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End-Buyers Opt for Calming Colors in 2020

End-Buyers Opt for Calming Colors in 2020

By Sara Lavenduski, Promogram, ASI

Color is a powerful force. According to health site Verywell, studies in the field of color psychology have found generally that shades of red often evoke passion, energy and power in people’s psyches, but also anger and aggression. Yellow, meanwhile, conjures up feelings of warmth and brightness, but its intensity can also stimulate nerves.

Meanwhile, blue, traditionally the color of sadness, can also bring comfort, stability and calm. And this year, it’s making a comeback, which is creating opportunity for promotional product firms.

With our collective teeth on edge in 2020, people are looking for stability and bliss in the few places they can actually control: their home environments and wardrobes. An article by ARTnews reports that people are repainting their home office walls to more comforting tones as they prepare to continue remote work for the foreseeable future in the midst of COVID.

“Any interior gets monotonous when inhabited 24/7,” writes Kyle Chayka. “Paint offers a way to dramatically alter your space without the need to break your bubble by bringing a professional into your home. Like exercise equipment manufacturers and sweatpants designers, house paint companies have been booming during the pandemic.”

According to ARTnews, paint companies report that customers want blue, which connotes much-needed feelings of productivity, stability and calm. Greens are also experiencing a resurgence – while it’s the classic tone of envy, this year it suggests nature, rest, good health, safety and luck. Among other popular hues are organic, nature-inspired neutrals and some pinks, yellows and purples, many of them glossy, for added energy and optimism.

Distributors would do well to consider these trending tones for work-from-home kits, virtual swag gift boxes and company programs. Alan Vaught, CEO of Top 40 supplier Evans Manufacturing (asi/52840), says he and his team took a deep dive into their offerings and how they could best position themselves for a long-lasting pandemic.

“We did a critical evaluation of our current product line and what we could acquire or design and develop,” he says. “As we identified key products, color choices were of the utmost importance in our evaluations and marketing.”

Along with eco-conscious items, which have been in demand in recent years, hot hues now include matte heathers, woodgrains and metallics. In addition, clients want blue PPE kits; masks in black, steel gray and cobalt blue; blue metallic journals; and natural bamboo boxes and cheese boards, perfect for meals at home.

At Top 40 supplier S&S Activewear (asi/84358), Megan Erber, the outside sales manager for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, says she’s seen a similar uptick in neutral apparel tones, like soft blues, greens, tans and pinks, as part of the ongoing eco-friendly/sustainability trend. Now, they’re taking the place of traditional grays, whites and blacks during the pandemic.

“They offer a nice touch of color without being too forward or obnoxious, and tend to complement different logos and decorations,” she explains.Calming colors also present an opportunity for brands to project an image of “peace, calm and comfort,” says Taraynn Lloyd, vice president of marketing at Top 40 supplier Edwards Garment (asi/51752). “A huge trend for us has been knit shirts in traditional blues, like light, ceil and royal,” she adds. “We also introduced French blue for a couple of our most popular styles, like Airgrid and Micro-Pique polos, and sales have been doing extremely well for us.”

Lloyd says soft grays are also in demand; Edwards’ new mélange chambray shirt (1039/5041) in cool gray heather and Carolina blue heather has grown in popularity.

At Storm Creek (asi/89879), senior apparel designer Jeff Wright says they’re seeing an increase in demand for soft colors with a comfortable feel and recycled content. Among the offerings are Sagebrush Green, Pink Blush, Dusty Blue, Oatmeal and Light Heather Gray, along with light/dark pairings like Olive/Sagebrush, Maroon/Pink Blush and Navy/Dusty Blue.

“Apparel in neutrals and classic colors are emerging with new vigor and will gain strength into Fall 2021,” says Wright. “There’s been a refreshing appeal to colors that reflect our natural surroundings and interior living environments.”

Vaught says the emotional influence of different colors and tones can help people weather this challenging environment. “It’s such a stressful time for everyone, and it makes perfect sense that people are making conscious choices in both products and colors that may help alleviate some pressure,” he says.

Check out the full article on ASI's website. Read Article