Color Trends for 2010 – What Artists Need To Know

Mardi Grape is this years most trendy color. Photo: Anna Beaudry 2009/Maria Killam Colour & Design
Artists considering selling into the lucrative art publishing and corporate art markets must be aware of color, decor and fashion trends. Keeping a keen eye on what colors are being used most often by designers, furniture and accessories markets can help artists shape their palette and create works that sell.

According to a business blog for visual artists by Barney Davey, CMG, which has been successfully predicting color trends for 47 years, says this grape –officially called Mardi Grape – is a sophisticated crossover between purple, brown and gray. It’s a transfer from fashion with European roots.

Chosen by hundreds of color professionals as CMG’s 2010 Next Color, Mardi Grape used to be a fashion color. Now, it’s all set to be the year’s biggest star for everything else.

Purple is a neutral for first time – expect it to be around for a long time said CMG president James Martin: “Purple has been with us for a while now, but the big story today is that we’re seeing purple as a neutral for the very first time. This purple is browner and grayer, a neutral we can love long-term.

These days everyone is seeking versatile colors with staying power. Colors used to be the focus while neutrals were the understudies. Today, neutrals are the lead performers, chameleon colors that shift and change.”

According to CMG, look for these additional color trends in 2010:

•Red – Reds are strong with pink intuition; bright and clean with energy and excitement — a clean pop to go with neutrals.
•Orange – A rich, sophisticated color that moves away from earth-based colors to an optimistic orange, seasoned with a touch of gray.
•Yellow – A greener, more natural yellow, softened with gray.
•Green – Optimistic and uplifting, a clear and bright accent green with a slight shift toward blue.
•Blue – A saturated blue with gray influences; rich without being too luxe.
•Beige-Brown – A true chameleon to complement darker hues, it can be either matte or metallic.
•Neutral-Gray – Gray with a touch of purple, drawing inspiration from mineral, concrete and steel.

Color Marketing Group, founded in 1962 and based in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, is an international association of color design professionals. CMG’s major focus is to forecast the direction in which color is developing across multiple industries. For further information, please visit

Visit Barney Davey’s site to learn more about how to create art for licensing and publication


3 thoughts on “Color Trends for 2010 – What Artists Need To Know

  1. Thanks for the great information!
    Had to smile at the Mardi Grape color, because I painted my study that color (my own custom formulation of it) over a year ago. How fun to find out I was on trend.

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