My last five days have been spent in Mexico doing research for a color palette targeted to the Latino market. Our clients have asked for this and we are working hard to develop direction that is valid. Given the growing buying power of the Hispanic market, it is easy to see why retailers, manufacturers and designers all want a better understanding of the right colors and how to use them.
From the moment I got off the plane at my first stop, Mexico City, I could feel that this country has a very close relationship with color. This is more than the ramp-up to color that home furnishings in the U.S. have witnessed in the past year or so. This is a solid preference for colors both inside and outside the home in everything from paint to flooring to ceramics to textiles. Flowers offer another layer of color. They were everywhere in a great abundance of Perwinkled Purple, bright Pink, Yellow and Orange.
I observed and matched painted hues that range from Deco mid-tones to intense brights. Seeing these colors both inside and outside of commercial buildings was energizing. Finding the same colors on residential exteriors made me think hard about the sea of Beige and Taupe McMansions that populate almost every suburban landscape. Back to home and work in Eden Prairie, MN (my office is just a mile and a half from our house—and less than a mile from our 10-year-old’s school), the houses are looking pretty dull in comparison with what I have lived with for the past five days.
In the coming few weeks, I will continue working toward my goal of providing the market with a Latino color palette. At this moment, I am considering what other regions to visit and how many groups of colors should be included in the palette. Let me know if you have any feedback on those topics—or any others.