The power of colour

by Andrew Pike


First of all, Happy New Year to you!! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and love, and also managed to carve out a few spare moments away from work and get some rest and relaxation. A new year is upon us, and now it’s time to get back to work, and in my world, that’s the business of design and everything that comes along with it.

The start of a new year is always exciting for many reasons, especially in my industry. New products are launching, things that were introduced in the fall are finally starting to come to the market, and the world of colour is exploding with suggestions and predictions for where the trends are headed next. It’s always fun to peruse design magazines and websites to see what companies are encouraging as the next big thing.

Colour is especially intriguing. I honestly didn’t think in my lifetime that I would see the resurgence of dusty rose, or as they have cleverly altered it and dubbed it now, millennial pink. It came back with a vengeance a while back and is still going strong years later. A new audience and new applications make it fresh and fun, and takes design to a whole new level when used in clever ways. Gone are the Laura Ashley pink roses of yore, to be replaced with softer shades paired with gray and gold. But trends are constantly evolving and developing, and that will obviously always include colour.

When it comes to colour predictions, one of the industry leaders is Pantone. They are a globally recognized privately held company, and are widely regarded to be the institution that helps to standardize colour around the globe. Each and every year in December they release what they call the “Colour of The Year”. They examine multiple factors including world events, the economic climate, fashion trends, political situations, and the general feeling of the populous to decide what the colour will be. If things are deemed to be doing really well, they will often choose a neutral or pale tone. If things are not so great, they often choose a bright or bold colour to try and lift our spirits. This year they have given us 'Ultra Violet 18-3838' which is a vibrant and lively purple. I wonder what exactly they’re trying to tell us…

In addition to Pantone, paint companies are a great indicator of where things are headed. Benjamin Moore declared its colour of the year for 2018 as Caliente AF-290, a vibrant, charismatic shade of red. PPG's SICO paint brand selected Cast Iron 6173-83. This dark matte black colour is the perfect mix of timelessness and modern sophistication.

But what do all these colours have in common? They are bold, rich, and full of strong personality. Maybe this DOES actually signal the end of millennial pink…

Ultra Violet 18-3838

Caliente AF-290

Cast Iron 6173-83




Learn how the 2018 colour palette will influence fashion and lifestyle products this year from Toronto Gift Fair Keynote Speaker Andrew Pike on Sunday, January 28 at the Toronto Congress Centre, Pinsent Room from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.


Roundtable: The Power of Colour