Under the title ACT/9, the designers of BASF's Coatings division present their ninth global color collection.
The designers translated their trend observations into new color schemes for automotive surfaces. The title of the collection indicates the duct of the key findings: It’s time to act and open up. ACT/9 captures the impulse of making the first steps for a real change.
The designers led their research for the trend colors in various contexts clustering their observations into three trend worlds. Each of these summarizes several observations and are grouped under two keywords.
Identity & Individuality Especially young people do not commit to conventional life goals of financial success and a well-established position in social life. They question concepts of gender or status through new products and styles. There is a big shift in the way we shape our biographies, consume and communicate.
The increasing demand for individualization copes with the mass market requirements through digitalization. Products will be increasingly intelligent and adapt to personal requirements. Especially the trend of shared services and non-ownership drives an individualization oscillating between the idea of bespoke and mass-market availability. Bright silvers with silky texture effects take up these new ideas in various color shades. This is complemented by an extensive range of red shades and pastels and goldish metals which play a major role in this context.
Society & Interaction Observations on societal change point to a new group of game changers. These highly connected digital natives use their network and skills to overcome the pain points of oversaturated markets with daring concepts of services and products. The public acknowledgment of even small initiative through digital media supports this commitment for change. An engaging approach to sustainability involves new stakeholders and consumers. Upcycling and recycling evolve as key drivers for urban housing. The color palette in this societal context offers energetic blue shades to illustrate the vigorous commitment but also outstanding color positions like violet and brilliant orange shades.
Progress & Innovation The trends around progress and innovation mirror that the fascination for technological progress shifts to the awareness of original human needs and capabilities. Intelligent devices already have a major impact on car driving today and its’ influence will rise in the future: self-breaking cars or automated parking are just a few of many examples. With the unmanageable complexity of digitalization in people’s lives, they concentrate on the intuitive and pure human ability to influence the direction of progress. Colors with sophisticated effects add a warm sphere to exceptional color direction. Pastels with soft textures emphasize the sensual quality creating a new experience of surface. Off-tone yellows or complex goldish metals will shape the face technology.
Reputation of Cars Will Change The automotive industry is on the way to define how this new driving experience will look like by transferring visionary innovations into solutions which are applicable in everyday traffic situations. Future mobility concepts will lead to a change of the car as a product as well as its perception in society. Getting into a car in the near future will be a whole different driving experience. In the framework of the global color collection, the designers identified key color directions for the regions of Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America. These key colors represent the driving impulses for automotive color and surface: outstanding color positions designed in EMEA refer to the radical commitment to change, a complex new metallic designed in North America with a reference to a mind and body duality in post-digital era and a shining bright bright metal designed in Asia Pacific which mirrors a positive and open-minded attitude of young consumers ideas of lifestyle.
The name says it: ACT/9, the title of the Automotive Color Trends 2019-20, describes the new spirit of individuals who are willing to make an impact. This is reflected by a collection of innovative colors which consider the global and the regional specific trend drivers for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), North America (NA) and Asia Pacific (AP).
Ingenuity at Multiple Horizons Attitudes centered on positive impact open new avenues for product introductions. Buyers no longer are content with merely accepting new technologies but focus on becoming involved in the early stages of development, forming and shaping it so as to eke out the most it can offer. This arises from a much better informed and demanding consumer base, ready to adapt and conflate ideas and trends into objects that balance utility and sleekness. This combination leads to the design of coatings that meet these high expectations. Colors for the region, therefore, branch out into spaces that follow these unique demands. Solid colors are introduced, for example, that blend elegance and simplicity yet appear futuristic. Pastel shades of teal and blue underscore a sense of optimism and trust, whereas more saturated green and blues appeal to the more traditional and iconic color spaces for automotive. Metallic shades have been softened for texture, with chromatic and achromatic colors appearing fine and smooth, sometimes punctuated by a curtain of glittering effects.
The need to be connected and seen means that the visual experiences remain at the forefront of consumer desires. Designs sought to capture this intent in the use of playful interactions of color. Innovative color spaces, therefore, were formulated to have an interplay of hues that change depend- ing from which angle a color is viewed.The requirement for intelligent products heightens the need for capturing these trends in colors. In North America, a shift towards smoother metallics, colors that display distinctive coloristic flip- flop, and elegant and functional solid colors all point the way to novel developments that help shape the next generation of color. Beyond the Stereotypes In the region of Asia Pacific the examination of cultural roots and diversity teams up with the global impulse of an active mindset of real change. It drives the societal confidence to speak up and break up against conventions of gender or social origin. Especially young consumers take up the global spirit of individuality through multi-facetted biographies and do not commit to one address, one job or role anymore.
They enjoy a genderless notion of beauty just as well as a “non-gender-branded” access to activities like boxing or motorcycling. People take on a focused notion of the self and celebrate moments of “being yourself”. These individualistic ideas will affect the automotive landscape in Asia Pacific.
Design concepts, therefore, dare to go beyond stereotype colors and surfaces and fan out an unusual color palette with clearly “voiced” shades. Fresh whitish silvers and intense red color spaces underline this development. In the fast-paced Asian society the search for harmonization leads people to the treasury of traditional philosophy and aesthetics. The respect for local heritage molds a new notion of quality and pureness which entails a palette of balanced shades ranging from beige to light blue.
The focus on human needs also supports a positive technology-friendly attitude. Where functionality and efficiency used to be the drivers for progress, emotional and sensual qualities now feed the innovation pipeline with ideas that stir up the image of technology. The new shape of development lines up bright floating colors such as silky neutral metallics but also dark, raw and vital colors such as coarse gray metallic or sensual purple.
Sustainability is a major influencer in Asian urban areas. City planning and housing explore 3D printing technologies, upcycling and recycling concept to reduce waste production and CO2 emissions. The approaches also gain importance for automotive coatings as future mobility concepts will be tailored for consumers who want to influence the use of material and production.
New Individualities Blur Boundaries The driving impulses for the region EMEA point to profound changes in societal conventions and the occurrence of new target groups. Hence, societies are characterized by a variety of different value systems that cannot be pressed into a standardized concept. The notion of gender is also affected, as well as the concepts of luxury and status. Therefore, individuality continues its increasing importance for design concepts, which will shape the future of the automotive landscape. The color trends in Europe challenge every- day standards through complex metallics in the bronze and beige color space.
Social media influence the definition of new value systems and play an important role for a unique reinvention of European luxury brands, questioning their ‘overcome image’. It needs to be adapted to new demands and new target groups who prefer (a) multi-optional lifestyle(s) to predefined product landscapes.
These new, powerful target groups desire new color spaces that have not been popular until now. Consequently, unique color positions like violet metallic can become more common.
A counter-movement to the multi-optional lifestyle which explores striking and iconic impulses on human perception in various urban context – such as architecture or interior design. In hectically and rapidly changing times, the concept of quietness and calmness becomes indispensable. Therefore, the trend color palette tries to create a connection to a deeply rooted, emotional level through depth and intensity in sparkle.