Forecasting Visual Trends in the Colour Next Project

We’ve been working on some really interesting projects here at CKS, and thought it would be interesting to share some information about them. One of our biggest projects at present is the well-known Colour Next project by Asian Paints, which is an annual visual trends forecasting project that we’ve been involved in for about five years now.

The aim of the project is to identify and analyze changes in society and culture and to translate them into visual themes for Indian interiors. This involves researching existing and emerging trends, identifying visual provocations in media and advertising, and conducting in-depth interviews with colour and design experts as well as sociologists, journalists and other experts on social movements.

In order to conduct this research effectively, our team first identified more than a thousand images from various magazines and other popular visual sources.These images were pared down to an image bank of 200 images for use at interviews with trend specialists, and another 700 images were chosen for use in hands-on, theme building workshops. These theme-building workshops were held in different locations across the country, in collaboration with experts from creative fields and also with students at design schools, in order to generate visual themes using all our information on upcoming trends and the image bank.

This year, the team also studied various social trends by researching a variety of media sources, interviewing sociologists, journalists, lifestyle editors, and managing directors of advertising and mass media organizations. The goal was to understand what aspects of societal existence and experience are changing, and how. This information was then aggregated to make societal trend boards, consisting of eleven different trends.

CKS then held an innovation workshop on Friday last week, where the team collaborated with a number of sociologists, designers, colour theorists and other experts in order to validate and further investigate the trends that were identified. The idea behind this workshop was both to ensure that the trends were valid and meaningful, as well as to explore each of the trends in a deeper, richer way, and to get a more granular input from the panel of experts.

While we cannot reveal the trends that were identified, an obvious example to anyone who has been following the news over the past few months is the emergence of social media sites like twitter and facebook as major transformers of our interaction with the world. No section of the middle class can be said to be outside of the influence of social networking, and as a result this has a major impact on society in general. This then necessitated a study of gender dynamics (related to these emerging trends) and other physical manifestations of how people interact differently with spaces and things, as impacted by social media.

This workshop basically marks the mid-point of the Colour Next project. We are now poised at the end of the research phase and the beginning of the design phase, where we will have to create colour palette propositions that are derived from our research, but extend beyond it.

To put this perspective, here is an example from last year’s project on one of the themes we identified:

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1 Response to Forecasting Visual Trends in the Colour Next Project

  1. Kishore Chugh says:

    I read what you guys are in to and found it to be very facinating.
    Would love to be a part of it & if possible contribute in the project.


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