ColourFutures™ has been dedicated to the expert analysis of social, economic and color and design trends for 20 years. 

ColourFutures™ is at the heart of AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Center. This global trend research, conducted annually, lays the foundation for Color of the Year and its supporting color palettes – to provide customers and consumers with the colors they need for the future.


The Global Aesthetic Center

Our Global Aesthetic Center has been responsible for trend analysis, color research, color design and art direction for three decades. Each year, the team engages leading design professionals from all over the world in identifying the trends and capturing the mood of the moment – research which is then translated into color, products and inspiring trend collections by each of our color-based business.

The Creative Director

Heleen van Gent heads up the Netherlands-based creative team in supporting 80 markets around the world and empowering consumers to make confident color choices for their homes.

Heleen joined our Global Aesthetic Center in 2009. Firmly established as our spokesperson on trends, color, (interior) design and architecture, she has a passion for helping and inspiring people to find the right colors and color combinations for their living environment. Under her direction, the Global Aesthetic Center offers color and design inspiration, color tools and assets to make color choice easy and hassle-free for customers and consumers in the 80 countries where AkzoNobel sells paint.

Go behind the scenes

Every year’s color represents an entire year’s worth of work. Our extensive color and trends research combines our expertise with that of design professionals from all over the world. Find out how the team at the Global Aesthetic Center arrives at the theme and color that captures the mood of the moment for the upcoming year – helping customers and consumers to turn their design dreams into reality.

20 years of color trends

We continuously monitor global social, design and consumer trends as they emerge to ensure we’re always one step ahead of consumers’ needs.

Our snapshot of the ColourFutures palettes from 2004 to 2023 tells the story of the changing tastes and priorities of our consumer. While each individual color captures a moment in time, together they create a color map of our age. Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift from a concentration on brighter tones to an emphasis on neutrals, back towards more color. Vibrant colors and light tones are re-emerging – a reflection, perhaps of our need for positivity and a fresh approach.

Special edition coffee table book

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of ColourFutures, we designed a beautiful coffee table book to put every Color of the Year so far back in the spotlight. With fascinating insights from the color and trend experts who’ve contributed over the years and plenty of inspirational images to get your creativity flowing, this digital book is a work of art in its own right.

Color of the year 2024

Sweet Embrace™ - inspired by soft feathers and evening clouds – is AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year 2024. This welcoming shade brings a sense of calm and a feeling of joy to our spaces. With the world in a state of flux, the latest trend research shows we’re on a quest to belong, seeking stability and our own ‘special somewhere’.

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