Viewing entries tagged
Color trends

Art Row in Progress

Art Row in Progress

We were hired by a developer to consult on the design and exterior color for a community of new row houses in our neighborhood. We work in a designated design district of Denver and love to be involved in local work affecting our area's unique character. It is a lively, culturally rich and artistic place and it was vital to relay this in our design solution for this housing project.

There were many different materials to coordinate and work with—including stone, siding, windows and roofing—so the overall concept needed to be cohesive with all of these selections. The placement of color was an important decision grounded in emphasizing the architecture of these buildings and also in making the right statement to its users.

We came up with selections in materials and a palette of colors that gave life to this unique community. Our intent was to create a perfect street and neighborhood presence and to be able to attract the right customer base for our client.

The project has been underway for several months and we have been excited to see it take shape. It has just reached the point of color sampling and now we are even more anxious to see it completed—and to watch as it takes off in this thriving market.

These photos give a sense of the process and some of the steps going on within this and other similar consulting projects for new developments. Continue to follow us on our blog and social media for more updates on this vibrant community.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California

I just returned from a trip to Palm Springs, California. As anticipated, I found a renewed sense of architectural richness and variety and beyond that, a renewed faith that there are indeed people and places living in color. They are not afraid to use this powerful tool and creative force of color in every possible outlet.

There is an energy in the culture, the landscape and in the overall spirit of this special locale. Not only does great and renown architecture exist here and continue to develop with new construction and design—but you find this unique energy in the simplest of products and settings as well.

There is a thriving scene of sophisticated travelers, retirees and locals alike. You can tell that there is a great pride in the city's innovative and edgy purpose. It makes you truly appreciate how uninhibited design evolution can create an environment we long to be in.

In the coming weeks we will be featuring imagery from these travels on our various social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram) so please check them out—enjoy and put Palm Springs on your destination wish list.

Inspiration

Inspiration

I was told once that the key to being an excellent designer is being inspired. I have been poring over a book about Alphonse Mucha that has given me a means to finding creative energy in my work and in my daily living as well.

Alphonse Mucha was a Czech painter and decorative artist born in 1860. He moved to Paris in his late twenties and was producing magazine and advertising illustrations. Mucha got his big break in 1894 when visiting a local print shop. He heard about a need for a new poster advertising a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris. The poster he designed was a huge hit and garnered the attention of many, including the actress herself who signed Mucha on to do work for her throughout the next 6 years.

The multitude of his paintings, posters, advertisements, illustrations and other design work led to the term The Mucha Style—and became better known as Art Nouveau (French for "new art").

This stylistic form of art and design, with its universal aesthetic and luscious colors, inspires us in our lives and in the designs we work to create everyday.

Color Trends for Buildings

Color Trends for Buildings

No one wants a "trendy" building. Never the less, there are trends in building color that are distinct and make a marketing difference. Granted these color trend changes are not rapid, coming slowly and staying for a long while. But the difference of being on trend or off trend is simple. If you select colors for a building at the end of a trend your building will look nice at first when it is new. Then it will start to look tired. And in about three years, all of a sudden it will look ten years old. "Oh yeah, I remember that look—it was 2005 wasn't it?"

In many cases this will not be overly important. But if you are involved in retail or going up against brand new, cutting-edge multi-family properties you had better get it right. This is especially important if you are doing a face-lift or rehab. You can—if you get the colors right—look just as fresh and up to date as the new property you are having to compete with.

TODAY'S TWO BIGGEST TRENDS

COLOR BLOCKING    This is something which has been around awhile but has now firmly taken hold and will continue for quite some time to come. It basically is the breaking up of the facade of a building into various sections of color or materials like siding, paneling, brick, stucco, metal or the like. This can be done by emphasizing sections of materials or creating new sections with color use and placement.

This use of color is particularly good at breaking up long facades into more digestible sections so that the building no longer feels like a "complex." The selection of colors can be tailored to the segment of the market you are appealing to. Subtle colors for a more sedate tenancy—brighter for a younger market.

COLOR TRENDS    For the last ten to fifteen years the market has been driven by architectural styles that are based on historic models and so the colors used have been basically Arts and Crafts era colors, ones that are natural or earth toned and basically khaki-based. This era is over.

The new era references what is known as the Mid Century Modern Revival—architecture, furnishings and colors which refer back to the so-called "Modernism" of the late Fifties and early Sixties of last century. These colors are cleaner and stronger than the departing earth tones. The over-riding change now is to colors that are basically gray based. Blacks, reds and other bold colors are now popular. Colors with stronger contrasts in values are IN and softly blended colors are OUT.

How long will this remain popular? It is a fair guess to say a good ten years. This means that because the paint job you put on your building is usually going to last for a decade it makes clear sense to tune into these trends now so that your buildings don't look like they are from the last era and hamper your marketing efforts for years to come.

COLOR WORDS TO LIVE BY

COLOR WORDS TO LIVE BY

Color Words To Live By:

There is not a single product that color does not impact the purchasing position of.

Color Marketing

Color Marketing

I work with building exteriors where color has become hugely important. Markets are now so tight there is barely any difference between what competitors are offering at the same price points. The only thing you have to set your product apart is a look, a feel—in short, Color. Of course no one wants a trendy home. But yet there are distinct trends for the housing industry as well as for retail buildings. If you repaint and choose colors from the end of a color trend in two years your project will not just look out of date, it will look ten years old!

The trend information I glean from being a member of Color Marketing Group (CMG) not only allows me to offer much more than my competitors from a color perspective but the additional knowledge I gather about what drives these trends gives me the insight to provide nuanced colors that resonate emotionally with buyers, tenants and shoppers.

The Color People, together with Benjamin Moore and Denver Design District, is hosting a CMG Chromazone in Denver on June 15th. This workshop is a unique opportunity to exchange your ideas on what is shaping color amongst multi-industry color professionals. The work that is produced here will lead directly to a final forecast that represents colors that will be trending in 2018 and beyond.  Please join us!

COLOR SELLS

COLOR SELLS

There is not a single product where color does not impact the purchasing power. The Denver Post article relays the issue of importance of color in sales specific to the brand Case Logic. In the article, color expert James Martin of The Color People provides insight into color trends and The Color Marketing Group's strategic tagline "Color sells. And the right color sells better!"

Color Trends and Multi-Family Marketing

Color Trends and Multi-Family Marketing

The multi-family industry across the whole country is in the midst of a color trend change. This change is taking place everywhere from fashion to products and housing. For the last fifteen years we have been influenced by colors with historic antecedents which are basically khaki based colors—earthy and muted. The current color trend is based on what is being called the Mid- Century Modern Revival. As architectural color consultants, we see this as atrend that is going to last for the coming decade.

The change comes from the renewed interest in the period from 1955 to 1965. The Mad Men tv series is the most obvious flag bearer for this genre. There is also a renewed interest in mid-century homes especially by the millennial generation as well as suburban boomers returning to the urban world. In our core cities almost all new multi-family housing is reflective of this period of architectural styles.

As a rule, millennials are the ones seriously drawn to all things Mid-Mod. So if you are trying to appeal to them and are looking for your communities to attract this generation through the next ten years it is going to be imperative that you plan now for these properties to offer a look and feel that appeals to them. And don’t forget the boomers—always hip to the latest thing— they're now looking to live in places reflective of “what’s going on.”

Translated into colors this means that we are going to be seeing things based on a gray-toned palette rather than khaki. And since vivid color is the new measure of looking current we are going to see a lot more use of unexpected color on buildings that herald the fact that the properties that use them are up to date. We are already seeing oranges and reds though these are already passé. As the public gets more and more sophisticated and 50s colors are more common the palette is going to change to turquoises, icy blues and cool yellows. What may be seen now as a bit outlandish will quickly be see as the norm.

As color trend experts we see our job as making sure your property looks up to date and on the front end of color trends throughout your whole eight-ten year paint cycle. This new color family will need accents because living in grays solely will never really be something that makes for an outstanding statement nor will it attract the millennial market. If, as a savvy marketer, you want to appeal to the young resident you will be wise to take the opportunity and really step out from your competitors before you find these other properties going bold and outshining yours. Never forget, it will be years before you can paint again. 

COLOR WORDS TO LIVE BY: MAKING THE RIGHT STATEMENT

COLOR WORDS TO LIVE BY: MAKING THE RIGHT STATEMENT

A small house wants to make a small statement. A color consultant knows to avoid the temptation to make the house too busy. When a house has a lot of fretwork, often people want to paint every single little detail. The result makes those details look like they've been stuck on the house without any relationship to the rest of the building. When many elements vye for attention you lose the statement you want the house to make.