Trends can sneak up on you. All of a sudden there’s copper and marble everywhere or everyone is painting feature walls in the same shade.
It seems to happen without warning but in reality trends tend to bleed across from one industry to another, so keeping an eye on trends outside your niche is crucial. In interior design, this can mean fabrics shown on runways in Milan starts to show up on home furnishings. Before too long, those same patterns and colours will show up on thank you cards from friends or on the front cover of a new notebook.
Most trends start in fashion, move to interior design, start showing up in weddings, and then move to mass-produced consumer goods. To stay on top of trends, it pays to keep an eye on the industries higher up the ‘chain’ of influence. This usually means everyone has an eye on the runways and the upcoming fashion designers, but also means stationery designers are watching interior designers closely.
Here are six examples of trends that have moved from interior design to the world of wedding stationery in recent years:
Example 1: Scandinavian Minimalism
Styles tend to move through industries rapidly. In the past five years, Scandinavian minimalism has been a clear example of this. Minimalism is all about clean lines, white space and monochrome, along with touches from nature often in the form of light, timber and greenery. Everything is boiled down to the essentials, those essentials are done to the best quality possible, and the relationship between each individual element is vital.
This applies whether you’re looking at interiors or stationery. In homes, this is usually reflected in large windows, lots of white, and high quality pieces of furniture. In stationery, this often means a clean black ink design on a thick, premium white paper. Geometric letterpress accents are a common addition.
Example 2: Monochrome with Pops of Colour
Monochrome is a classic shortcut to style, and often works in conjunction with the Scandinavian minimalist design trend. Keeping a space to simple black and white allows you to use a variety of patterns and textures while maintaining a cohesive look. Small pops of colour like coloured edging on a rug, green house plants, or honey-coloured timber furniture elements breaks up the ‘sameness’ of a monochrome room.
A combination of large plain white, black or grey areas also ensures patterns don’t overwhelm a space. In invitations, patterns and monochrome design staples are often broken up with gold foil features.
Example 3: Indoor Jungle
Houseplants have always been in and out of interior design fashion, but are in something of a glory day at present. Historically, only the most hardy plants could survive indoors, since many houses were dark and it wasn’t easy to track down information about keeping plants healthy. Our love affair with light is perfect for plants, the range of available plants has increased (hello, succulents!), and we have all the help we need easily accessible online.
Today, ferns, succulents, cacti and fiddle leaf figs are in homes everywhere. While floral wedding invitations have always been popular, this revival of houseplants has led to botanical invites and green colours showing up everywhere. Pantone even chose the colour ‘Greenery’ as their Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017.
Example 4: Pastels
Pastels have enjoyed several moments in the spotlight throughout history, from the Rococo period in 18th Century France to the Roaring Twenties in the United States. They enjoyed a revival in the 1980s and 1990s, and are back on the scene again now, thanks in part to millennial nostalgia.
The 2016 Pantone Colours of the Year were a pastel pink (Rose Quartz) and a pastel blue (Serenity), marking this revival. In interiors, pastels are often paired with more vivid shades of the same colour. They go particularly well with french provincial style furniture and decor, since authentic French provincial furniture was often painted in pastel colours as well as light creams and ivories. In invitations, pastels are often combined with the watercolour trend, with backgrounds that look like sponged on paint, and different colours of pastel washed together.
Example 5: Copper Everything
Copper has long been used in architecture, from roofing and sculpture work to wall cladding and even gutters and pipes, but copper has been trending in interior design for the last couple of years like never before in recent history. In 2015 the Dulux Colour of the Year was Copper Blush, a sort of copper and rose gold hybrid.
Copper began to show up in feature wall cladding, light fittings, taps and other bathroom fittings, furniture, and small decorative home accessories (vases, photo frames, bowls). While interior designers are slowly moving on from copper, it continues to be in high demand in the wedding industry. Wedding invitations in this theme tend to feature copper foiled features or a copper coloured paper. Copper foiling has become more popular than gold foil or silver foil among many customers, thanks to the strength of the trend in other industries.
Example 6: Millennial Pink
The group of colours dubbed ‘Millennial Pink’ is a subset of the craze for pastels. It first began to show up in 2012, and gained awareness (and its name) in mid-2016. There is no clear definition of what the precise colour is. In general, any blush pink colour that is fairly neutral, muted and androgynous is considered part of the trend.
Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2016 was Rose Quartz, a colour that has been cited as an example of Millennial Pink. The colour has been popular in fashion, architecture and interior design, and has been rapidly moving into other industries. It is now a popular wedding invitation colour, showing up everywhere in 2017. Sometimes this means pink paper, other times pink ink or even pink foil features.
These six examples demonstrate how trends filter from one industry to another until they are everywhere in the public consciousness. Whatever trends come next, they will inevitably follow the same path through various industries.
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