BASF releases ‘Parallax’ colour trend report

Global BASF designers outline 65 colour predictions for vehicle models three to five years down the line based on societal and technological factors.

Southfield, Michigan — May 15, 2016 — Every year, designers from BASF’s Coatings division try to predict the up-and-coming colours of automotive design. The overarching theme for this year’s collection of 65 colors is “Parallax,” referring to how objects appear to move when viewed from different angles. According to a statement from BASF, the two competing vantage points that shape our modern world are the fascination of the virtual world and the longing for honest, self-expression.

The designers from BASF predict 65 up-and-coming colors of automotive design they feel will influence vehicle models three to five years down the line. It’s an extensive process, consisting of about 18 months of research, travel and experimentation. BASF has already begun the process for its 2021 predictions.

The designers provide automotive customers with global colour inspirations as well as separate colours that are expected to resonate regionally.
Top Three North American Colors for 2020

In addition to the overarching theme, Paul Czornij, Head of Design for BASF’s Color Excellence Group, selected the theme “No Excuses” for his regional colour predictions. It represents society’s willingness to confront complexities and challenges head-on, leaving no room for inaction or excuse.

“My inspiration behind this year’s color is the continuous change in society and the importance of finding new perspectives and looking at things differently–trying to understand our own parallax,” Czornij said.

The following are the BASF design team’s top three colour predictions for the North American market, along with the technological and societal factors that impacted these selections:

Raingarden – A metallic silver that transitions from blue to green depending on the angle of the viewer. In today’s society, the lines of how individuals behave and how they’re influenced by technology are blurred. Your smartphone now acts as your secretary, your personal trainer or even your doctor. This insight led to the exploration of the two-toned colour.

“My top choice for North America, Raingarden, exemplifies our coatings capabilities at BASF. In order to achieve a silver colour that looks subtly different depending on the viewer’s vantage points, we relied on our design expertise, but it also showcases our technical finesse with innovative pigments to achieve a beautiful coating that could be used in a real-world setting,” Czornij said.

Primordial Soup – A deep, blood red, this colour is inspired by the heart. It represents collective passion and the key factors that contribute to individualization, such as our movie, music or vehicle preferences. Those differences in personal preferences, and how they influence the decisions we make, signify this colour’s parallax.

Aerialist Wish – A black colour with a silky, silvery look throughout. At first it may appear gritty, but the darkness of the colour is mysterious and luxurious. This relates to society’s feelings of urban development as city centres are revitalized by the young people making roots there.

“The migration toward urban areas has been a prominent feature in our societal analysis for the last three colour collections,” Czornij said. “For a long time, city centre have been seen as undesirable but that’s all changing as young artists, designers, musicians and others seize the opportunity to make their homes there once again, bringing a new level of vitality to these downtown areas.”

Once the colours have been selected, BASF works with OEM design teams to finesse the colours based on the brand, automobile style and customer preferences to create the colours of 2020 model-year vehicles and beyond.

Moving forward, innovative pigment effects that enable two or more colours to be combined along with metallic urban elements will enrich the colour portfolio of tomorrow’s vehicles.


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