging. Here is where we see the presence of yellow coming into focus. Along with an acidic yellow-green, we see grass green, basil, and emerald popping up. These tones are weighted and given a more earthy feel when paired with chocolate, cream, or honey. These colors are immensely versatile, being used in soft combinations for a subtle spa feel or bright and citrusy for a colorful kitchen. This palette is also where pastels can play a role – buttery yellow, powder blue and soft mint green complement the deeper jewel tones to make up striking color combos.
Spice colors continue to stay strong in the market with the dominant roles changing slightly. Orange seems to be the bigger player, stepping into the leading role that red had played for so long. Orange has gone from Halloween-like to sophisticated and trendy. Rich paprika and coral hues are growing in popularity and will remain strong for some time. Even raspberry flavors will serve as updated shades in this combination, adding some pop to the ochres that rule this palette. Tones of copper, gold and brass fit well with this palette, keeping the metallic story going into 2009. This is where the global influence fits in quite well. Metallics combined with rich, jewel toned golds, oranges, and purples make for a perfect global feel. Look for ethnic patterns in these shades, everything from African animal prints, to Asian florals, to Indian tapestry styles. These deeper tones are comfort colors, and viewed as safe and strong.
In keeping with the current trends, neutrals are certainly not to be outdone. Black & white, a popular combo about a year ago, has resurfaced a bit and is once again working well. Grays of all shades, beige, tan, and browns still dominate as neutrals. These colors make for great combinations on their own or when paired with pops of more vibrant colors from other palettes. You’ll see grays being paired with yellows and browns combining with aqua and blue as popular combos. Even standing alone, these neutral colors create sophisticated, quiet images with a softer feel. This palette is a great one for an antiqued, nostalgic look. A trend in the licensing industry is that of the Victorian era; aged metals, distressed woods, and dirty-washed porcelains. Done in neutrals, this look has an incredibly vintage look. These colors also denote thoughts of natural, organic, and pure.
Last but not Least. So let’s kick this new year off right! By staying in tune with the current trends and thinking ahead, we can be sure to deliver exactly what consumers are looking for. Art is about creating and making a statement, but in our commercial industry, it’s also about meeting the customer’s demands. We have the tools and information, and now we’re ready for the challenge!