“What is your favorite color?” at least once in their lives everybody has come across this question. People had pretty limited color options in their childhood; girls were taught to love red. In contrast, boys were taught to love blue for absolutely stupid reasons, and nevertheless, it is the debate for some other time. The point is, there is no denying to the fact that colors make our lives more beautiful and lively.
The year 2021 has given us a lot of surprises, with the pandemic going on and people losing their jobs and loved ones there was quite a little to celebrate. The only thing that kept us going along was online shopping and the different colors that we come across. There is a strong correlation between advertising and top colors; you may not be aware of it yet.
With the entrance in the new decade, the color trends of 2021 are already waiting to spring into action. The most popular colors of 2021 not only communicates the brand message but actually speak up whether they are soft and subtle or bold and brave. Everybody can simply agree to the fact that first impressions are everything and popular colors can often make an impression even before a word, shape or a clear message.
In contemporary culture, which is entirely customer-driven colors can make and break the persona of a brand. While some poplar colors are still going to shine, there are a few colors that we have to say goodbye, as 2021 does not have any space for such outdated hues. However, a few of the colors will continue to evolve over time and may become the most popular color by the end of 2021. There is no difference as such among the color trends, design trends or fashion trends; they all are continuously shifting and are pretty fast-paced.
The colors for 2021 are only soft blushes and deep blues which is definitely in accordance with the experts of the industry and leading paint brand that have put forward their trending color picks. Our departure from the previous year’s vibrant hues and living corral, the year 2021 has got us craving for the peaceful and steady shades. In this article, I will be discussing the list of popular colors and explore how they can give significant meaning to your upcoming project.
There is some unexplainable thing about colors, they are compelling and have a massive impact on our emotion and the way everybody behaves. In a few contexts, the effect of these colors is universal; however, our perception of the colors is hugely subjective. How a person reacts to a certain hue relies on a lot of demographic factors such as culture, gender and age.
Considering all the design elements that are attractive to our emotions, including the words, images and shapes, significant importance is given to colors. Therefore while using them you must consider the message of your brand, you should see there is not any discrepancy between the message of your brand and the message your color is sending. Who exactly is the audience of your brand, and what do they say? While marketing your project, you may not think of these peculiarities, but they are pretty essential, and one wrong step can end up creating a pretty bad image for your brand, and you obviously would not want that.
Colors tend to inform the viewers about the things they should feel; they have the tendency to arouse a specific kind of feeling in the customers; therefore, the marketers are advised to use them smartly. From the branding perspective, it can be said that the color represents the brand and product purpose and personality. Such as, you can see the color of most popular social media applications like Facebook and Twitter, which is blue, these colors communicate reliability and trustworthiness. Therefore most corporate businesses go for blue color.
On the other hand, the color green is perceived as nature and wholesomeness, which is often adopted by the wellness brand; you can see many juice bars and organic products brands go for green color. And if you wish to portray power and prosperity through your brand then go for red color as in a few cultures red means being assertive. So the purpose of explaining the messages the colors communicate is if they are used strategically, you can effectively position the brand in the customers’ minds.
With that being said, it is pretty evident that there is an emotional impact of colors on the customers; if brands use them smartly, they can tempt the audience into buying their products. If you notice the color pattern of the food industry you would see the red and orange colors used in abundance, these colors make us feel hungry, such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King. Blues give the calming effect, whereas yellow is pretty energizing. If you want your customers to feel a particular way, then you can do that just by using the right combination of the colors.
There is a new trend of using neon colors used in the logo or interior designing. Everybody can agree to the fact that the neon badges are quite attractive and catchy enough to earn the second glance. That’s the trick that most business organizations use today; they use neons to keep the visitors hooked on to them and stay in the store longer to maybe shop a little too.
The 2021 colors trends are taking us back to the 80s, where everyone wore tapered jeans and carried feathered bangs. And the most beautiful color in the world then was neon colors; nevertheless, these colors are on the rise once again. The neon signs do not necessarily need to be glowing and blinding; it is the outline of the sings that creates a shimmering impact.
The neon signs can make you feel right at home in the different design settings, such as logos, product packaging or the book covers. The luminous finish catches the attention of the customer without going overboard wholly. So go ahead, its time you come out of your comfort zone, and rock that retro flamingo light and put it on display. It is right on the trend there.
An essential read for you: Color Theory and why it is Important
The classic blue has been declared the most popular color of 2021 by the high court of hues, Pantone, you may already be aware of this name. He described the color as the reassuring presence, drilling confidence, implanting calmness and making connections with others. You can also associate this evergreen shade with reflection, stability and resilience. The classic blue is widely used in all kinds of design categories. Classic blue is one of the top ten favorite colors.
Remember how it was always said that the trends are recurrent; today, the modern trend that people are adopting is actually the trends that were common in the 70s and 80s. Well, the trends are also evolutionary, where one trend leads to another significant trend. The past few years pastel hues were quite in a fashion which later evolved into the trend of see-through and transparent color overlays.
The effect of layers is quite subtle and lightweight while also remaining visually exciting and profound. Because of the blending of the intricate layers, it works efficiently in the flat settings like album covers, murals, book covers and posters.
The best part of the overlays trend is that it has a long-lasting effect which creates intriguing and unexpected visual effects. At the time you would notice it glowing, this contemporary trend may be tricky for you, but it is pretty approachable as well, so you can give it a try. Every time a viewer sees a design of overlay hues, the person notices the difference nuance to his/ her composition. If it is seen design-wise, then it is the gift that keeps on giving.
You may already be aware of the bold and out of the box choice made by Etsy by choosing Chartreuse as the color of the year. The decision of going for this color was prompted by the increased searches of the users for items in the vibrant shades of green. The daring color exemplifies the unusual thinking and a sense of the new beginnings; it further originated as a fashion textile as well.
There has been an isometric trend going on for a few years which has now turned into the futuristic color schemes within the different design that are simultaneously 3D and flat. Steeped blues, rich purples and hot pinks take the credit of taking the revolutionary look to another level. The final look of this approach results in feeling new, fresh, fun and multi-dimensional in unrealistic ways.
The trend of using futuristic color schemes do not seem to go down anytime soon, and it is more likely to stay in the market in the upcoming years as well. One thing that you must not forget is that the futuristic approach does not have to be self-driving cars, virtual reality and bitcoin. It can simply be aroused with the help of smartly placed palette which stirs up a glowing aesthetic.
There is something about light colors which makes us feel a bit comfy and homey. If you are looking to provide a more relaxed and homey feeling through your product and service, then there are no better colors than going for the light and warm colors. It makes customers feel welcomed.
The Benjamin Moore & Co choose this color as the color of 2021. The color is mainly selected for its uplifting and comforting qualities; the rosy wash radiates optimism, creativity and beauty. If you are looking for the soft alternative to white or being then mauve and the pastel colors are the safest choice.
There is no denying to the fact that vintage colors bring a whole lot of memories for us and take us back to the simpler time. You all would agree that it is quite a needed throwback from an era where we spend hours and hours staring our phones. Those were good old days, weren’t they?
The fusion of vintage style with modern colors is expected to flourish the market next year. Well, since there is nothing new about choosing the old vintage colors, people often contemplate their decision of going with it. However, what makes them valuable for 2021 is the modern and updated approach to create ways. Using vintage colors does not mean you use them as it is; it is all about creating something new from these attractive shades.
The retro-style colors are still quite in fashion and liked by many people all over the world; it makes us call for the gold old rock time. Using these colors in your product and service would make you feel like you are in your grandparent’s house but only taking out the excellent stuff from there to embellish your home. The combination of vintage and modern era is absolutely enthralling.
As discussed above, if your organization is all about healthy eating, going organic or even diet food, then no other color can represent it better than the lighter shades of green. According to the Behr Paints, the color of the year is Natural Greens. The olive-based, neutral tone coordinates perfectly well with the other colors and helps in promoting positivity, sense of balance and wellbeing.
Some bold brands like to take a risky approach and go with the dark colors; the dark mode allows the user to experience the interface, which is mainly grey or black but not white. The perfect combination of the colors with the saturated shades pops up the dark background. The regular use brands do not really go for the dark shadows, but it is more prevalent in the app and web design.
The dark shades are simpler to the eyes, more energy-efficient, and it also feels less harsh in the environments with the low lightings. But today, the world has evolved so much, and we see blacks and greys everywhere, which means they are not restricted to the webs and applications only anymore.
The best thing about the dark shades is that they make designs stand out, create a higher ratio of the contrast with the other colors and enhances the visual ergonomics by minimizing the eye strain.
In the continuation of the trend, it can be stated that this aesthetic has also been found in the various famous TV shows such as Stranger things, DARK and many other as well. The dark shades are really the winner; you can never go wrong with them. You have the option of achieving the aesthetics by aiming for edgy, gloomy or dark color schemes with the deep color accents.
You may also want to read: A complete guide to visualisation of Shades through this Color Thesaurus
Nothing synchronizes like a monochromatic color scheme combining different shades of the same color family. It is pretty easy to look at, more straightforward to understand and the combination always feel right. The unicolor designs are a timeless trend that can never fade, no matter what era you are in, you are always saved with the monochrome designs. However, today designers are more focused on the eternal black and white combination, but still monochrome has its value.
The trend of using monochromatic shades allow the designers to boost their variation, interest and contrast while maintaining unity and balance. Another benefit of going colorless is that the trend is pretty neat; however, not as one dimensional as ordinary black and white patterns. It still offers a splash of colors without being too colorful, so basically it is win-win for people who do not like being too lively.
Blues are the undying color that always brings the best out of a person or a product. A perfect combination of orchid blue with a violet undertone can do them justice with any kind of brand. Much like Classic blue, the blend of violets and blues can also compliment all sorts of designs and creates a sense of trust, hope and steadiness.
Give a little thought to this modern world where everybody is busy in their own life, not caring about anyone else as such. To deal with this disconnected world, we need to have more colors that can carry meaning, the colors that move us. The expressive color trend does that only by offering the carefully placed colors that communicate the messages and feelings the both.
Think about the strategic shade of red logo and branding for the American Heart Association, what color other than red can do justice in your opinion? The color red is elicited but in the right way. The color triggers an emotional connection with the viewer focusing more on the real design significance. You have to be thoughtful to utilize the evocative colors in your next design. All you have to do is to think about the hue you want to add and place it smartly, so it sends the right message to your audience.
Do not associate the romance with the reds and pinks only; there is a wide variety of romantic shades out there; let’s not make it cliché and relate it with the red color. The romantic shades that I am talking about here are the playful and posh contender. The shade is a soft blush tone with the light influence of apricot. The color depicts luxury, serenity and elegance and makes itself a home across brands, interiors and fashion with a feminine slant.
The breezy mint color, which is the perfect fusion of pastels with the shades of green is the most popular color of 2021 according to the Valspar Paints. If you are planning to refurbish your bathroom or nursery then Mint hues should be your safest choice, the color has a calming and fresh aura. Remarkably, the color is pretty versatile and suits both the fun and funky and soft luxurious fashion, beauty and food brands.
Hot red is the most favorite colors of today’s designers as it is bold and hot, which perfectly explains the current era. The bold and fiery hot red color is flawless for the brands that evoke passion; the intense color has a confident and optimistic tone. As an accent, it can add energy to any design project, as the main event you can pair it up with a complementary and neutral color.
Another interesting read for you: Embracing the Pastel Color palette
Following the pattern of the classic blues and fusion of violets and blues, the navy blue is another hit color that can earn some second glances. Many famous brands have given this color the award of the Color of the year. Navy blue gives the aura of the grounded composure, and the shade is both confident and calming, which is the two best qualities that every brand wishes to show.
The color summons the images of the night sky and deep blue sea depicting the sense of serene and peace. It is pretty possible that this new navy blue color will be the immediate hit for the rest of 2021 and the upcoming years as well. So if you are planning to design your logo so navy blue can be your most accurate color.
Colors tend to evoke emotions in us; everybody is aware of it. Who would have thought you would have to think about the colors for your brand to make people buy your product? Well, this is how it is now. With the right choice of colors, you can do a lot for your brand.
The colors mentioned above are there to help you send the message of your brand to your audience. Colors can send your message without having you stating it or writing it in words. Sometimes you do not need words to communicate; colors are enough.
Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.
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