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Mobility, Human Needs Inspire BASF Automotive Color Trends

As innovations such as artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and robotic industrialization take hold, the return to the human element becomes increasingly important, the company says. Designers at its BASF Coatings division translated these observations into a collection of 65 colors for automotive surfaces.
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BASF says the need to stay authentic in a world where technology continues to blur the lines between reality and artificiality is the driving force behind its 2018-19 Automotive Color Trends theme, “Keep it Real.”

As innovations such as artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and robotic industrialization take hold, the return to the human element—people’s needs and emotions—becomes increasingly important, the company says. Designers at its BASF Coatings division translated these observations into a collection of 65 colors for automotive surfaces.

According to the company: Dark colors, blue hues and complex effects represent the omnipresence of technology. Advancements in digitalization make technology become less visible and more intertwined with reality. Augmented reality applications and smart gadgets that simplify everyday life merge the real with the digital world. People seem to spend more time on online platforms, striving for perfection on social media, than in the real world. This omnipresence of technology is reflected in the Automotive Color Trends. Shades of gray and blue are the focal point of the collection. Achromatic colors are combined with complex effects that add colorful and natural accents and represent the merging of reality and the virtual world. Blue hues—mirroring the color of screens and digital light—appear as strong saturated colors. Natural textures and color effects symbolize the search for human qualities in a virtual world. Shifting functions and new mobility concepts will influence color choices. Car sharing concepts, ride hailing services and autonomous driving shift a car’s function from a personally-owned object to a more public mode of transportation. For cars that are designed for sharing, color pallets with a universal appeal will play a significant role. The trend collection shows how elaborate textures and intricate effects can make each color truly unique.

“This is one of the most diverse color collections BASF has ever introduced,” says Paul Czornij, head of design for BASF North America Coatings, Color and Design. “There’s a juxtaposition between achromatic and strong colors. Grays and pastels reflect the urban look with essential, neutral spaces, whereas bright, chromatic colors that are optimistic, luxurious and playful point to advances in technology.”

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