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Colour: harmony and the 9 segments of colour

by Madelein
Colour: harmony and the 9 segments of colour

On 31 March WGSN’s sister brand, Coloro, held a live online session with Coloro’s head of content, Joanne Thomas. It included a walkthrough of the Coloro system featuring Colour Harmonies, Mapping and Palette Building, contextualised through trends.

The session was about a new way to objectively view colour to create responsible palettes for longevity and to choose colours that resonate with you.

Reliable colour forecasting

The combination of WGSN’s trend forecasting expertise and Coloro’s innovations in colour brings reliable colour forecasting, with added intelligence on achievability and sustainability in colour. Together, they combine world-leading colour, trend and data expertise so you can align your business on future colour trends with data-backed confidence.

Importance of colour

Colour is the most appealing element in selecting the design. Colours generate consumer appeal. The session highlighted the simplistic power of colours and why they are so important to connect with the consumer. Colour is a universal language and the most powerful tool in design. It influences our choices in products, hence the importance of choosing the right colour for your brand.

Colour mapping

Colours are decoded by the human eye as we see them, by hue, lightness and chroma. Each of the 3 500 colours is specified by a unique seven-digit code representing the point where hue, lightness and chroma intersect. This allows us to organise and analyse colour.

By being able to do this, we can objectively view colour and create responsible palettes for longevity. Colour mapping also has a competitive overview, so you can see how popular your colour is and how to adapt trends in this system to see what works for you or your brand.

The future of colour

By being able to select the colours right the first time, you achieve accuracy the first time around – allowing you to cut costs, work with ease and create conscious colour.

This gives you the freedom to create and execute along with Coloro’s beautifully designed system, where nine colours are decoded.

Complementary harmonies

Complimentary harmonies are tricky to use in large doses, but they work well to stand out. It represents a satisfying balance or unity of colours, making it pleasing to the human eye. This is achieved when colours have similar lightness and chroma values:

  • With analogous harmonies, we combine the colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. They are closely related. It has a calming and comfortable look and is pleasing to the human eye, such as found in nature.
  • Triadic harmony pairs colours with equal spacing, ultimately making a triangle and creating impactful contrasts.

The nine segments of colour

  1. High lightness, low chroma: This taps into different trends and focuses on cleanliness, softness and spirituality as you would see in skincare, lingerie, kitchens and bathrooms, and open spaces with lots of light. Natural materials are used to reconnect people to the nature. Off-whites are the colour of the season. It is classic and can be used in different textured fabrics.
  • It is almost the same as number 1 and stands very close to neutrals. This colour stands for wellness, neutrality, timelessness, balance and sustainability. It is sophisticated, luxurious and has themes of restoration. These colours can be paired with metallic finishes.
  • Core darks: Timeless, quiet, mysterious, feelings of being safe and warm. This modern goth trend and back in black creates a dark palette with leather, lace and gloss. It focuses on aesthetic, shape and silhouette with its sleekness, and it is distinctly timeless. Rich, dark browns are also popular as a continuity colour. It is casual, luxurious, timeless and versatile, and can be paired with black and low chroma segments.
  • Lightness mid chroma with pastels: A soft, youthful, uplifting, playful, refreshing, delicate, happy and feel-good colour scheme. These wellness pastels are often used in beauty packaging, statement tech and interior pieces. It is popular to use in coloured glass, and the lighting effects are fresh and inspiring. Colour of the year 2023: Digital lavender. It expresses optimistic energy and is ideal for glamour accessories across all genders and categories. Purple hues and pairing with coloured metallics such as footwear and accessories, extroverted glamour, says let’s party. It is popular in all product categories and especially in the youth sector – along with the warm and buttery hues of neutral for casual wear, which can easily be paired.
  • Treatment tones: This colour creates a feeling of harmony, and it is soothing, earthy, sustainable, tranquil and popular for organic and green products. Natural, uplifting greens and energising yellows are very popular. It is harmonious, nature-inspired colours that tap into organic and earthy sustainable tones.
  • Low lightness mid chroma: Classic, rich, reliable, tactile, cosy sophisticated and luxurious colours that can be used in fabrics, clothes and your home. These colour palettes have been put together to embrace contentment, including specifically organic materials and patterns. Popular in fashion, beauty, tech, bedrooms, kitchens and the living room. Organic greens, oxidised reds, primal plums, Lazuli blue and washed colours are very popular on catwalks.
  • Segment 7 is the brightest one, offering uplifting, fun, safety, hopeful, freedom, fresh, happy and psychedelic prints. This is very popular amongst the youth and creates statement pieces. It is ideal for shoes and sportswear. It has psychedelic prints and bold statement pieces. Autumn 2022 has acid yellow as one of its popular colours, with natural and synthetic fibres.
  • Active bright colours are very popular on the catwalk. It expresses joy, fun, vibrancy, sport, upliftment and energy. It is popular in streetwear trends, with sheen or texture, and can work with core colours. Beacon orange, Astro green and hyper pink are all delightful colours with maximum impact and are versatile, fun and playful.
  • Segment 9 is dark and saturated colours – think mystery and intrigue. It has an impact on the creative (film) industry, with colour experimentation in cinematography, which makes items and clothes extremely popular and often sold out or on the waiting list. Some key colours: Luscious red for outdoor wear or casual wear and performance blue are extremely popular in textured fabrics with depth and vibrance.

The Coloro system helps to adapt trend colours for your brand. The system helps you to establish the colour that will work for you and your brand. You can take bold colours and tone them down to make them more wellness focus for your chosen consumer.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://int.coloro.com/us for the information in this editorial.

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