©2007 Michael Woodward

It’s amazing how many submissions are sent to publishers and manufacturers by artists who have given no thought whatsoever to the content of the work and the needs of the company receiving it. Each company is in many ways unique so presentations should be created specifically for the Art Buyer/Creative Director of company you are approaching.  Before you submit anything, you must understand the market sector you are targeting. Do the basic research.

Trends are created from several sources; fashion and home furnishings are two. These industries plan one or two years in advance. They each have color guides, which originate from market research and forecasts. Send the companies you choose to market to exactly what they want. It’s not good to send, for instance, nude figure studies to a print publisher who only prints wildlife. Although this may seem obvious to some, it’s amazing how often this happens!

Visit art exhibitions, fashion shows, interior design exhibitions. Subscribe to trade magazines in any market that interests you. Get to know who the major manufacturers are as well as the major retail chains who sell the product. Research websites regularly so you keep up with what’s new. On many art publishers websites you’ll have on the menu items “Best Sellers” as well as “New Releases”. These are important sections as it gives you an idea of what’s sold really well as well as new images and the colorways and styles they are starting to promote.

These days retailers have become very powerful as they control many aspects of the industry as many of the independent retailers and Moms & Pops stores have disappeared as they simply cannot compete. The big retail chains can manufacture in China and the Far East and undercut the small independent shopkeeper and this allows them often to dictate prices, product type, color etc that they want to buy in the mass market sector.  Thankfully in the high end fine art gallery and interior design market it’s not as crucial but even high end poster companies have to now look at the colors and trends very carefully.  Framers buy much of a print publisher’s inventory as retailers invariably want finished product so framers work hand in hand with retailers and publishers.

Extract from 2007 report:

What are the coolest colors of 2007? If you think it's bright red and fluorescents, think again. From clothing to Kleenex, fabrics to furniture, this year it's all about the environment. After extensive research and focus groups conducted nationwide, Color Marketing Group predicts the most powerful color trends for 2007 are more subdued shades, evoking images of a cool day at the beach or a walk through the park.

This shift in the color palette is being driven by a number of influences. For starters, there's a growing concern and recognition of the environment. Issues in the news (global warming, hurricane seasons, even a milder winter) have an influence on the colors people are attracted to, and many are looking for ways to bring the colors of the outdoors inside the home.

There is also a big shift towards colors already popular in other countries. India is becoming an important player on the world market, and people here in the U.S. are now finding themselves drawn to colors associated with that country, soothing oranges and yellows and warm, rich reds.


Websites to help you with trends: www.colorassociation.com, www.colormarketing.org, www.trendwatching.com, www.designerguild.com, www.crescentcardboard.com.

©2007 Michael Woodward



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