Color Trend Report Recommendations

I have been tasked with recommending a trend reporting service that my company can subscribe to so that design can lead any CMF discussion we have with our merchants.
I’ve done some Googling, looked at a few, but honestly most of them look pretty good. I’m wondering for those who actually subscribe to any which they find the most useful to actually use? I’ve looked at WGSN, Stylus, and LSN Global so far.

I’m looking for trending of colors, materials, finishes for consumer products. Everything from soft-goods, to electronics, consumer health devices, etc…

LSN Global’s content is good - they go into some depth as well as provide concrete examples.
At WGSN it feels a bit too much that they are prescribing trends rather than analysing what is really going on, similar to what Pantone does with color.

I would advise to every few weeks or at the start of every new project or project phase, a person tracks megatrends with help of LSN Global or -they have a free monthly report- and from there zooms in on microtrends which you can easily do with using just Google images or Pinterest, and creates a few ingredient boards as communication tool. When googling ‘product design trends 2015’ the results are pretty accurate of recent trends - patterns, angled surfaces, creative use of recyclable materials, generative design etc.

Do your own. Those industry trend reports are all BS and cost a fortune. Nothing makes them the expert, anyone trend forecasting is just guessing. The big ones usually throw down enough random themes “Electric Space Cowboy” with colors and pics that something is bound to be close.

Trends are so specific anyhow to market, industry, location, price point, demographics, that some marketing company in London will likely not produce anything too helpful is you are making washing machines for Iowa.

In any case, shouldn’t your design department own the process and vision, not a third party? If you are going to lead, lead.


I agree with Richard. We always do our own. Other inputs are great to have. The pantone colors have influence, mainly because they are a self fulfilling prophecy. But if you do it yourself, do it once a quarter for a couple of years, you see the shifts and you can predict what will be relevant for your industry, your brand, your product.