BASF Coatings presents color trend update Soft change instead of radical upheaval
(PresseBox) (Münster, )Just on time for the opening of their Color Design Studio Europe, BASF Coatings designers Eva Höfli, Mark Gutjahr and Katja Pauli have updated their color trend forecast for the European automotive world. The designers still recognize the general public's heightened environmental awareness as part of society's meta-trend, which has an impact on automotive color trends. At the same time, they clearly point out that "in Europe, the shift will take place more gently. Evolution, not revolution is top priority these days." In addition to the quest for ecologically aware behavior, the designers have observed another trend. While some segments of the general public think things can't be high quality and sustainable enough, for other segments, material constraints alone rule their lives. "Although these people no longer have to be as frugal as in the past, in some areas, economic efficiency and consistent behavior are vital," says Gutjahr, putting it in a nutshell.
The automotive industry, too, is seizing the two trends. In addition to emission-free but still pricey electric cars, in Eastern Europe and Asia in particular, affordable cars for a new class of buyers are making major inroads on the market. The two developments share the trend toward keeping the status quo while creating new variations at the same time. And when it comes to the color of future automotive paints, it's no different. "Gone are the days in which the only way to be modern and good was to introduce an entirely new development," says Höfli, describing the result of their trend research. She explains that silver and black remain the top leaders among the colors for newly registered cars in Europe, and this will not be changing in the near future. Blue, red and white are further down in the list of popular colors. Even today, the trend experts have identified that both developments - the eco-boom and the need to economize - will be reflected in their own way in the automotive color world.
The color silver offers the best example for this. The up-and-coming colors are dramatic and multi-faceted. New pigments lend the once cool silver a warm, nearly organic touch and give it the most subtle of color nuances. "The statement, 'My car is silver,' won't be exact enough in the future," Höfli predicts. "The spectrum of individual options has become too broad." From very light, nearly whitish colors to dark, heavy colors, anything is conceivable. The designers are following the trend toward conscious subtlety and stylish understatement in this segment with suspense. "It's no longer chic to be the one to score highest on the bling scale. Class often isn't apparent until the second or third glance," Höfli says. At the same time, however, it's important to develop colors for buyers with less of an affinity for design. These colors need to have effects that are less energy-consuming to produce without compromising on pizzazz.
For the designers, competing social trends in the development of the color black can be identified just as clearly. In the future, this color will communicate a previously unknown spectrum of emotions. "The black of tomorrow is no longer the simple solution it often embodies today," says Gutjahr. Instead, the blacks of the future will be reflecting conflicting forces: clear statements on the one hand and uncertainty and reservations on the other. The clear statements are primarily communicated in the extremely clear, deep black nuances. The effect is completely different for the new, super sparkling or tinted blacks. Unlike previous blacks, they will no longer visibly drift off into the realm of gray but will combine lush black with extreme sparkle or color highlights. "As crazy as it sounds, it will be a black that lights up. But without any light," says Gutjahr, describing the vision.
The soft white trend of the past years is continuing to make headway in Europe, especially for high-class cars in the premium segment. For blues and reds, the development is moving toward much deeper, more intensive and saturated colors. These high-chromatic variations show just how much technology is contained in the design process. "It's not just trends that are spreading globally much faster than before, but technology as well," Gutjahr explains. "As a partner of the carmakers, it goes without saying that we are also called upon to produce ideas. The days of pure brain-storming with no possibility for implementation are over, however. That's why we are constantly making an effort to think of how we will implement the ideas we come up with." Now that sounds like a trend that will take off.