Shopping, at its very core, is emotional. How consumers feel (about work, home, economy, etc.) is reflected in the product colors we see in the marketplace.

We recently caught up with Tim Zattau, a sales account manager at Arclin, who keyed us in to some of the color indicators he’s seeing in the market. For example, he says that the graying of the pallet the past few years, which reflects the mood of the economy, has been a big trend. People have been more emotionally somber so the color gray took a front and center position.

Now, the economy has picked back up so we’re seeing a little more vibrancy in the colors and designs. This goes well beyond woodworking; it starts with fashion and other consumer goods and spills into the woodworking market in the form of cabinet shades and stains.

One color in particular is a surefire tell that the consumer’s mood is shifting. If you look closely at the consumer side, you will see the Pull of Purple. When you start to see purple coming into consumer markets, clothing in particular, it’s an indication that people are feeling better about the economy.

Why? Purple is associated with royalty, and when people are feeling better about their financial situation, or job, they tend to be more free-spending. That’s what’s happening now as the country rebounds.

In the woodworking industry, we get together with other industries to look at overall color trends that could carry over into wood designs. Stains and cabinet colors are harbingers of how the economy is headed.

Right now, we’re seeing more oranges and a little more reds than in past years. Those colors are bright and help people feel better, much like the royal purple.

What are you seeing in the market?

See the full array of decorative panel colors at Timber Products Company

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