Monday, June 4, 2012

Surtex/NSS Press Kits, Giveaways and Trends

As I mentioned last week in my post on Surtex, NSS and ICFF, I am going to explore a few topics that caught my attention in the last few weeks while walking the shows and learning more about licensing. Let's start this week with these three:

Press Kits: I know, I know, I am a newbie - or at least this is what I've been told over and over since I started in licensing. And as a good newbie, I think that Surtex Press kits are a good tool to promote your art if you ever exhibit at the show ... that's how I found several great artists that I will publish on this blog very soon.

Giveaways: And then, there are the little, but yet beautiful promotional giveaway gifts given out to friends, press or clients. It makes the person receiving them feel welcomed and also inspired - and helps them remember you.  

Trends: Some say trends don't mean anything, some follow them closely, some think they are experts at them, and finally some are fascinated by this topic but don't really know how to use the information in conjunction with their licensing work. Part of this confusion is no doubt because there are many trends out there, for different types of product categories and consumers. Plus, the terminologies vary from one design trade to another.

A simple dictionary definition of a trend is: (noun) a general direction in which something is developing or changing; a fashion; a movement.

Another word that goes well with the term trend is intuition, which means: (noun) the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning; a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

For those who are interested, views and ideas on trends can be found everywhere. Here are a few of some that I've come across that interested me: just before Surtex, Home Textile Today came out with two articles on trends: Vol 33, No.11 said that Texture, Good Earth, Color and Craft (as a movement) were a few stand-out product directions. Vol 33, no.12 came out with more trend forecasts such as that bright colors and rich textures are starting to emerge. More individuality, uniqueness and appreciation of crafsmanship were also stressed by a Europen design forecaster, while another U.S. based design forecaster said the eco-friend is taking hold by the consumer. The color yellow was also mentioned as a key color. Some call it the new pink.

Gift & Home Today published a nice article on Surtex and upcoming themes and trends, which included Color, Mix & Match, Burlap, Organic as well as Eclectic Mixes of Patterns.

Home Accents Today's 2013 Color Forecast also talks about Brighter Colors, Americana, Art Deco, and The Old West. 

At Surtex, Trendtablet by Edelkoort Inc. gave a very comprehensive rundown about life style 2013 colors and trends for textile/home. Again, the Natural, Earthy, Handmade and Warm Colors were mentioned throughout for specific trends: Greens, Yellows, Reds, Fresh Colors, Soft Pinks and Grays but also Terracotta, Indigo and Earth Tones like Browns.

Another good site for trend forecasts is Design Intuition by Katie Hatch. Yellow and Gray are again key colors featured on some of her boards.

Courtesy of Marina Paper -
Regardless of whether one believes it's important to follow trends or that they should be ignored, it is one facet of this field of art licensing that seems important for each of us to answer for ourselves. For my part, the one trend I personally like a lot is the natural, handmade eco-friend one because I create my art with natural elements, by hand, and it's whimsy-folk, colorful and crafty - so it all fits perfectly with that "new" style direction. As you know, there isn't really anything new; but we artists and designers indeed do like to re-interpret, and it is a constant evolution in how we do this in relation to our changing times.

What could be better than to do what you love and also have the forecasters predicting that it's becoming or is already popular ... sweet!

So, what's your take on the subject? 


Dianne Poinski said...

Great info on trends Alex! Thanks for sharing this!

Beverly Dyer said...

Nice review Alex. My booth was close to the trend hub and I really enjoyed hearing some of the presentations. Most interesting to me is how trends reflect sociological happenings. For me I hope to continue learning about trends and incorporate them, while still painting from the heart.