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Color is critical in marketing. It’s not just about making your products look great; color helps to tell your story, too. It stirs your customers’ emotions. It reflects your brand.

Just like fashion, however, trends in color change, and staying current is imperative. To stay on top of what’s happening, here are five color “hot spots” to watch:

1. Runways

When we think of color, we think of fashion. What are the stars wearing on the red carpet? What colors are clothing lines pushing? Most recently, models have been strutting their stuff in very bright colors—intense blues, vibrant oranges, and shocking yellows. We also see a secondary trend of softer, more muted tones, used almost as neutrals, such as dusty pink and even camouflage or army green. Crisp, clean black and white design never seems to go out of style.

2. Home Design

Interior design is another harbinger of the shifting trends in color. Trendy new colors show up on appliances, upholstery, walls, and even kitchen gadgets. Paint companies often publish color forecasts and make them available at no charge. Red never seems to be a color trend that dies, but teal has become a popular color, especially within home décor.

3. Car Stuff

The car you drive can be as much a fashion statement as a belt or a scarf. While the dominant colors in the auto market have long been black and gray, the trendier colors are brighter and more vibrant. These include lava orange, lime green, and popping yellow.

4. Packaging

Just as in the world of fashion, we see a mix of both bright and neutral colors in packaging of goods. And if you notice, especially with foods, neutral colors represent more natural based brands.

5. Your Mailbox/Inbox

What colors are coming to you via postal and email? Colors tend to be selected based on emotional appeal, eye-appeal, and brand representation.

Every market has slightly different color influences, so the trends will not be identical from one to the other. But don't worry; if you feel like you missed 'the wave', just hang tight. It'll come back around, just as every other fashion statement has. However, by staying current in each of these areas, you can develop a keen sense of where to take your design next.

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