women's red coat

Certain design elements change with the seasons. Christine Boland, a trend analyst, has created a tabular display that gives you a quick overview of the hot trends and their corresponding variations.

Design is a language. The expression of the zeitgeist through shapes, colours, and materials. The trend analyst says it is important to understand the spirit and sources of inspiration in order to “understand” and use that language. Christine Boland noticed that certain sources of inspiration, also known as ‘elements’, kept recurring in some form after years of studying and watching trends change, evolve, and disappear. She and her team were inspired to create a list of all the elements and display them in a tabular display similar to the ‘Periodic Table of Elements,’ a widely-used science tool. The Eternal Table of Design Elements was the result.

silver laptop computer with assorted logo screengrab

The Eternal Table of Design Elements provides a way to see what is happening each season and which sources of inspiration are dominant – according to the influence of the Zeitgeist. The essential elements are combined and rearranged into new recipes in a similar way to chemical processes. Each recipe will have a different combination and proportions. These merging elements create new alchemy. Boland calls this the “alchemy for the future”. Boland says that although you have these immutable eternal components at the base, it is how they are combined (e.g. Historic with Alien or Historic and Poetic) that creates a completely new design language.”

Boland highlights the most important design elements for each season by making the dominant influences darker in colour and the subtler influences lighter. The non-existing influences stay white. Comparing the two seasons’ tables, you can see not only which elements are dominant but also which ones stay and which ones go. It is an indispensable and essential tool that will guide you in designing your business.

women's red coat

Boland sees many elements combine and merge for SS22. Heritage and science, protest, craft, real and surreal. Often interwoven with traces of another element. This creates a new visual vocabulary when combined. The season’s essence lies in the balance between surprise and recognition. This season’s focal point will be revealed by the analysis. This will vary depending on the sector.

You can find out about the method visiting Boland’s website and taking a part in her webinar.