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Color and Trend Research for Surface Pattern Designers

October 16th, 2023 - Tag: Surface Pattern Design, Industry Trends

Surface pattern design beautifully blends art and business. To stay ahead, it's essential for designers to keep up with the ever-changing world of color trends. After all, what's popular today might not be tomorrow. So, how can designers stay in tune with the shifting landscape of color and style? Below are some examples of ways you can stay ahead of the trends and make sure you’re never without inspiration.

Color Forecasting Institutions

Organizations like Pantone, WGSN, and the Color Marketing Group release annual and seasonal color predictions. They analyze industries from fashion to interiors, providing insights into what shades and combinations will dominate. Subscribing or following these institutions can provide a foundational starting point.

Trade Shows and Exhibitions

Events like Maison & Objet, High Point Market, and Heimtextil showcase upcoming products and design themes. Walking the aisles, you'll witness firsthand the colors and patterns industry leaders are leaning towards.

Inspiration from Nature

Nature remains an eternal muse. The hues of autumn leaves, spring blooms, or summer sunsets can inspire fresh palettes. Some designers take periodic nature retreats to rejuvenate and discover new color stories.

Fashion Industry

Fashion often precedes interior and surface pattern trends. Monitoring runway shows, fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, or New York, and even street style can reveal emerging color narratives.

Art and History

Historical patterns, tribal art, or contemporary art movements can serve as rich sources. A periodic visit to a local museum, or keeping abreast with global art trends, can open doors to rediscovered or avant-garde color schemes.

Social Media and Platforms

Instagram, Pinterest, and Behance are treasure troves of visual inspiration. Create mood boards, follow influential designers, or explore hashtags related to pattern design and color.

Consumer Behavior and Mood

Understanding the zeitgeist of the times is essential. In tumultuous periods, people might gravitate towards calming, neutral shades. Conversely, in moments of celebration, vibrant and lively colors might take center stage.

Collaborate and Communicate

Engaging with fellow designers, attending workshops, or joining design communities can provide collective insights. Sometimes, bouncing ideas off a fellow creative can lead to unforeseen, delightful color revelations.

Trust Your Intuition

While research is foundational, trusting one's gut and personal aesthetic sense is crucial. Sometimes, the next big trend might just stem from your unique interpretation and vision.

Become a Patternfield subscriber

Being a patternfield subscriber you get access to exclusive trend reports. With contributions from top industry professionals, our trend reports are both relevant and reliable. Unlike many trend predictions, ours are grounded in solid industry knowledge and vetted by professionals.


Staying updated with color and trend research is akin to charting a map in the ever-evolving world of surface pattern design. By being observant, open-minded, and proactive, designers can stay ahead of the curve, ensuring their creations remain relevant, fresh, and desirable in the market.

Remember, while trends provide direction, it's the unique touch and voice of the designer that makes a pattern truly special. Find the sweet spot between your own personal creativity and market trends to craft designs that resonate and captivate.