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BASF Coatings Division Releases Upcoming Automotive Color Trends

Through intensive collaboration, the Automotive Color Trends teams provide automotive customers with global trends and regional differences in the world of color.

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Raingarden, a metallic silver with green and blue elements, is one of BASF’s featured colors in North America and is shown in juxtaposition with Paul Czornij, BASF’s head of design in North America

BASF’s Coatings division has announced its up-and-coming colors of automotive design. The overarching theme for this year’s collection of 65 colors is “Parallax,” a concept where objects appear shifted or changed when viewed from different angles. The two competing vantage points that shape the modern world are the fascination of the virtual world and the longing for honest, self-expression.

Multifaceted Colors Make Up the Global Trend

On the global level, the ambiguous relationship between the virtual and the physical world becomes visible on automotive color palettes. Synthetic, metallic blue, silver and white hues stand for the trend toward digitalization of daily life. Chromatic colors and natural hues demonstrate a contradiction – a search for authentic experiences and emotions, especially in urban areas. Innovative pigment effects that enable two or more colors to be combined along with metallic urban elements will enrich the color portfolio of the cars of tomorrow.

Top Three North American Colors for 2020

“My inspiration behind this year’s colors was the continuous change in society and the importance of finding new perspectives and looking at things differently,” said Paul Czornij, head of design for BASF’s Color Excellence Group. “Raingarden also exemplifies our coatings capabilities at BASF. In order to achieve a silver color that looks subtly different depending on the viewer’s vantage point, 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.”

The following are the top three color predictions in North America that could influence vehicle coatings for the 2020 model year and beyond, along with the technological and societal factors that impacted the selections:

  1. Raingarden – A metallic silver with green and blue elements. In today’s society, the lines of how individuals behave in society and how they’re influenced by technology are blurred. The ubiquitous smartphone serves as a secretary, a personal trainer or even a doctor. This insight led to the exploration of the two-toned color.
  2. Primordial Soup – A deep, blood red. This color is inspired by the heart. It is representative of collective passion but also key factors that contribute to individualization.
  3. Aerialist Wish – A black color with a silky, silvery look throughout. At first, it might appear gritty, but the darkness of the color is mysterious and luxurious, which relates to society’s feelings of urban development.

“The change in the urban areas has been a prominent feature in our societal analysis for the last three color collections,” said Czornij. “For a long time, city centers in the United States have been seen as unattractive and undesirable, but that’s all changing as artists, designers, musicians and others seize the opportunity and make their homes once again in the city.”

Expertise from Around the Globe

Automotive Color Trends pulls expertise from studios in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Through intensive collaboration, the teams provide automotive customers with global trends and regional differences in the world of color. BASF’s design competency allows them to identify trends at an early stage that have the potential to represent a brand throughout a car’s life cycle.

Changing Identities in Europe

The European trend is guided by the question, “What comes after the hashtag?” – the search for a way to adapt to the digital world without losing track of real experiences and identities. A major color direction for the automotive industry is represented by ASMR Blue, an artificial yet appealing blue that works as the perfect connection between the physical and the upcoming virtual world.

Color Trend in Asia-Pacific: Emerging Self-Confidence

Despite economic and other challenges in the region, Asians remain confident in their future success. This optimistic approach is reflected in fresh, playful colors such as blue-green. In addition, Asians are looking for creativity and quality, which can be found in the delicate textures of a metallic sand beige color, demonstrating the connection between traditional values and typical Asian elegance.

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