Looking for some design inspiration? Hit the road!

Christina Steder photo by Christina Steder on Feb 22, 2017

Many years ago when I was an assistant buyer for Kohl's Department Stores, I had a theory that car companies are indicators of color trends. Of course, the most popular car colors are always pretty basic - white, grey, black, etc. About 75 percent of cars sold are one of the basic colors. But there is always at least one "interesting" color in the mix. Remember when there were suddenly lots of brown cars on the road? Or way back in the 90's when there were a ton of crazy teal colored cars?

So how do they do it? Car companies work with paint manufacturers 3 years in advance to determine their color palette. They look at the same things most other designers look at - architecture, electronics, nature, clothing trends - and then develop a list of suggestions for the automaker that is adjusted to the company's preferences and target audiences. Right now, car makers are looking at palettes that include browns, oranges, golds, and lighter blues. Interestingly enough, those are the same colors that our own Serene Mireles has been collecting in her private design inspirations Pinterest boards.

The important thing to remember is that no matter where your inspiration comes from, we are all to some extent influenced by the same trends. In your business, it's important to be aware of these trends because they will impact your marketing. Trends are why your logo eventually looks dated and your website has a shelf life. On the bright side, digital marketing efforts can be updated much more easily than printed materials. Paying attention to trends gives your brand the opportunity to make small enhancements to your digital efforts which can help you evolve as tastes change.

About Christina Steder


With 15+ years of experience in consumer product, professional service, and nonprofit marketing as well as brand strategy and client service, Christina provides strategic direction for our clients - linking their ongoing online and content marketing needs to business goals and ROI. 

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock 

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