The color trends for 2021+ and their drivers

Age of True Lies

The world is undergoing huge global changes. We are in the midst of a global climate crisis, the transformation of urbanisation, and a new humanity that challenges not only gender but the essence of being human, all of which are decisive for our future. 2021 is not a year when we know what will happen. 2021 is a year of relative uncertainty.

We are aware that things are changing but the directions in which they are changing remain unclear. What we do know for certain is that things need to and will change.

Times of change and uncertainty have consequences for our behaviour and directly affect the way we react in our design and colour preferences.

We are facing an era of great focus on humanistic design, but also controversial and contradictory designs.

We seek the real truth. We need the real truth.

Virtual Relativity

We have always sought an escape from reality. The harsher the world, the prettier we need our fantasies to be

We have always sought an escape from reality. The harsher the world, the prettier we need our fantasies to be. In the same way that the Art Deco era emerged after the horrors of World War I with its new kind of opulence and extravagant colours, today we can see a similar reality arising due to the new global climate. And it is very virtual and very relative!

We are diving into a completely different universe, built on a fascination with the unknown and unfamiliar attributes. Today we want to escape from reality into a familiar, controllable, perfect “world” – knowing that it is neither real nor trustworthy.

A new form of distraction acts as therapy, escaping into a new fantasy or rather a relative reality; a world of multifaceted truths. This is an evolution of Human Identity connected to both Artificial and Human Intelligence, but today it is a new kind of merged intelligence, an emotional intelligence.

Developing a virtual reality with earth-like and human attributes, playing on the emotional triggers of being human, enforces our ability to feel a connection to something that is unreal, that is fake. We escape into VR worlds that are very similar to our own, an improved and safe reality where we know what is true, that it is all fiction.

NCS Colour Trends 2021+

NCS Colour Trends 2021+ is developed by the team at NCS Colour with the support of a trend panel consisting of internationally renowned experts within their field. As a result, the forecast offers international relevant colour palettes and attributes to suit any market and industry.

The forecasting team

Karl Johan Bertilsson, Creative Director, MarieThaarup, Marketing Manager and Anna af Sillén, Communication Specialist.

A special thanks to our trend panel for their valuable input in this forecast: Emma Clericia, Manù Bonaiti and their team at Baolab, Laura Perryman and Latika Khosla.


Thank you to below contributors.
Timur Mitin, VitrA,
Lisa Cohen, Clothes. Note Design Studio, project: Gina Tricot
Concept Store,
Flowers. IKEA Livet Hemma, stylist:
Camilla Gantelius, photographer: Andrea Papini,
Note Design Studio, project: Grow Hotel,

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