Color Trends Pathways
From runways to driveways and everywhere in between, color trends are universally present, but where do they get their start?
A specialized group of professionals lead the way in predetermining the next big color trend – oftentimes five years in advance!
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Color forecasters are part designer, part sociologist and part predictor.
They draw inspiration from couture fashion shows, art exhibits, technology and popular culture; they attend trade shows, visit design studios and scour magazines to determine color direction. Then, they take all of that information and translate it into what colors we'll be wearing and decorating with in the next several years.
The process doesn’t end there; extensive research gives way to the development of an annual color trends report.
The report is published and presented to designers around the world, which helps to guide color choices. As a result, new products reflect current styles when they hit the market. The VIAVI Solutions 2017 Pathways Color Trends Report is used by designers worldwide. The report forecasts a rich palette of colors to watch that reflect current trends:
Night skies summon atmospheric shapes and sparkling stars inspired by mysterious aurora borealis and the possibilities of space.
Colors are subdued, quiet, not wanting to draw attention while introspective moody tones evince a deeply mechanized feel.
Fresh, optimistic and lively colors take global cues from multi-cultural immersion, embracing the mosaic of interconnectedness.
Rich, timeless, and deeply saturated colors evoke a sense of heritage, authenticity, and nostalgia with a modern twist.
Complexity of Color Creation
Simply put, color is the brain’s response to light of different wavelengths reflecting off an object. Only a portion of the light spectrum is visible to the human eye.
Over several centuries, through analyzing and studying nature’s structures, physicists have learned how to manipulate surfaces to emphasize the reflectance in certain portions of the spectrum while suppressing it in others. This is known as interference color.
EXAMPLES OF NATURALLY OCCURRING INTERFERENCE COLOR:
By carefully layering colorless materials and implementing a precise manufacturing process, highly chromatic colors are possible. VIAVI Solutions specializes in developing vibrant and unique pigments as seen in the consumer and automotive industry using a technological process called Color by Physics®.
Color by Physics®
Color by Physics® technology was developed by VIAVI Solutions to produce unique pigments such as ChromaFlair and SpectraFlair.
These unique flakes use the interference of light to change their color as seen by the viewer when either the angle of illumination or the angle of viewing is changed.
Often referred to as “stir in” pigment, it has been found to be compatible in a wide range of standard formulations. It can be blended with aluminum, carbon black, and other inorganic and organic pigments to create a range of unique color effects.
Unlike ordinary pigments, ChromaFlair pigment is opaque, thin, flat and highly mirror-like.
How can the color change based on the angle of illumination or angle of viewing? The secret is in the pigment flakes – 40 millionths of an inch in thickness, about one-fiftieth of the thickness of a human hair. Precisely manipulating the thickness of the multi-layers in the pigment’s flake structure produces different colors.
To maintain tight color tolerance, the layer thickness must be controlled to within a few atoms. All seven colors of ChromaFlair pigment are produced using the same colorless materials – thus the colors generated are the result of physics, not chemistry.
In the 1920s, the automotive industry saw the first use of color to reflect personal taste.
Consumer behavior coupled with mass production helped to spur the adoption of a variety of color options in the automotive industry.
Fast-forward to today and use of automotive special option colors is expanding beyond the luxury market into economy models, and automotive brand owners are looking for premium special option colors that will resonate with consumers and their vehicles.
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The first automotive application of ChromaFlair pigment was in 1996 on a Ford Mustang Cobra. The paint color, known as Mystic Green, was developed by BASF. Since that time, many automotive manufacturers – including Cadillac, Buick, Honda, Lincoln and many others – have used ChromaFlair to create a spectrum of special option colors ranging from dramatic to luxurious.
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Custom Color Solutions has etched out an essential role in the consumer marketplace.
Pigments can be applied to both natural and synthetic leather. End applications range from sport shoes to highly differentiated wall coverings, personal accessories and upholstery. The range of applications are endless – here are a few examples to spark your imagination.
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About VIAVI Solutions
The 21st century has given rise to mass personalization and, as a result, a consumer demand for customized colors.
Although the name is new, VIAVI Solutions has been an industry leader along the way, from working with NASA to improving 3-D movies.
OCLI helped pioneer the optical coating industry by introducing antireflection coatings for military applications
Developed High Efficiency Antireflection (HEA) and IR rejection filters for all NASA manned spacecraft
Designed and built the high-performance, multilayer continuous optical coater (MAC) for printer and copier applications
Introduced color-shifting pigments based on roll-coating technology for currency anti-counterfeiting
Astronomy & Telecom
Coated the Chandra X-ray space telescope and scaled up wavelength-multiplexing filters for telecom
Commercialized ChromaFlair® pigments based on Color-by-Physics technology providing automotive enthusiast a new tool to create eye-catching effects
Launched SpectraFlair® pigments allowing brand owners to differentiate their products with the world's first holographic pigment
Consumer & Mobile
Introduced filters for 3D cinema and gesture recognition for consumer electronics and mobile applications
Expansion of Sensors
JDSU split and formed VIAVI Solutions
Launched the MicroNIR miniature spectrometer and precision patterned filters for low-cost, miniaturized optical sensors
Chroma HD Pigments
Introduced Chroma HD pigments used to create brilliant, highly saturated colors that are easy to apply and repair