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The appeal of purple to consumers

Digital Lavender, WGSN's Colour of the Year 2023
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Jul 30, 2022 By WGSN Insider

Purple is having a moment. Find out why this trending colour is appealing to consumers in our increasingly digital future and the post-lockdown world.

“We really saw the sensorial shade reintroduced from our ever-merging worlds of IRL and URL,” Joanne Thomas, Head of Content at Coloro, tells Elle Decor. This is perpetuated by our increased reliance on technology to find comfort, community and connection during the upheaval of the pandemic.

Traditionally, digital spaces can be cold and unsympathetic, but tech companies are increasingly recognising the need for products and experiences to be warmer and more inviting.

Colours, materials and finishes have a visceral impact on people and the ability to uplift the mood. Pastels are often used as they speak to tranquillity, peace and have an ethereal nature. Softer lilac tones are used for consumers to interact with technology on an emotive level, helping maintain mental and emotional wellbeing rather than hinder it.

Pastel purple iPhone
Daniel Romero/Unsplash

Deeper, more intense shades of purple speak to nostalgia and escapism. In times of uncertainty and great change, consumers often think about the past and safer, simpler times. They call on routines, experiences, clothing, belongings and colours that remind them of specific periods.

Deep purples are synonymous with 1980s glamour, hedonism and most notably, the American performer Prince. Countless brands have released heritage collections, revisiting past designs and reintroducing them to the market.

Other key forms of escapism that have seen many through the pandemic – gaming, binge-watching TV shows such as Gen Z-favourite Euphoria and apps such as TikTok – all have one thing in common: the use of dark and deep colours. Cobalt blues, royal purples and magenta pinks are used to elevate fantasy with a cinematic and otherworldly quality.

Computer desk setup with glow of purple light
Redd/Unsplash

For more colour forecasting, WGSN subscribers can check out our reports on Colour Evolution S/S 24 (Fashion), Beauty Colour Forecast S/S 24 (Beauty), Milan Design Week 2022: Colour, Material & Finish (Interiors) and Consumer Tech Colour Forecast 2024 (Consumer Tech).

Not a subscriber yet? Stay tuned for our blog on the applications of purple in product design coming live next Saturday.

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