Find inspiration in the ColorSurfaces Edition 17 trend collection

Stephie Sijssens, Global Color Design Manager, talks about launching the ColorSurfaces Edition 17 trend collection, featuring Color of the Year 2022 Bright Skies. Find out how this color and material story sparks new color development.

It’s the little things that can make all the difference. Take a coating, for example. It’s such a thin layer on a product, but it plays such a big role in an object’s life. Above and beyond protecting it, coatings really define the product on an aesthetic level – combining the color, effects and tactility that greatly contribute to your overall experience with it.

The feel of your smartphone in your hand, the sleekness of your car’s dashboard, the comfort of your seat on a long flight – these are all experiences enhanced by our coatings.

I get to be part of this last step of defining the “look and feel” and functionality of products in the automotive and specialty coatings space, as Global Color Design Manager at AkzoNobel. We work with designers to show them what’s possible and translate their vision into a coating. Often our starting point for this creative process is the ColorSurfaces trend collection.


Stephie Sijssens, Global Color Design Manager

Bringing trends to the surface

Edition 17 of our annual ColorSurfaces collection has just launched. This is our “runway fashion show” in the world of automotive and specialty coatings, showing off the color and material story that will inspire our customers and spark new color development.

Taking one step back, I should explain that the collection doesn’t stand alone. It’s part of a company-wide effort to capture the consumer trends that will influence our future color and material choices. Each year, extensive trend research is conducted by our in-house paints and coatings experts and international design experts with the aim of identifying an overall theme, four trend directions and a Color of the Year.

Each business then takes those insights and translates them to their own markets, leveraging market-specific color and materials research and expertise to create on-trend collections for all our customers. The result is a color story that is aligned across AkzoNobel and highly relevant in our diverse markets – from decorative paints to automotive and specialty coatings and everything in between.

For this year, our color story reflects the way recent events have thrown the social, economic and environmental aspects of all our lives into sharper focus. We’re reassessing what really matters and are ready for a fresh approach to everything. Bright Skies, our Color of the Year 2022, brings us a much-needed breath of fresh air.

ColorSurfaces delivers a breath of fresh air


Automotive and specialty coatings brings many layers to Bright Skies. We’re not just talking about color in our business, we’re talking about effects, finishes, tactility and functionality.

So what we’ve done is create four variations on Bright Skies, in line with the four trend themes we’ve identified for the upcoming year, and paired them with palettes that really demonstrate the versatility of the color:

Theme 1 Workshop – reinventing our everyday reality with warm, bright and earthy tones, tactile finishes and authentic materials

Theme 2 Greenhouse – integrating nature into our lives using elegant greens and floral tones that complement or contrast with natural materials and textures

Theme 3 Studio – looking to the arts for comfort and inspiration with dreamy finishes that offer splashes of bright solids, soft metallics and reflective light effects

Theme 4 Salon – breaking out of our social bubbles to shape the world for the better, fostering openness with neutral shades and semi-translucent materials

For many of our customers, who are also in tune with the trends, our ColorSurfaces collection is both an inspiration and confirmation of the direction they want to take on effects and finishes. From there, we work closely with the designers to refine color ideas into the perfect coatings – an exciting process that can truly transform a color.

As you can see from our four variations of “Bright Skies”, a color in high gloss with effects looks completely different from the same color in a matt! It all comes down to the details.


Bringing customers a powerful color story


I’m so proud that, despite all the challenges arising from the pandemic, the team was able to develop such a strong collection for 2022, one that will certainly resonate with our customers.

We started on screen with virtual expert workshops and material brainstorms; we replaced real-time visits to fairs and exhibitions with virtual visits to their online counterparts; and we used new digital platforms to connect as a team and with our customers. Our adapted process led to a truly powerful color story.

So, I sincerely hope you find a lot of inspiration in our ColorSurfaces collection. You can check out right here.

Color surfaces items

Get your inspiration

It’s a color and material story to spark your imagination. Let the colors, effects and finishes of the ColorSurfaces trend collection open your mind to a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life.

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