AkzoNobel‘s influential annual global study of color trends has been launched, with a shade of gold being unveiled as Color of the Year for 2016.

An appropriate color for an Olympic year, it was chosen by a specially invited panel of independent design and color experts to spearhead the company’s ColorFutures™ 2016 color trend guide.

Launched today at Somerset House in London, Color Futures underlines AkzoNobel’s wealth of color know-how and is used by leading experts in architecture, fashion, beauty and interior decorating to help keep their work fresh and contemporary.

“Color is an integral part of our business and sharing our knowledge with people around the world means everyone can be inspired and benefit from its transformative impact,” said Ruud Joosten, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee Member. “Studying global color and design trends also allows us to stay at the cutting-edge of what consumers want.”

Now in its 13th year, ColorFutures™ 2016 focuses on one overall theme – Looking Both Ways – with gold being identified as the color that best connects all the keys trends for next year.

“Gold exemplifies the overall theme of duality,” explained Heleen van Gent (@HeleenvanGent), Head of AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Center. “It’s bright enough to attract attention, while subtly referring to history and heritage. So it represents a fusion of our past, our present and our future.”

The study was developed by the company’s Global Aesthetic Center in conjunction with leading design and color experts from around the world, who conducted detailed research into global social and design trends. The study drew from a multitude of influences, from fine art to technology, design to nature, architecture to fashion, and music to popular culture.