Trend Letter 1, 2010

Aug 06, 2010


The ebb and flow of home decor trends has always kept us searching for the latest and freshest palettes.  Now,

as we come into a new season, we look towards new colors, varied tones, and updated looks to keep us on the

cutting edge of the art industry.

As we slowly, and cautiously, look ahead at a more promising economic future, our optimism grows. The safer,more comforting colors of the last several years will fade into the background a bit and make way for a new generation of color.  This is one of the more dramatic shifts of the last several years.  We’ll see overall color palettes brighten and darker, muted tones become accents rather than main colors.  Citrus colors play an important roll in this newer, brighter way of life.  One of the newest introductions is coral – a tone that hovers between both red and orange.  Yellow has shown its form subtly in recent months, but will continue to grow in popularity when paired with other emerging citrus hues. 

Of course, on the cooler side of the color palette we find blue and purple still making

headway.  The blues are fresh and watery while the purple flirts with reddish hues to look

like plum.  Green stakes its claim in both the warm and cool sides of the palette.  It plays on

the blue side in aqua and turquoise and becomes acidic when mixed with shades of yellow.


Amongst all these bright, fresh hues, we still have a need for the basics that ground us. 

Chocolate brown, sandy taupe, and cool gray still work as a strong backdrop to showcase a

newer palette.  Pantone’s seasonal color forecast features strong neutrals like Oyster Gray

and Chocolate Truffle mixed with punchy tones like Purple Orchid, Lagoon, and Lipstick Red.


While establishing the color palette is certainly the most dominant aspect of a trend, using it

properly is still hugely important to its success.  Although we’re beginning to see a rise in optimism,consumers are still being incredibly cautious in their purchases.  Consumers will

want to incorporate the newer trends with their existing ones and be able to blend the two

together.  This is more of a dabble in new trends rather than plunging in headfirst.  So to

satisfy the consumer’s desire for a new look, it’s smart to incorporate it in with some of the

old stand-bys.



Using these trend right colors with popular subject matter is the ace-in-the-hole.  Natural elements continue to be a highly popular category.  Elements like leaves, trees, and flowers have been strong sellers for several trend cycles and are still in the spotlight.  Slightly newer on the scene are the birds, butterflies, and dragonflies that have been hot recently across many product categories.  The embellishments and enhancements that the last trend cycles featured have given way to more simplistic sophistication with subtle accents.








We think of trends in terms of how we live our lives. Throughout history, in times of struggle the colors were deeper, darker, and more muted.  In more hopeful times, the colors we surround ourselves with become brighter, more cheerful, and more saturated.  We’re now living in a time more focused on nature, fresher eating, and healthier living.  This is where these citrus and farm fresh colors of veggies, fruits, and open pastures help illustrate our way of life.

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Art Licensing at the Surtex 2009 Show

May 29, 2009

Ah, trade show season! We’ve just returned from the Surtex (Surface & Textiles) Show at the Javits Center in New York City. This year’s show was amongst the many successful trade shows we’ve had. Overall, attendance at the show was down, but in the Art Licensing booth that wasn’t evident. Our licensing associates had back-to-back appointments each day and our booth saw plenty of traffic; the three-booth space was full of buyers who were at the show to do business. Many exhibitors as well as attendees were very hesitant as to what we could expect this year. Most exhibitors chose a smaller booth space or joined forces to fill the booth, and some exhibitors choose not to attend this show altogether. The show layout was quite different as both shows were on one floor and the Surtex area of the show was considerably smaller this year. In an economy like ours, the only buyers who were willing to go to the expense to travel to the show were those prepared to make it worth their while.

When walking the aisles of the show, there weren’t many obvious trends that stood out as being new or unique. When times are tough, many vendors opt for the safe options and are less likely to take a risk on something very different. As a result, it’s far less likely to see anything out of the ordinary. Proven colors and designs covered the walls at this show. Since the National Stationary Show ran concurrently with Surtex, many of the trend forecasts focused on the stationary industry. Within this realm, the themes that are predicted to be hot are silhouettes, damasks, lace, lattice, birds & butterflies, and animal prints, amongst others. Pattern is a growing area as well, used as both a focal point and an accent. Below are the predicted color trends by trend expert Milou Ket displayed at the show.

So overall, Surtex 2009 was a success! We went with a strong crew and had a busy booth. Now that we’re back, rested, and unpacked, the focus is follow-up. The licensing team has lists of clients that need requests filled and images sent to them. The booth looked great - full of new images from our strong bank of artists as well as our newly created “Art Wheel” that mixed trend information with product images and artwork.

We’re very pleased with the show and are sure we’ll get some strong blast of business from the many clients who came to visit us. We’re already thinking about next year’s show!

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