Color Marketing Group Announces 2020 President
Chicago, January 15th, 2020 – Peggy Van Allen, color anthropologist and founder of ColorFuel, was appointed President of Color Marketing Group® (CMG) for a two-year term starting in January 2020. Van Allen is an independent color and trend forecaster in Illinois with many years as a corporate color design professional and graphic designer.
Color Marketing Group® is the leading international association of color design professionals. For over 50 years, CMG has provided color forecast information based on the contributions of color design professionals across industries.
As a member of CMG for over 23 years, Peggy knows the Association inside and out. She recently wrapped up an Executive Committee (EC) two-year term as VP of Color Forecasting. In that volunteer role, she was in charge of the global color forecasting workshops and delivering the final CMG World Color Forecast™ and final reports to the membership.
During her two 3-year terms on CMG’s Board of Directors, she worked on various committees and through her involvement on the Board and Executive Committee she has grown professionally in the changing world of color marketing.
“As a creative, I believe the members want newness and to be challenged, that is something that a nimble volunteer-led organization such as CMG can provide.”
Volunteering has allowed Peggy to grow through collaboration in this diverse group of color design professionals. Evolving the Color Applications Workshops and the ChromaZone®, Color Forecasting Workshop, as a committee chair, facilitator, and most recently as Vice President of Color Forecasting where her hands-on learning is at its best. Through this involvement, Peggy has expanded her work and has been instrumental in introducing video as a supplement to dynamically present CMG’s World Color Forecast.
Growth Through Mentorship
The mentorship and creative energy that the CMG community provides in its collaborative workshops is unmatched. To be able to network with people from all industries in a non-competitive environment is a huge benefit both personally and professionally.
“Members (friends) nudged and supported me to pursue ideas and projects that I may have been hesitant to do otherwise.”
CMG Influences Product Development
“Over my years on the Board of Directors, growing member benefits and a focus on the value of membership have spawned some excellent additions to what CMG provides. There are tangibles such as Color Alerts, color forecast fan decks, CMF samples, Roving Reports, etc., but it is the intangibles that re even more valuable.
Color education both at the Summit and by being involved in the workshops is an immeasurable benefit. What you learn can be brought back to your work in many ways from product development to marketing to internal communications with co-workers.
Seeing first-hand the colors that fellow members are committed to using in their product lines and why, is invaluable information. Also, as color marketers, we understand the power of color and CMG has been instrumental in promoting that value-added fact to non-color focused associates and industries.”
Each CMG President has some areas that they would like to focus on during their two-year term. Peggy’s top three areas for growth and enhancement are CMG’s Color Education program, Membership, and getting a handle on the future of color forecasting and what that means to CMG.
“Continually evolving CMG to meet the needs of the membership is of utmost importance.”
Color Forecasting Industry Direction
Peggy says the future of the color forecasting industry will require better and more accurate ways of gathering information and filtering out the clutter.
“There is a vast amount of information at our fingertips but understanding that not all of it is accurate will require employing the very human aspects of intuition along with experience and calculation.”
In the field of color, we employ math, science, art, and psychology which Peggy says we mustn’t lose sight of any of those components in our forecasting processes.
Natural Color Intuition
“I have always had a love for art and color, and I was encouraged from a young age to pursue design thinking. I am grateful to my mom for her frugalista creativity and for exposing me to any cultural events she could find. I also benefited from teachers who shared their love of fine art. There has not been one job or project that was most important in shaping my color knowledge, it has been a life-long and hopefully never-ending quest to learn more.”
Multi-talents Create Unique Results
We asked Peggy what types of projects she typically designs. She has a wide variety due to her multiple talents.
Corporate clients in the home products industry utilize Van Allen’s color expertise. Their projects vary from large-scale paint color displays to smaller color line updates, to material color offerings such as building sheets, grout, and roofing.
Project scopes range from marketing concept collaborations, new product launches, to color specification one-offs. Each project requires an understanding of color theory, application, interaction, and direction. Discussing color in her blog and creating color forecasting presentations and videos that are enhanced by attention to color and trend details is where she often applies her graphic design talents.
“No matter the product or client, color is always considered an important part of the project.”
2022 CMG Turns 60
Color Marketing Group will be celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2022. What has made the group so valuable over the long haul?
“Speaking to long-time members such as former CMG President Pat Verlodt, I believe that networking is at the core of what keeps CMG relevant,” said, Peggy. “You can purchase color forecasts from various sources but the actual collaboration and conversations that you have with fellow members is a unique benefit of CMG. It is meaningful to those who work in teams as you get an outside perspective and it is meaningful to independents to have that community to discuss ideas together.”
The biggest change to forecasting over the years is, of course, the internet and the speed of change but 3 areas where it has kept its roots are the gathering of information (albeit somewhat easier and faster today), the processing and verification of that information to understand whether it is macro or micro and finally filtering it to apply color to the industries affected in the proper time-frame.
Inspiration is Found
Peggy always tries to start from a broad perspective or a world view to get a handle on who the customer is first. Studying people and consumer preferences are where the “color anthropologist” description in her title comes from.
Understanding where the customer is coming from historically in their purchase decisions and what is influencing them now. This is the basis of the trends and color stories that we develop at our ChromaZone Color Forecasting Workshops. Once she comfortably knows with whom she is speaking to then her work unfolds, creating targeted colors and more importantly, combinations of colors, that will appeal to them.
Nature, art, tangent industries all inspire when she is at the point of color selection and application. Surfing the internet is an easy way to get a vast amount of inspiration but getting out into the world to see things live whether it is shopping, shows, or museum visits; this will usually spark an idea or two or three. That is where her true inspiration comes from.
Color Stories Rock
The color stories that accompany our World Color Forecast illustrate how the color directions are unfolding. They provide a relatable way to understand the influencers that are steering the direction of colors. When we talk about a story such as the North American story for 2020, em-PATH-y, we explain the many influencers that we see impacting society such as mental health stigmas, lack of human connection in a digital age, and a yearning to embrace our humanity. As you are telling that story you are weaving descriptors of the colors that will represent the story and the colors are those directional changes that consumers will be looking to and ready to embrace.
Leader of the Tribe
Peggy never saw herself in the Presidential role when she joined CMG. While she immediately sensed that feeling of finding her tribe, as an introvert she couldn’t imagine becoming the leader of the tribe.
“I am so grateful to those who reached out and encouraged me. Once I started getting involved and volunteered to do more, I immediately saw the benefits. Any extra work that I took on was an opportunity to grow and learn and share. At the board and executive level, we are working together with a common goal. CMG is for the members and by the members. We grow and evolve the organization together to make it the global color community that it is.”
Words of Wisdom
This is a group that you will benefit from when you get involved right away. As with everything the more you put in, the more you get back. Members have a wide range of levels and perspectives when it comes to education and experience and all are welcome.
Be a part of the conversations even if it is only asking questions in the beginning. This is the best way to learn the process and inspires all of us to dig deeper. Participate in a ChromaZone, attend the Summit, join a committee, and connect with members, The Board and Executive Committee.
“Being elected President is pushing me way out of my comfort zone but hey, that’s where growth happens so let’s go!”
– Peggy Van Allen, President, Color Marketing Group