Pigment tracks trends

Insight wall gives creative team plenty of inspiration to feature latest themes


A constantly-evolving trends wall is how card publisher Pigment tracks society’s aesthetic and linguistic taste changes, and it all adds up to the company’s interpretation of what’s going on.

Creative director Martin Powderly works with the team of artists and designers in the publisher’s Harrogate studio to pull together key themes – with the top three for 2024 being We’re In This Together, Community And Local Craftsmanship, and Feel-Good Nowstalgia, all of which feature at the front of the company’s about-to-be-released catalogue.

Above & top: The trends wall is constantly evolving
Above & top: The trends wall is constantly evolving

“Standing still in this industry today can mean getting left behind,” Martin explained. “We have numerous amazing competitors who are confident, capable, original and innovative.

“To compete successfully and deliver a breadth of design signatures that we can confidently call our own, we’re constantly searching for new themes and springboards for creativity and expression.”

Above: Martin Powderly is keen that Pigment’s ranges reflect the societal trends
Above: Martin Powderly is keen that Pigment’s ranges reflect the societal trends

And he said that Pigment has pulled out a few key trends for the upcoming year:

  • We’re in this together – as a new generation let go of many old traditions, Pigment strives to be on board with the new, celebrating whatever, whoever and however. Using inclusive words and imagery they find authentic ways, subtly or overtly, sincere or humorous, to recognise and reflect new dynamics.
  • Community and local craftmanship – an appreciation of quality materials, finishes, artisan techniques and the environment. Local design, distribution and print is a huge part of this.
  • Feel-good nowstalgia– retro influences but with bold colour, glitzy finishes, humour, rebellion and a little hedonism!

The studio trends and insight wall at the company is “constantly evolving”, as the creative team tracks key drivers of change and fast-moving pop culture happenings across a range of categories, including food and drink along with home and lifestyle.

Bringing in external expertise keeps things fresh and encourages Pigment’s design team to plunder the wall weekly for stimulus, buzzwords and new compositions, crashing together ideas and themes to generate sparks of innovation.

Above: Key themes are pulled together on detailed cards
Above: Key themes are pulled together on detailed cards

They avoid focusing on graphics trends to look for “cultural and societal shifts” with the aim of spotting new inspiration for design stories and editorial tones that can be relevant to greetings sends, including changes in linguistics and aesthetics.

Martin added: “It makes our work more meaningful and visually, as we plough our own furrows, we’re hopefully recognised as a publisher who values creativity and originality.

“It’s interesting to compare the looks and content to 10 years ago. The difference in tone, inclusivity and awareness is marked. We’ve really changed – for the better!”

Above: Print techniques make Pigment’s new catalogue stand out
Above: Print techniques make Pigment’s new catalogue stand out

And it can all be seen in Pigment’s 2024 catalogue which will be released in early October – where the cover features fun elements from the high-end print techniques – some vintage and some brand new – that have given added value to many of its collections in recent years.

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