Tony Harmer on colour trends for 2015
Colour can evoke action, change thinking and influence the way we feel. It’s therefore a very powerful tool for designers to have at their disposal.
– Tony Harmer
Last week I took part in a colour-themed Twitter chat which got me thinking about how colour and colour trends play a hugely important role in the world we live in today. They can evoke action, change thinking and influence the way we feel. They’re therefore a very powerful tool for designers to have at their disposal.
It’s possible to lift or lower moods with the choice of palette and induce certain emotions by using a single colour in a campaign. For instance, here in the West, the colour red symbolises anger and danger, but also warmth and passion, making it a bold, memorable choice to use in branding – something we see adopted by global powerhouses including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
So can we take advantage of colour trends in our work as designers? Trends may come and go, but choosing the right colour is an important decision and taking note of current colour trends can act as a helpful indicator. That said, they shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in your work; use your creative instincts and personal style. Trends— as with other rules—are there to be bent, augmented and broken!
It’s also important to bear in mind that colours are often associated with different sectors to suit specific purposes. For instance, in hospitals, green is often used because it has a calming effect, but also because it reduces the impact of the redness of blood. Blue on the other hand is often associated with finance and the modern technological world – a colour adopted by many blue chip companies including Samsung, PayPal and Facebook, perhaps because as with traditional poker chips, the blue chip has the highest value.
To keep up-to-date with the latest colour trends, there are a number of resources that designers can use, including our own Adobe Color CC blog. There they can find out what colour themes people are sharing based on the colours and palettes they are making on the site. I would also recommend taking a look at the Adobe Color CC mobile app which enables colour combinations to be captured when on the move, wherever inspiration happens to strike. We are surrounded by colour, so taking a look at your surroundings is a great way to get #InspiredByColour. It’s fascinating!