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Social media has ousted fashion as key driver of colour trends say designers

Social media has replaced fashion as the key driver of colour trends, according to a survey of designers, creatives and industry experts.

The Progressive Palettes Report, by papermaker and colour expert James Cropper, says that rapid changes in lifestyles has seen the shift occur in just a decade. Looking ahead, 30 per cent of designers predict that technology will be the biggest influence within the next decade.

Politics and current affairs also have a short term influence on colour trends, according to the report. It cites Brexit, the Trump era, sustainability, the ‘unboxing’ trend, and the debate over gender as top five issues that have an impact. Four in five designers say that consumer demand for individuality and personalisation are playing a significant role in the colours that brands choose to use.

“What can’t be overlooked is the pace at which influence changes when it comes to colour, or the impact of external factors such as politics or an increased consciousness of the environment,” says James Cropper CEO Phil Wild. “The industry has so far successfully shifted on its axis to stay ahead of the game, whether it be through design, methods of bespoke colour creation, sustainable materials or manufacturing processes. To keep momentum, it’s essential we continue to invest and innovate.”

James Cropper master colour blender Mark Starrs says: “The narratives expressed by the design community, in our experience, are spot on. Palettes are now progressive, political, environmental, and as ever, personal… brands are using personalisation to connect to consumers and attach more meaning to their product or offering.”