Each year, since 2003, Asian Paints has been predicting the newest design trends for the Indian market and naming 15 colours that represent those trends in their programme titled Colour Next. The results of Colour Next 2009 were announced last week. Amit Syngle, vice-president, sales and marketing, Asian Paints, talks about why they started the trend tracking, what colours young technology enthusiasts will want to use, and how people’s concept of nature has changed over the past three years.
Why did Asian Paints start Colour Next?
While there are plenty of researchers following global trends on colours, there was no track on the trends happening in Indian homes, no one researching why certain colours were moving and why people were using those colours in their home. Given how diverse the global market is, we realized we wanted something totally Indian. We went to Indian leaders in the form of architects, product designers, and interior designers, and asked, “What are the general trend of colours being used?” Each year we sit around with all these opinion leaders of colour researching what is happening in the market.
The Homepage trend
What are the trends this year?
The first trend, Metropolis, is inspired by the city at night. It talks of the colour of luxury and it epitomizes masculinity. The colours are dark shades of browns and purples with a touch of silver. It’s power dressing on the wall.
The second trend, the Indiegene, is all about the New India and inspired by the emerging India story. We’re finally looking to India as a source of inspiration, so it’s a stylization of the rich past of Indian design. We use rich metallics, with undertones of copper and pink and green.
The third one is called Earthsong, and its for people who are very, very aware of their contribution to the planet. These are the ones conserving water and using environmentally sound products in their house. Largely the palate are the nature colours of green and blues.
The fourth one, Multiplicity, speaks of the duality of the personality and the individual of the multitasker. There are dark tones of purple and blue and a double layering of silver and dark maroon.
The last and final trend, Homepage, speaks of self-expression, particularly of young people, influenced by technology, to be creative. All these photographers and designers and musicians rely on technology in their home to highlight their creativity. So, we see this as bright and energetic colours of optimism—yellows and blues complemented by silver.
Are these trends that we’re seeing already, or what we’ll see in the future?
We see some simmering of these trends happening, but they’ll become much larger trends in the future. This is something that is visible, but we’re just seeing the seeds being planted now.
Who benefits from this study—other than Asian Paints?
There are two distinct segments that use our studies. The first is the entire community of designers, exporters, decorators, etc. They are looking at trends globally and locally and when they are making their products, they base a lot of their designs on these trends. Also, home consumers use them when they come in looking for the latest, most trendy colours.
The Indiegene trend
How do people implement these trends?
What we understand from the designers point of view, is that they profile their clients and look at the existing formula and try to make a match with our trends. So, if it’s a man who sees himself as a connoisseur of art, they would go for these Metropolis colours. For the Homepage trend, perhaps the designers use the colours only in the private space, where a young person works, but not in the living room.
How do you gauge if you’re choosing the right trends?
There are some trends that change. For example, if you look at nature, it’s been a visible trend for about the last three years. But last year, people were looking at the brighter side of nature—with yellows and what not. But this year people are looking more at serenity and peace with greens and blues. We try to track the premium sites coming up like hotels and happening homes, and the published work on homes to see if they match our trends. We also track what our retailers are selling. All predictions can’t be a hundred percent accurate, colours are moving fast. But I think we’re fairly accurate in what we predict.