Parallax-Inspired BASF's Color Predictions for 2020 Vehicles

What happens to the scenery as you look through the window of a moving vehicle or train?

The trees appear much different than if you were stationary. This concept is referred to as parallax - when objects appear shifted or changed when viewed from different angles - and this idea inspired BASF's Automotive Color Trends 2016/17 show.

"My inspiration behind this year's color is the continuous change in society"

Each year, the designers from BASF predict 65 up-and-coming colors of automotive design that will influence vehicle models three to five years down the line. The designers search the far corners of the globe for inspiration. It is an extensive process, consisting of about 18 months of research, travel and experimentation. BASF has already begun the process for its 2021 predictions.

The designers provide automotive customers with global color inspirations as well as separate colors that are expected to resonate regionally. BASF's design competency is the key to identifying trends at an early stage that have the potential to represent a brand throughout the vehicle's life cycle.

Top Three North American Colors for 2020

In North America, there is a definitive can-do attitude seen throughout the continent. In addition to the overarching theme - Parallax - Paul Czornij, head of design for BASF's Color Excellence Group, selected the theme No Excuses for his regional color predictions. It represents society's willingness to confront complexities and challenges head-on, leaving no room for inaction or excuse.

"My inspiration behind this year's color is the continuous change in society and the importance of finding new perspectives and looking at things differently - trying to understand our own parallax," Czornij said.

BASF_Automotive_Color_Trends_2016_2017_Raingarden Photo Raingarden, a metallic silver with green and blue elements, is one of BASF's featured colors in North America and is shown in juxtaposition with Paul Czornij, BASF's head of design in North America.

The following are the top three color predictions for the North American market, along with the technological and societal factors that impacted these selections:

  1. Raingarden - A metallic silver that transitions from blue to green depending on the angle of the viewer. In today's society, the lines of how individuals behave and how they're influenced by technology are blurred. Your smartphone now acts as your secretary, your personal trainer or even your doctor. This insight led to the exploration of the two-toned color.

"My top choice for North America, Raingarden, exemplifies our coatings capabilities at BASF. In order to achieve a silver color that looks subtly different depending on the viewer's vantage points, we relied on our design expertise, but it also showcases our technical finesse with innovative pigments to achieve a beautiful coating that could be used in a real-world setting," Czornij said.

  1. Primordial Soup - A deep, blood red, this color is inspired by the heart. It represents collective passion and the key factors that contribute to individualization, such as our movie, music or even vehicle preferences. Those differences in personal preferences, and how they influence the decisions we make, signify this color's parallax.
  1. Aerialist Wish - A black color with a silky, silvery look throughout. At first it may appear gritty, but the darkness of the color is mysterious and luxurious. This relates to society's feelings of urban development as city centers are revitalized by the young people making roots there.

"The migration toward urban areas has been a prominent feature in our societal analysis for the last three color collections," Czornij said. "For a long time, city centers have been seen as undesirable but that's all changing as young artists, designers, musicians and others seize the opportunity to make their homes there once again, bringing a new level of vitality to these downtown areas."

Once the colors have been selected, BASF works hand-in-hand with OEM design teams to finesse the colors based on the brand, automobile style and customer preferences to create the colors of 2020 model-year vehicles and beyond.

Moving forward, innovative pigment effects that enable two or more colors to be combined along with metallic urban elements will enrich the color portfolio of tomorrow's vehicles.

Click here to read more about BASF's Global color predictions.