They show up earlier and earlier every year!
No, we’re not talking about holiday decorations in retail stores, or next year’s new-model cars. What we’re noticing is how paint manufacturers and color experts have been trying to get the jump on each other by introducing their “Color of the Year” long before the end of the current year.
Apparently, the stakes are especially high this year in the paint world, because the color experts are not only predicting what will be trending in the coming year, but for the next decade.
PPG Paints jumped into the fray way back in June, naming Chinese Porcelain (PPG1160-6) as its 2020 Color of the Year. The company describes the color as “a blend of cobalt and moody, ink blue that imparts calmness and restful sleep while also offering the spirit of hopefulness – a rare commodity in a restless world.” Those are pretty high expectations for what’s essentially just a deep cobalt blue, but we can’t help but admire PPG for expecting that a paint color can help offer some escape from our fast-paced, technologically driven world. We’re all about the power of color!
Sherwin-Williams was another early announcer, barely waiting until the onset of fall to name its own deep blue shade as its 2020 Color of the Year: the dark, velvety Naval (SW-6244). The company describes Naval as “a color of infinite calmness and deepest inspiration” and “a serene shade with a hint of opulence.”
However, Sherwin-Williams seems to expect its blue to be less about escapism, and more about a return to the vibrancy of the Roaring ‘20s. Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, says, “We’re predicting that the next decade in color is going to be bold. This year we saw the return of the ‘70s, and next year we think the vibrant energy and luxurious design of speakeasies will make a comeback.” Basically, it’s Roaring ‘20s meets 2020s.
While Naval is evocative of night skies and ocean depths, Behr Paints’ 2020 Color of the Year has a more land-based focus. It’s Back to Nature (S340-4), a meadow green that the company describes as “nature’s favorite color.”
Behr is also banking on that magical combination of vibrancy and calm as the coming color trend. The company says, “Back to Nature is a restorative and revitalizing green hue that engages the senses and pairs well with other colors both inside and outside your home.”
Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr, says, “It takes us to a place that feels effortless, like a hike in the woods or a walk on the beach, and it’s a color that signifies life and mortality. We think that at the rise of a new decade, it’s a really important color to consider.”
We get a another take on green from Dunn-Edwards Paints: the pastel Minty Fresh. But while the shade is different, the overall intent is roughly the same: a combination of relaxing and invigorating, with an emphasis on both nature and technology. Sara McLean, color expert and stylist for Dunn-Edwards, says, “Minty Fresh reflects the optimistic spirit of entering a new decade of fresh starts. … We are searching for tranquility and finding the balance between calm and progress.”
Sherwin-Williams’ HGTV HOME Collection has an entirely different take on what will be trending in 2020 and beyond. The brand named the pinky/peachy Romance (SW 6323) as its 2020 Color of the Year, describing it as “a soft blush tone with a slight apricot influence.” While the color is definitely not bold, it does seem to be intended as a neutral background color that will let other elements pop.
So there you have it: an early look at the colors that may or may not be trending in the ‘20s. Of course, there are still several other companies that have yet to chime in, including Benjamin Moore (set to announce its 2020 Color of the Year on October 11), and the ever-influential color-matching firm Pantone. Will they also present colors in the same calm/invigorating theme, or will they throw in a curveball? We won’t have to wait long to see!