BASF Reveals Automotive Color Forecast

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Could political and environmental concerns affect the way consumers pick the color of their cars?

Yes, says Paul Czornij, technical manager for the BASF Color Excellence group in Southfield, Mich., where he gave a tour of the color trends of the future for Products Finishing magazine.

The theme of the forecast, “Making Headway,” indicates a movement towards more color shades than in previous years, Czornij says as he and BASF staff showed off the 65 new colors they are presenting to automakers and designers around the world.

“We look to develop color spaces that capture a look that says ‘this is me’,” Czornij says. His annual automotive color trend report looks 2-3 years out and is based on research efforts by BASF’s team of global color design experts.

For example, Czornij calls the North America color trends “Aspire To,” saying there is growing enthusiasm for social responsibility, good character, and traditional values and virtues that emphasize education and courage.

“The ideal deeply rooted in North America that anything can be achieved through effort has not declined,” Czornij says. “Ivy League universities, where aspiration thrives, are being evaluated anew as venues for intellectual exploration. Cool deep and dark tone colors with the traditional feel have been refreshed by means of depth and brightness. Solid brown, which gives a weighty impression, creates a perennial sense of assurance and stability, evoking feelings of appreciation for the earth.”

Czornij says BASF’s new color offerings demonstrate how new and brighter interpretations of colors with different textures will become increasingly important to designers and consumers, as people worldwide strive to highlight individual uniqueness and regain a more “human-friendly” life outside of the digitized world.

“There is so much emotion and psychology attached to color, which makes it an ideal expression of one’s image to the outside world, and it works so remarkably well with car body shapes,” Czornij says. “You can truly see innovation in action.”