Business Class

Blue Wave

Close your eyes and imagine spa blue, seagrass yellow or mystical purple. These intriguing names headline Color Marketing Group's (CMG) recently released 1999 Consumer Color Directions Palette, a set of 12 colors predicted to permeate consumer products as we close out the 20th century.

Instead of the warm colors of the mid-'90s, "we're moving toward the earth-based environmental blues of the ocean and sky," says Nada Napoletan Rutka, founder of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, color-design consultancy Nada Associates and a member of CMG, a nonprofit association of color designers that forecasts color trends.

Expect a shift to the layering of colors, creating multidimensional, textured effects with a hint of the ethereal. "Consumers are thirsting for serenity," says CMG's Leatrice Eiseman. Gray--which Eiseman says blends best with bluer, cooler tones--will replace beige as a favorite neutral.

For home, communications and fashion products, think brighter and cleaner. Meanwhile, recreation and transportation-related products are going darker and richer. "Color is a great way to get people's attention at point-of-purchase or in advertising," says Eiseman.

See Nada Associates' Color of the Month profile at

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This article was originally published in the May 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Business Class.

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