Funk & Weber Designs

Trend Forecasting

As a designer, I’m supposed to pay attention to trends: color trends, materials trends, theme and motif trends. One way to stay on top of trends is to pay Big Bucks for industry insider information via newsletters, websites, etc. Two hundred bucks will get me 6 issues of one 8-page newsletter that will predict for me what colors and designs will be popular in the coming year.


What does it take to be a forecaster? A crystal ball? I’m not buying it–the crystal ball or the concept. Forecasters are simply people who attend trade shows and look around, then take a stab at what they think will be popular. They’re not wizards; they’re merely people with microphones (or newsletters or websites) behind curtains.

But trend forecasting is a HUGE industry. There are companies that put out color palettes for each season. Designers, I suppose, design accordingly. I guess they use the colors in that season’s palette. Then stores stock the clothes/paint/furniture in these colors and boom! suddenly brown and turquoise are the hot colors. Last season’s clothes are chucked because we just gotta have brown and turquoise.

Ohmygosh! There is so much here I want to rant about! Who are the people who get to choose the palettes that dictate trends? How exactly did they get the job, and what tools do they use to select their colors? Do they throw darts at a board to get the base colors, then build from there? Do they research the colors that paint stores sold most during the year?

Why do people care what someone else tells them is a popular color? Do people really choose colors for their walls and clothes because somebody else likes them?

Does anyone else find this bizarre?

Clearly, I’m not much for trends. The whole “gotta have the latest” mentality escapes me. Do my design work and business suffer as a result? I think needlework has a longer shelf-life than wall paint and clothing. It can take years to develop a needlework pattern, and just as long for a stitcher to stitch it. And we don’t get rid of needlework the way we get rid of last season’s clothes. We’ve invested too much time in the needlework to chuck it after a couple of years. So are trends relevant to needlework design?

Now’s about the time I trot out one of my mottoes: Create more, consume less. Trends? Feh! This invitation to subscribe to a trend forecasting newsletter goes in the recycle bin.

Categories: Funk & Weber Designs

1 reply »

  1. Lots to say and notime right now. But I did want to share one of my favorite quotes- I don’t recall who said it. “Fashion is following the whims of another. Style is knowing who you are and carrying it out” Trends are just that. This above all, to thine own self be true. OK, I didn’t make that one up, either!