Optimism is in the wind. Things are picking up. People are feeling better.

The clue? Color.

People NEED color. They CRAVE color.

So if I’m right (and I think I am), we’re going to see printed items with vivid color.  Print design trends often follow consumer preferences in retail, home furnishings and fashion. Based on that, color is going to be big, BIG, BI-I-I-GGGG!

year of color 2017

It’s going to be the YEAR OF COLOR. 

With all this color flying around, there are trends impacting the design and print community:

  1. COLOR is clean and clear, with no gray, yellow or brown undertones. On the print side, this will require color integrity, because something that’s even one shade off isn’t going to hit that emotional note consumers are craving.
  2. PAPER is white. Bright white, chalk white, bone white. Think of coated papers and white-white uncoateds. This isn’t the blued whites we’re used to, where the blueing makes the white look whiter. This is raw white.
  3. TYPE is black. Font sizes are extra large and readable, Messages are spare and clean. Typography is impeccable. To meet this trend, we’ll have to teach our customers to be concise and clear in their communications.
  4. INKS may require PMS call outs and extended gamut to hit the right tone. When shopping for digital presses, be sure to print samples in the newest color combinations.
  5. SHEET SIZES are large. Tabloid publications will re-emerge. Wall art will be eye popping. Floor coverings and textiles will combine vivid palettes.
  6. PRINT QUALITY is flawless.
  7. LARGE FORMAT COLOR will predominate. All around us, from transit advertising to vehicle wraps to window displays, our colorful world will be more dazzling this year.

Consumers will fall in love with color on everything.

Read about the Pantone Color of the Year 

This isn’t the color palette of yesteryear:

OUT: Dusty hues, pastels, beige.

IN: Bright pinks, vivid Kelly greens, crisp cobalt blues, fresh yellows, and true reds that all look great together.

OUT: “Good enough” color, unattractive visuals.

IN: Color coordination (not necessarily color matching), color print ads, colorful packaging, eye-catching point of purchase graphics.

OUT: Grayed type, hard-to-read typestyles.

IN: Simplicity, stark san serif typefaces, no ornamentation.

OUT: Anything that is ambiguous, boring, ugly or pessimistic.

IN: Honesty, clarity, and transparency in print and digital communication.

Wrap it all up in refreshing color that POPS!

pantone rev it up 2017

P.S. My teenager has worn black t-shirts, pants and shoes since he was in kindergarten. Today, he bought shirts in startling pink, saturated turquoise, and eye-blinding chartreuse. Any doubts about the power of color?

P.P.S. Look at this amazing pink velvet sofa.

See more from Sandy


Sandy Hubbard is a marketing strategist for printing companies. She builds marketing programs that can be sustained over the long haul, with affordable tools and your own people…and without stress! Find @sandyhubbard on Twitter each Wednesday at 4 PM ET, assisting #PrintChat host Deborah Corn @PrintMediaCentr  with a lively online discussion for printers and those who love print.

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