Top 10 Colours for 2012

Happy New Year to you!  I’m really excited about 2012.  My New Year’s resolution is to push aside the Media doom mongers and instead embrace all that the year has to offer.  No doubt it will be challenging at times but as someone wise once said “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.”  The Scarlet Opus team will be blogging throughout the year, casting our eyes over the world of Design, providing coverage of shows from around the world, and most crucially, giving you a heads-up on whats coming next so you can stay ahead of the pack!

So let’s begin our year of blogging with a rundown of some of the key colours for 2012.  I’ve taken the colour chips below from a selection of our Spring/Summer 2012 and Autumn/Winter 2012/13 trend boards, to offer you a broad insight into our trend forecasts for the next 12 months.  You are welcome to link to this page on your own blog or cut & paste the info so your readers can benefit too…all we ask is that you please mention Scarlet Opus as the source.  So in no particular order…

VITAMIN C: High in energy and packed with positivity, Orange comes bursting into our lives with the vibrancy we need to succeed this year.  This colour sets the tone for a new attitude.  Yes Orange has been on the scene for a while in Interiors, but it’s use hasn’t been daring until now.  It’s usually given a ‘safe’ treatment by being associated with Retro 50’s & 60’s styling, calmed down by pairing it with Camel or given an exotic twist with Turquoise.  But now is the time to team Orange with an array of upbeat Brights, including our next colour…

PLUGGED-IN PINK: This is a confident & intense Pink.  There’s nothing girly about it.  It plays a crucial role in the branding of the London 2012 Olympics.  It is youthful and hi-impact!  If you didn’t see London’s New Years Eve fireworks display then check out the official BBC coverage here on youtube – it gives a flavour of what we can expect from the Summer Games this year.  Note: now is a great time to begin to develop fluorescent accent colours for your product range.  As we look ahead to 2013 it’ll be all about the glo!

OLYMPIC BLUE: I promise to stop banging-on about the Olympics as soon as we’ve dealt with this Blue.  It is a very optimistic colour (Pantone 312C which also translates into 16-4834TPX).  Yes it has strong water connotations and a sporty edge, but overall it simply has a fresh feeling which is perfect for conveying a fresh outlook.  It feels very Now, and like the Vitamin C & Plugged-In Pink mentioned above, it looks amazing when blocked together with other bright colours.  I personally love it when used as an accent with Concrete Grey.

HIGHLIGHTER: It’s another unashamedly bright colour.  As I’ve mentioned, it’s a great time to begin to explore Fluoro’s and Neon’s…they just get bigger during 2013 so you can be confident of their longevity beyond this years seasons.  In many cases the application of Fluoro’s & Neon’s is most successful as an accent…but with this Highlighter Yellow/Green you can go for an all over solid block!  It certainly looks full-on so if the all over look isn’t for you then team it with Grey, Olympic Blue, Plugged-In Pink or a dark Oceanic Blue.

ASTRAL AURA: I’m not sure how this changeant colour is coming across on your screen but it should be a very dark ‘sky at night’ effect, transitioning from blue-purple to amethyst-purple…like the backdrop to the Northern Lights.  Shelley will be looking at this spectacular phenomenon in more detail in a future posting in relation to design trends, but in the mean time it is effective as a grounding colour alongside icy pastels and works brilliantly well (with some sparkle or shimmer) when used in conjunction with deep Oceanic Blues.

MINT: If you clicked on the Northern Lights link above, then you’ll have seen a Minty colour cropped-up in lots of the photos.  Mint Green is seen in our Autumn/Winter 2012/13 forecast and, looking forward, has a stronger presence in the following season.  If you decide to work with this colour for an Autumn/Winter range release then take the icy or luminous route…if it’s for Spring/Summer then make it more opaque for a retro vibe.  Also try using it with a clouded Rose Quartz for a vintage-look.

PEACOCK: This is a colour that has worked well over several seasons, but I’ve included it in my Top 10 Colours for 2012 because of 1 of our Autumn/Winter 2012/13 trends we call Emporium.  When the Members Area is launched here soon, Shelley will cover this stunning trend in more detail.  It is a highly embellished look for Interiors inspired by a fusion of history’s Great Empires: Byzantine, Roman, Egyptian.  It is apologetically ornate, but never ostentatious!  Also expect to see a Parisian Art Deco styling…this colour suits perfectly.

PEWTER: 2012 requires the confident mixing of metallics (mixed with other metallics and also used with contrasting materials e.g. inlaid into exotic woods or used in conjunction with cork…I’m LOVING Cork right now!), and palest brushed gold, delicate Rose Gold, polished Steel and warm Copper continue to be relevant for Interior products throughout the year.  However it’s tarnished Pewter that has made it into our Top 10 rundown.  Full of character, it works best when lightly blackened.

LAPIS LAZULI: If I had to point to 1 Blue that will work across a broad range of products and will also appeal to both Contemporary and Classic consumer design tastes, then Lapis Lazuli is IT!  We could call it Sapphire (it’s that kind of Blue) but Lapis Lazuli links us again with the Great Empires of Ancient History, as it was used so strikingly by the Egyptians and Romans.  This is a colour to be brave with…it needs to be applied as a solid block.  It’ll look equally stunning on large pieces – like a sofa, or small items – like a lamp.

MONROE RED: This is a rich Red…think Marilyn Monroe lipstick!   If you saw our December RoundUp Posting you will know that in August it’ll be 50 years since the untimely death of the actress (to see a full month-by-month rundown of the major events in 2012 which will be influential, click the above link and scroll towards the bottom of the posting).  This Red makes a surprisingly effective accent colour when teamed with Peacock shades and provides a fantastic colour clash when it’s up against Plugged-In Pink or Vitamin C Orange.

And my final word on colours…last year White was on my Top 10 Colour rundown and although I haven’t included it as a colour chip above, it’s still hugely important in 2012.  And with that in mind, I’m currently working on a Trendspotting article for The National newspaper (for the Jan 14th edition) featuring the leather laser-cut wallcoverings of Genevieve Bennett whose intricate and quietly stunning work impressed both Shelley & I at DesignJunction last year.  Her use of White shows exactly how it’s done!

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