PPG Unveils 2018 Color of the Year: Black Flame

PPG’s color experts herald Black Flame as the new neutral — evoking privacy, hope and classic modernism.


photos courtesy of PPG Paints

The little black dress never goes out of style, and PPG Paints feels the same way about its 2018 Color of the Year, Black Flame, which was unveiled Monday.

“Black Flame acts like a black curtain, allowing your other décor elements to take center stage,” says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager. “It’s a fantastic blend of black and indigo, two classic hues. Black creates the silence we crave in an information-heavy world, while the indigo offers possibility and a deep hopefulness.”

Like the LBD, you can dress this timeless color up or down.

“The blend of two colors makes it incredibly versatile — use it on a statement wall, with a matte finish on a ceiling, with high gloss on a naturally lit staircase, on cabinets, interior and exterior doors, and in many more places,” Schlotter says. “The versatile hue can also provide strength and a modern luxe vibe to spaces with a lot of whites, blush pinks and soft pastels."

More than 20 PPG color stylists from around the world unanimously chose Black Flame as Color of the Year during the eighth annual global color summit held February at Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh.

During the gathering, the experts studied consumer insights, building material trends, décor trends and more to select a color forecast that would resonate with PPG’s wide range of customers, which run the gamut from consumer electronics to the construction, automotive and aerospace industries.

Basically, these are the colors you’ll be seeing everywhere on everything in the coming years; on walls, cars and even kitchen appliances.

“We’re already seeing retailers reinventing the classic black hue in the form of building materials such as wood flooring, black tile, cabinets and window frames, as well as matte black appliances and décor items,” Schlotter says.

Schlotter notes PPG’s research showed consumers — overworked and pressured to overshare on social media — crave privacy and feel a need to seek refuge, which is reflected in Black Flame.

“PPG’s research showed some consumers want to balance this social obligation by hiding portions of their personal life from the public eye, which are reflected in their home décor and paint color preferences,” she says.

Pittsburgh Magazine was there when PPG’s color experts met to choose the 2018 color palette in February. For a behind-the-scenes look at the process, visit here.


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