“By the end of 2018 the team knew they wanted to tell a story about connection and empathy for the 2021 Color of the Year,” said Jessica McConnell, director, Whirlpool Color, Finish & Material Design. “This was actually pre-Covid – everything was normal – and the story we wanted to talk about was people caring and showing empathy for each other and reaching across aisles, or reaching across differences to make the world a better place, to build a brighter future.”
KitchenAid brand’s color of the year for 2021 is called “Honey,” and was introduced in early February. “This year’s color of the year is a reminder of the sweetness of coming together in the kitchen and experiencing the irresistible positivity, warmth and coziness of honey,” said Katie Remaly, senior Color, Finish and Material designer. “We have been tracking the yellow color space for a while, and therefore we had to be cognizant of what exists on our palette today.
Shifts in interior design, which happen every ten years or so–also play a big part in how color choices are made for KitchenAid.”
The result is a rich color that isn’t quite orange or yellow, with a hint of brown added for good measure. The team wanted to ultimately have a color that could speak to a few different color spaces.
“This ability to transcend color families is something that we think is special about all of our colors of the year,” said McConnell.
The process of identifying and creating the Color of the Year begins about eighteen months before a new color is launched. The team starts by taking an exhaustive look at sociocultural trends.
“Because the team is based in all the regions of the world, there’s high-level input from every corner of the globe on fashion, design, food and more,” said Remaly. “Shifts in interior design, which happen every ten years or so–also play a big part in how color choices are made for KitchenAid.”
Once the trends have been studied and vetted, the team comes to the table with two or three topics and color choices that are balanced against the entire KitchenAid color portfolio. The team considers the emotional power of color to help inform meaningful color choices. They debate and discuss how the colors measure up against current trends and how they will help tell a story for the brand with relevant recipes and content.
“Ultimately that story will always have an optimistic spin with energy and action because KitchenAid is all about making and action in the kitchen,” said McConnell.
After the color has been decided upon, the team rolls up its sleeves and begins the process of creating and refining that color.
“In order to make a color that consumers are going to love and relate to, we sent our North America Studio Color Finish team out into the world for ‘honey experiences,’” said Remaly. “The team visited markets, shops and restaurants. They tasted and smelled and bought different honeys from various places around the globe to get into the mindset of honey as an ingredient on a scientific level. They lined samples up to analyze and compare hue and gloss.”
By the end of 2018, the team knew they wanted to tell a story about connection and empathy for the 2021 Color of the Year. The result of their research and insights is a truly unique color for the brand, which can be found on stand mixers, blenders and other small appliances. For more information, head to www.kitchenaid.com.