DETROIT –The relationship to the digital world shapes BASF’s 2017-2018 Automotive Color Trend predictions for’21 model-year vehicles.
“Because of social media, everything is more transparent to people. People know more or less of what we are doing,” says Paul Czornij, head of design-BASF’s Color Design Excellence Group, during its annual show at the Moross House.
Altogether, there are five themes – including a collection of 65 automotive colors. This year’s overarching theme is Translucid, which demonstrates the complexity of future developments through layers and effects, and communicates a clear idea about upcoming automotive trends.
The designers at BASF’s Coatings division in China, Japan, the U. S. and Germany develop up-and-coming colors for the automotive industry every year, conducting extensive research and in-depth analysis.
“We want to understand how our trend research, from other areas not automotive, relates to consumer preferences, rejections or very popular color positions,” Czornij says. “With a limited number of colors, we have to capture what’s trending, predict them and be able to relate it to automotive.”
Colors are predicted four to five years in advance due to long automotive development cycles and the time it takes to engineer them and ensure high quality and performance characteristics.
Although black, white, silver and gray are popular automotive colors, BASF believes blue will emerge as a very important color space.
“Blue continues to gain strength as an automotive color position, and it has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things, which is why we selected Undercurrent Blue as our key color for this region,” Czornij says in a news release.
The North American region portrays a sense of connection, which relates to the overall theme, Translucid. People are striving to deepen their connection to the community and looking for fresh approaches to listening, debate and self-expression, resulting in the trend directe verbinding, a German phrase that means connection or relationship.
“That connection is trying to find itself in the way people interact and come together to do something positive and help people locally,” Czornij says.
Additionally, BASF releases two global themes – Collective Body, which focuses on how technology and its emphasis and impact on the individual are expressed, and Fluid Grids, which emphasizes the impact of progressive ideas on societal behavior.
“Be it looking for a deeper connection to community or the more introspective connection to the human body, there is a definite trend within the human psyche where we are seeking a clear and more natural existence for ourselves,” Czornij says.