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Going beyond swatchesJanuary 25, 2015

THE NEWS is out. According to color influencer Pantone, Inc., 2015's color of the year is marsala, a light tone of wine red named after a wine produced in Sicily.

Here in the Philippines, Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., came out with its own color predictions via a trade show at the SMX Convention Center on Jan. 21. The 24 colors that Boysen believes will make a splash across walls this year were divided into four color palettes, each one represented through booths in a hall at the convention center.

The color palettes were called, respectively, Naturist, Kinetic, Avant-Garde, and Perfectionist. Each booth, painted in one of the colors within the palettes, was also accented with LCD screen walls. A video representing the idea of each palette (for example, a canopy of trees for the Naturist exhibit) would be played as a guest entered the booth. The images and the background music could be changed by swiping a color swatch card on a scanner on the wall.

According to Vice-President Johnson Ongking, the booths are a way to elevate color selection by allowing one to move from paint swatch cards to actually living within the color.

"The concept is so that people can get to really feel the colors, and not just see the colors from a swatch, but really to experience them. We want people to understand the link between color, emotion, mood, [and] color as a way of self-expression."

The colors were grouped together to represent the person who would be expected to color a wall in such tones. "These four color palettes are representations of what we think are the four personalities… who are living their everyday life in the modern world," said Mr. Ongking.

The Naturist palette is for someone who connects with nature, channeling the moods of the forest through a red, greens and nude shades. The Kinetic palette summons a fast-paced lifestyle through deep black, bright red, orange, vibrant blues, and a pastel yellow. The Avant-Garde palette revels in the individual's spirit through a bright red, wine red, blues, bright green, and a bright yellow. Finally, the Perfectionist palette shows timeless restraint with pale roses, sunny yellows and oranges, a cloudy gray, and a subdued red.

The colors were gathered and chosen by the company through local observations and global influences. According to Mr. Ongking, as a market leader in the paints industry, data collected from paint orders from the country's trendiest interior designers were observed in order to know the color trends in the country.

As for the global influences, the company is part of the Nova Paint Club, an organization of 11 paint companies from Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., according to Mr. Ongking, is one of only two Asian companies in the organization. "We work with color experts in these companies, together with a global color research consulting company based in London that forecasts color trends for the fashion industry, for the telecom [industry], [and] for the automotive [industry]. We put all of these together, and study what are the trends that are happening... how social trends are affecting our lifestyle and how these lifestyle changes are affecting our color choices," he said.

Just as movements and trends have a way of bleeding into our paint (think EDSA People Power Yellow), colors of paint can also have a way of seeping into other areas of life as well, starting from the walls of our homes to the clothes we wear.

"We're forecasting that these will be the colors that… are not just for living spaces, but in a way, for societal trends in general. Of course, people are people -- there's no way we can predict how they are going to react in the next few months. This is our best forecast of what the trends would be this year. Whether or not these are the most representative colors this year… remain to be seen," said Mr. Ongking.

The colors of our clothes are used to show people our mood and our state of being, while the color of our walls at home can reflect our desires, our image, our memories and our aspirations. This very personal connection to color is something that Mr. Ongking believes in.

"Color, at the end of the day, is still a very, very personal choice," he said.

- Joseph L. Garcia, Courtesy of Business World (http://bit.ly/1FdoHw8 )