Colour Trends 2014

April 16, 2014

Every season brings with it a swag of new colour schemes that capture the imagination of both the design world and their consumers. This year will be no exception with new colour pairings and rediscovered classics through print design, website design, logo design and even fashion or interior design.

Well we should start off with the official Colour of the Year from the unquestioned kings of colour – Pantone. And for 2014 they’ve chosen ‘radiant orchid’ – a soft but rich purple. This particular shade isn’t just popular with graphic designers though – it’s also been earmarked by fashionistas, with Vogue Magazine picking a similar shade of purple as one of the colours they expect to emerge this year.

As colour pairing goes, this year will see a lot of combos that have traditionally been frowned upon. Where as in the past a bright colour would often be teamed up with either a subtle colour or a dark, subdued colour, these days the rulebook has been rewritten. So expect to see bright colours teamed up with other bright colours, such as red and purple together. As part of this, we expect to see a continuation of last year’s interest in fluro oranges and yellows.

One of the key colour schemes that has emerged recently teams up bright earth tones, such as a strong orange or yellow, with cool pastels, such as light blue, bright green, a subtle aquamarine or even a washed-out purple. This look feels like it has a bit of a Mexican inspiration, and as such the strong contrast in colours here works really well in geometric and tribal patterns.

A movement that seems likely to continue into the new year is the prominence of designs that feature a white background with a multicoloured device over it, often anchored by black elements. While this approach can look amazing and can look very fresh and fun, it needs to be crafted by a talented designer to ensure it works. While simple one or two colour schemes allow huge flexibility as the design ages, multicoloured designs can be quite limited, especially as photography styles change and evolve.

On the other end of the spectrum, and to finish on a simple note – black and white could well be the next big thing (again), but this time with any shades of grey totally striped out. By itself, the pure simplicity of the combo is virtually unbeatable and as part of a design, it’s neither overpowering nor weak, and works beautifully with both full colour photography. In many ways, the versatility of black and white actually comes from it’s lack of meaning: it becomes all about the shape of the design, which is unladen by colours and what they imply.

So as you can probably see, at Bonsai Media we’re pretty passionate about colours. Why? Because it’s such an important facet of good design, and we are all about good design. And while we love to know what’s happening in the world of design, be it colour, typography or iconography, with all honesty we don’t really design by what’s in fashion at the moment; we think our clients deserve something with a little more longevity than that. So regardless of what colour scheme suits you, be it black or white, multicolour, something in between or something totally new, if you think your business could benefit from a design team that is passionate about helping their clients, then contact us at Bonsai Media, we’d love to hear from you.