Art, craft, furnishings, clothing, and other products artists create are subject to fashion and market trends. Trends rise, evolve and mature over time, and may last for long periods. Fads, in contrast, are temporary and exciting, sweep through the culture quickly, and then fade once the novelty has worn off. Your product development and art marketing plan requires an understanding of current trends.
Fashion is the leader in the world of color trends, with home décor following. The home décor market must produce looks with staying power, as carpeting, fabrics, furniture and accessories are purchased more infrequently than clothing and accessories. One example of a current home décor trend is gray as the “new neutral,” replacing brown tones which dominated for many years.
What does this mean for your business? Become aware of trends in the marketplace at large and your niche art market in particular. Colors, motifs, size, textures and other factors determine how well your line fits with the looks buyers are seeking for their stores and their retail customers. Designers are well-served to follow evolving trends which have staying power, but use their own interpretation and vision within that context to present a mature, cohesive line for the art marketplace.
Color forecasting complex palettes of future colors to be used in clothing, fabric, décor and accessories are important to many industries. In fact, using the right color palette is crucial to a product’s success. Pantone offers color forecasting products for designers, art marketers and manufacturers. As a small entrepreneur, you may find the cost prohibitive, so …
- Let the big manufacturers do your homework for you. Visit your local paint store. Take a look at designer lines, such as Ralph Lauren, and obtain color samples. They indicate a palette which will be seen in homes going forward. How do your décor items fit into the color schemes that dominate?
- Follow top design blogs and magazines such as Design Sponge, Design Milk, StyleList Home, and American Style Magazine for the latest looks in new trends – especially the covers, which multiply exposure by a power of ten. Often these are the word of authority to style-conscious consumers.
- Check out websites of art publishers, to get an overview of the wall art that has been carefully chosen and will be slowly moving through the marketplace in the coming years. Note also the body of work presented – portfolios containing groupings of related color and subject matter are common. How do these dovetail with the newest interior colors? Also follow corporate art consultants blogs for insight into what is becoming popular in those environments.
What starts trends? Museum shows can be a big factor, such as Robot Zoo which is leading the trend of handmade robot sculpture made of recycled items. Movies, especially blockbusters, are a source of trends also – think Tim Burton spurring goth motifs and dark subject matter.
Trends can also be observed by walking trade and gift shows. Due to the economic climate, buyers have been cautious, seeking out tried-and-true looks and safe products which have proven to sell. Gauge how much of your line you want to devote to experimental designs and new directions. Use your knowledge of current trends and the art market to determine your next move in expanding your line.