Spring Summer 2021 Colour Trends

Cultural, social, economical and political movements influence the way we behave in an existing environment: it influences our personal choices and our decision process. As a result, these factors implicitly direct us towards certain colours.

In order to understand better what influences our colour choice, Colour Hive has conducted a market research to define the current trends, characteristics and behaviours that our society communicates. So what are the key factors that influence our colour choice?

To get a clear outlook of today’s trends and behaviours, Colour Hive has selected four key external factors that influence our colour choice.
– Society & Culture
– Technology & Innovation
– Environment
– Politics & Economics

Each external factor has recorded the following trends:

– Society & Culture : Gender Politics, Nostalgia, Online Dating, Escapism
– Technology & Innovation: New Materials, Gaming
– Environment: Pollution, Sustainability
– Politics & Economics: Uncertainty, Polarisation

Society & Culture

Gender Politics: “They” has been named word of the decade, showing how our society is conscious and aware of the plurality of genders.

Nostalgia: The idea that the present is worst than the past and that we had things easier before.

Online Dating: Online Dating is one of the most lucrative business of the decade and a go-to tool when it comes to find love.

Escapism: The rise of immersive experiences through museums, interactive exhibitions and other events that involve all the senses and demand an individual reaction from the participants.

Technology & Innovation

New Materials: There is a high demand for sustainable, functional, and eco-friendly materials that respect the environment and encourage a friendly approach towards the environment.

Gaming: The gaming industry is now bigger than the video and music industry put together.
A business that connects with more and more people each year.


Sustainability: With Greta Thunberg elected person of the year by Time magazine, the world is now focusing its attention on sustainable way of living and solutions that respect and protect our planet.

Pollution: 80 percent of people are currently living in areas that do not meet health guidelines.
Our society is conscious of the negative impact of pollution and aspires living in a greener environment.

Politics & Economics

Uncertainty: The feeling of uncertainty has grown since the Brexit announcement and the confusion that politics has spread regarding this matter. This feeling of uncertainty has now increased even more with the rise of Covid 19.

Polarisation: The polarisation behaviour consists in sharing an opinion, an affirmation with “no middle ground”. This behavior has been reinforced by the presence of social media and live comment scenarios that Twitter encourages.

Now we know the trends and behaviours that our society is now experiencing, these movements, trends and shared feelings have been divided into 4 categories that will define the key colours of SS 2021.


Factory regroups Nostalgia, Gender Politics and Uncertainty.

This category suggests the idea that we want to re-engage with a process, a manufacturing system, our wish to understand how things work as well as a sense of community that is commonly seen in factories. Colours involved in signage, instruction manuals and other exposed tools link to this idea of factory.
This results in warm, earthy tones and other colours extracted from materials inspired by factory such as brick tones.

Regarding materials, factory suggests imperfect surfaces, visible joinery and repetition of patterns and lines.


Reverie regroups Love & Lyricism, romance, softness.
It also involves the wake up call that our society has experienced through movements like Me Too, the selfcare and wellness trend as well as the idea of being nostalgic about romance.

As a result, this theme involves reflective surfaces, romantic colours such as pink and deep purple and soft tones like peach and light yellow.
The materials include foamy surfaces, fluid material made solid and pearlescent/holographic/mirrored surfaces. Shells and pearls verging towards kitsch are also elements that will make a big entrance in SS 2021.


Clarity regroups clean and considered visuals.
It refers to the idea of purity, integrity and transparency. This involves clean tones that feel fresh and clean.

In terms of material, clarity suggests weightless quality, raindrop patters and other eye pleasing designs that reflect the purity of water and air.
This could include ripples, drips or water patterns on rugs and other surfaces.


This category refers to colours that connect with an immersive and submersive environment.
The theme involves the visual territory of Alice in Wonderland and this need of escaping from the reality. A fine line between real and unreal, engaging with a playground of optical illusions and immersive experiences.

As a result, we are exposed to a series of intense and uplifting colours like powder pink, royal blue and other bold colours.

The materials linked to Alice category involve a series of fun patterns: from reflective layers to reptilian surfaces. It also includes Murano glass aesthetic, maximalist textiles and same colour tone layering.

After sharing the key colours of Spring and Summer 2021, Colour Hive has showed some exciting colour associations per theme. A really useful way to compliment and use the colours of tomorrow in a fun and interactive way!

Factory association

Reverie association

Clarity association

Alice association

I hope you enjoyed reading this colourful post and that you’ve learned a bit more about how society and the movements that emerge from it can influence the way we think and interact with colours.

Did you like this article? I’d love to read your comment!

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