The current social-media-inspired color moment is shaping how museums win over consumers, especially as they cater to the ever-present urge to selfie. Take, for example, the Museum of Ice Cream. With its ultra-bright colors, selfie-worthy sprinkle pool, and giant ice cream cones, the museum is made for the current color moment.
Likewise, the Color Factory is dedicated to immersive color exhibits. Its latest project, the Manhattan Color Walk (#ManhattanColorWalk), celebrates 265 vibrant hues collected by the group’s creative team as they walked through New York City. The brightly colored installation (they call it a “new kind of map”) transforms walkways in the garden at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum into the perfect spot for a color-saturated selfie.
There’s even a Museum of Selfies, which traces the roots of the selfie concept and offers patrons the opportunity to capture their own images with colorful works of art.
Jia Jia Fei, the director of digital for the Jewish Museum, articulates the thinking behind these exhibits: “In the pre-digital photography era the message was, ‘This is what I’m seeing.’ Today the message is, ‘I was there — I came, I saw, and I selfied.'”
Brands are getting in on the game, too, creating color-rich backdrops inside their retail spaces and outdoor displays. Paul Smith has its famous cotton-candy pink wall in Los Angeles. Nike teamed up with French fashion brand Pigalle and ill-studio to drench a basketball court in surreal, iridescent gradients. And Gucci, using a slightly more subdued palette, has launched stunning building-side murals that are ideal for the fashionista selfie.
Vivid colors: The takeaway for designers and brands
Designers and brands know that color is a powerful tool for communicating with consumers, creating both conscious and unconscious perceptions. So to meet customers where they are right now, Laurie recommends embracing the saturated colors and joyful, optimistic mood of the current color palette. If bright colors don’t make sense for your brand, she suggests that “even a small accent or a bright shade in the background could do the trick.”
This increase in the use of vibrant colors and the trend’s growth out of social media is a fascinating development. Adobe Stock is excited to help creatives understand how color influences are changing, and how to make the most of these popular colors to really get consumers’ attention. Partnering with Pantone on color is part of our larger mission to consistently communicate where interest is growing in the visual world, and help brands and the creative community stay ahead of the curve.
The institute expects the current color trend to continue through the summer of 2020.
More on bright colors and playful paradises. To see more ways artists are using these brilliant colors, visit our curated gallery of Adobe Stock. And if you’re drawn to the joyful, escapist undertones of this color palette, read more about our recent visual trend Creative Reality.