Colour is coded. But, just like roses aren’t always red and violets are sometimes a sunflower yellow, code can change colour too. Ask the bride from Kerala whose beautiful white saree raises quite a few eyebrows among her Punjabi baraat. Or the Japanese bus driver who, like us, stops at red, but goes at ‘grue’. In a country that had only one word for blue and green till World War II, even today traffic lights are the bluest shade of green possible. While there are some universal ideas about what a colour symbolises, colour association is cultural, and can be deeply personal. At Asian Paints, they understand that every colour has a spectrum of interpretations, as diverse as the people who experience it. In fact, that’s what inspires them.
Introduced in 2003, ColourNext, their annual colour forecast has become widely recognised as a powerful tool for designers, architects and anyone working with colour to refer to the upcoming year’s freshest colours and a springboard for design ideas. India’s finest design minds, including architects, sociologists, advertising professionals and media moguls work alongside each other to break down, analyse and draw conclusions from changing consumer behaviour and shifts in paradigm. The trend stories are then culled out from these insights and taken forward to a panel of designers, who work with the colour marketing team at Asian Paints to derive colour associations and create the final colour stories. These four colour stories paint a picture of the future while rooted in findings from the present.
The Colour of the Year is an expression of what comes out as the overarching mood of the year. The year 2019 is going to be about being woke and its spread, till it becomes the way we classify society – the new nobility.