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Seeing the same color over and over is not just happenstance. If you spot the same colors continually, then you know that a color forecaster is doing their job and doing their job well. Finding and naming a color is a carefully crafted profession and though it sounds like a frilly job, it actually is integrated into many aspects of life.

Via Wiki Commons

Just like weathermen trying to predict a pattern in a storm, color forecasters also track trends like waves in an ocean. Since the early 2000s, Pantone has made the release more mainstream with an annual event announcing the color of the year. Choosing a color is not just about spinning the color wheel and picking whatever color it stops on, instead, it’s a year-long process of research and global analysis in various fields.

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Back in the day, choosing a popular color was more of a literal top-down approach. An example of this is the 1858 wedding of England’s Prince Royal to Princess Friedrich of Prussia, where the prince’s mother, Queen Victoria, wore an amethyst color gown. After the event, the color took off as being the “in” color. Queen Victoria’s soft purple shade was not just used in the textile industry, but it was also popular in home décor as well. This see-first-act-later trend-setting was the basic way to make colors popular.

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Since the Victorian Era, the methods have changed a little. From the 20th century onward the art of deciding where people saw popular colors and how people reacted to colors became a fine-tuned profession. There are conventions (yes many conventions) to discuss trends followed up by networking, networking, and more networking. As this article states, making trending colors is a two-fold processing blending what happened during the year with the aspirational endeavors moving forward into the year ahead. When a color is announced it is not just announced and companies follow suit, but rather, manufacturers are told of the new color ahead of time. This ensures an engaged connection and ready access to trending colored products, and we see this with color forecasted items all of the time. Nowadays the trends get reinforced with social media influencers who show off sponsored wear to a wide base of followers. So it’s no coincidence that you’re seeing the same colors everywhere.

Via: Wiki Commons

So what exactly is a color forecaster? Basically, these forecasters are a fusion between fortune-tellers and stockbrokers, trying to predict how people will respond and react to new colors’ shades and names. It mixes the fields of emotional sentiment with the numerical goals of profitability. It sounds like a risk and yes it doesn’t always succeed as forecasted. Some trending colors have had better reactions than others, but regardless of the gamble, predicting how a color will succeed is quite an interesting profession.

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