Designing for personality with Voice of Colour

Following its success in North America, the Voice of Colour palette brings the latest colour trends, and Colour of the Year – Black Flame – to Johnstone’s Trade paint coatings and its UK customers. We recently spoke to Donna Taylor, Principal Colour Consultant for Voice of Colour, about what the new colour palette and 2018 trends guide, Corelation, bring to designers and architects on this side of the pond.

Colour means different things to different people around the world, however, the way it impacts our everyday lives is unquestionable. From our earliest days, colour helps to shape the way we understand and interpret the world, and plays a unique role in helping to create memories and even trigger our emotions.

For this reason, colour is one of the most powerful tools a designer has at their disposal. When used as part of a holistic design, colour can help create a wider story that represents the personality and individualism of a space and the people who occupy it.

Voice of Colour’s 2018 trends guide, Corelation, builds on this understanding. It helps designers produce interior spaces that resonate with their clients’ unique personalities, while also offering guidance on the use of colour within a wider design concept.

Featuring four key colour themes and stories, the 2018 collection allows designers to align their clients’ personality and desires with a theme that suits their mindsets. It’s about finding the right moods, objects and items that help identify individuality, and then creating themes around that inspiration.

Personality themes
Corelation offers four primary colour stories that people can identify with. The Retreater theme addresses people’s growing need to regularly withdraw from the pressures, chaos and overstimulation that so often come with daily life. Light, airy tones that help achieve calm, balance and peace feature in this colour collection.

The Dream Weaver colour palette resonates with those who embody a perpetual ability to shine, live a free-spirited lifestyle and find creativity under any circumstance. Muted and ethereal brights are complemented with earth-based tones in this collection.

Meanwhile, the Commoner colour palette connects to those who are attracted to popular minimalist Nordic-inspired designs, which emphasise going back to basics. This palette aims to express diversity and an eclectic approach to living, expect colours that are muted, with vague tints to colours of the rainbow such as jewel tones.

Finally, the Brave colour story reflects a new design mentality that mimics the growing yearning for protection, strength and stability to feel safe during uncertain times. The deep, rich, luxurious colours that make up this substantial palette will be certain to turn heads in any space.

Underpinning these four themes is Voice of Colour’s 2018 Colour of the Year, Black Flame. Blending two classic hues, black and indigo, the statement-making colour evokes privacy, hope and classic modernism. Black creates the silence we crave in an information-heavy world, while the indigo offers possibility and a deep hopefulness.

Black Flame is the anchor colour throughout the Corelation trends guide, offering a versatile and contemporary shade across all four themes.

Bringing the themes to life
Traditionally, when choosing colours, designers might use a fan deck of over a thousand different shades to pinpoint a particular colour or collection of colours that complement a wider design scheme. The Corelation trends guide complements Voice of Colour’s wider colour palette by offering a more cohesive guide through the design journey. Using one of the four themes, designers can develop a holistic scheme where every part of their design – from colour to materials – truly resonates with the client’s personality.

For example, a creative agency with a new office space might identify with the Dream Weaver – an artful, playful and creative story which influences designs that pop like its personality. Taking inspiration from this, the designer can use the Corelation guide to develop an interior space that draws on this theme. Bold, rainbow palettes express a hedonistic, care-free spirit while the sparing use of speciality materials like marble or chrome offer a point of focus and draws attention.

Alternatively, a space could be influenced by its surroundings. For example, a remote boutique hotel or coastal home might align itself more closely with the Retreater theme. Inspired by a wish for reprieve from everyday noise, this story offers a sense of escapism and solitude through nature-inspired designs, organic materials and pared-down aesthetics. Layering organic materials, patterns and objects with calming, neutral and warm hues will act as accents to draw the eye in an otherwise subdued theme.

Building the themes
The Corelation trends guide has been inspired by the collaboration of over 20 Voice of Colour stylists from around the world, including representatives from a number of industries such as consumer electronics, architecture, automotive and aerospace. These experts come together to study user insights and building materials and decor trends. In doing so, they’re able to gain a perspective on where design preferences are heading, and subsequently use this to create the four colour themes that reflect current attitudes.

Individuality is one of the most fundamental components in good design. Traditionally, personality was more frequently expressed in domestic spaces – with white walls and easy maintenance typically winning over in commercial, healthcare and even retail spaces. However, we’re seeing an influx of consumer and domestic style transcend design across the board. From office to home, design today reflects a heightened focus on wellbeing and individuality, and colour is key to this – helping to create an experience or inspire a certain mood.

This belief is at the very core of Voice of Colour and the 2018 Corelation trends guide, offering designers an easier way to reflect their clients’ unique personalities in the spaces in which they live, work and play.

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