Cost of Living

How that sweater was selected for you: why colours can get you to buy anything from a couch to a sweater

Trying to forecast the next popular colour is part art, part science, a dose of salesmanship, a dash of pop psychology — all mixed together in an attempt to influence consumer trends.

"That sweater is not just blue … it's actually cerulean."

The Pantone Color Institute named Classic Blue as its colour of the year for 2020. The 2021 choice is expected in the coming weeks. (The Associated Press)

Pantone, one of the authorities on colour, is set to announce its colour of the year early next month. It's just one of the many companies that influence the products we buy and what we see around us.

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Trying to forecast the next popular colour is part art, part science, a dose of salesmanship, a dash of pop psychology — all mixed together in an attempt to influence consumer trends.

So do consumers truly have free will or are we all just herded in the same direction by our colour masters?

Host Paul Haavardsrud and senior producer Falice Chin talk with colour experts to find out just how much the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is worth.


Click 'Listen' at the top of the page to hear this segment, or download the Cost of Living podcast.

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