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. In its 14th edition, Asian Paints ColourNext is its most comprehensive yet. It goes beyond colour, because cold steel and a handwoven rug can both be the exact shade of grey, but give a different feeling. Material, texture and finish work together to create a forecast for spaces that draw from the mood of the nation, exploring social, political, economic and visual cultures across cities, big and small. Like a tapestry of experiences and aspirations, ColourNext 2017 tells four distinct trend stories, with a palette of its own. And yet, each finds an echo in the other, in the underlying pursuit of a delicate balance. As they decipher societal trends at a time when the world at large is feeling a push towards standardisation and the pull of traditional roots, like culture, colour is getting decoded.