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BASF releases color trend forecast "Come Closer" for Asia Pacific region

October 17, 2011

BASF released its color trend forecast for Asia Pacific for the coming two to three years called "Come Closer". In the dynamic region of Asia Pacific where changes occur rapidly, there is an elevated mood surrounding the marketplace and attention is focused on having a presence, competition and achieving success, the company says. This will be reflected in colors predominantly used in the automotive industry in the next two to three years. Strong colors that express power and the sense of elation are suited for personal compact cars that are expected to increase in developing nations such as China and India, and there is a preference for character colors with straight color tones. High quality silver and black project an image of intelligence and discretion and will likely remain popular as colors that symbolize success, BASF says.

For motorcycles, which have a wider market, the popular colors vary according to local market characteristics and intended use. Among vehicles intended for family use, black, gray and pearl red, considered to be the most conservative and luxurious-looking colors, are popular. Young people purchasing motorcycles for personal use prefer the smart and stylish effect of white and vivid colors. There is a tendency for colors of larger motorcycles to be closer to the global trend, while the smaller the machine, the greater the preference for colors reflecting local market characteristics. Gradually, colors that combine the global trend with local trends are likely to emerge.

"The latest color trend forecast by BASF strongly reflects the social and economic situations that exist in Asia Pacific as well as the rest of the world," said Chiharu Matsuhara, chief color designer for BASF's coatings division in the Asia Pacific region. "Today, we are being bombarded with an excessive amount of information and it is becoming more difficult to obtain the correct information. Our 'Come Closer' theme strongly incorporates a message that new discoveries can be found by changing our point of view. In other words, it is important that we observe and recognize details by getting closer and by also pulling away in order to understand its true nature."

Among the regions of Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, the commonalities among the trends include a reflection of people's delicate sensations, complex emotions and awareness. Color trends that are common worldwide are classified into three areas: Complex Simplicity, Collective Individual and Intuitive Logic. The latest color trends are infused with simple values and a mindset that is focused more on low-key, ecofriendly designs than on luxury. While individualism is maintained, behind these color trends is also a sense of connectedness with both the real, such as social and family ties, and virtual communities.

The trend in the developed countries is for peaceful, subdued colors typified by a warm, soft, light brown and not-too-strong intermediate color tones. As we head into the new era, there is likely to be an emergence of color ranges and designs that have not been seen before, BASF says. Meanwhile, the emerging markets of Asia prefer straight colors that evoke vitality and passion, reflecting the materialistic social mood, but the luxurious-looking black, red and silver, representative of futuristic colors, are likely to be gradually supplemented by intelligent expressions.