Dulux Colour of the year 2020: Tranquil Dawn

Interior design08 10 2019, by Josh Schumann

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The time has come for Dulux to unveil their colour of the year 2020, drum roll please… Breath in, breath out, breath in again, and out, are you feeling calm?

Announcing Tranquil Dawn.

A lot of reputable sources in the industry have been guessing the colour green for a few years now but they had all been wrong, until now! The funny thing about this colour is that it seems to take away any competitive edge, there may have been a split-second thrill of victory but as soon as Tranquil Dawn is read or heard, that rush of excitement seems to fade away completely, replaced by a calm acceptance and admiration. The feeling is almost… tranquil!

Let’s have a look at how the process works.

Everything kicks off in November, where industry experts from design, architecture and social economic trend forecasting companies get together to discuss the biggest themes coming through their respective worlds. They are all invited to the Dulux Global Aesthetics Centre in Amsterdam, where over a few days the big trends are collated and developed further. Their aim is to figure out the main underlying themes from each business angle and how the things they’re working on will affect how we’re going to live going forward. From the big themes, they distil them down and try to create a colour story to depict an overall picture of what the year ahead will embody.

The main theme of this year is – What makes us human.

This has amassed from the reflection that technology, robotics and AI has advanced and increased so rapidly and the lines are getting more blurred and entwined with our lives. We need to define what separates us as humans. It examines the culture of the vast majority being plugged into the matrix 24/7 and being in a more committed relationship with their phones than with their loved ones. With more and more aspects of our lives getting a technological update, tasks take less time to do, so we jam more into our days. Life is speeding up at a crazy rate and a good night’s sleep seems increasingly like a distant luxury. No wonder it takes people most of their holidays to start to relax, before having to get straight back into the grind.


However, there does seem to be a growing well-being culture emerging, with meditation and mental health being brought into the forefront of global conversations and a greater emphasis on a more even work-life balance. Along with this inward change, the voices of those raising awareness about global issues has grown exponentially louder. Through the efforts of these people, it has become clear that the need for environmental change is essential to provide a safe and stable planet for generations to come. Companies are starting to follow the trend as well, promoting products being sustainably sourced/made, which was no doubt fuelled by the steep rise in veganism.

It’s all very green.

There is also the increased push about not being on your phone as much, charging it in a different room and setting limits for usage. Regardless of whether you feel that technology is good or bad, in this current environment it is surely worthwhile to try and achieve more meaningful, intentional human contact. And that is exactly the message Tranquil Dawn is trying to emulate.

Before we go into Tranquil Dawn more, it’s interesting to look back at this time last year and see what the last colour – Spiced Honey, was saying about us at the time . It was chosen to reflect a new mood of positivity and opportunity. Opening one’s eyes and seeing the world around, with a growing trend for activism and empowerment. It was designed to make a space warm and inviting, “letting the light in”.

So finally, what does Tranquil Dawn represent? What makes us different from the robots? The clever people at Dulux broke it up into four categories;

  • A need to care for each other
  • Seek meaning and connections in life
  • To play and escape
  • A need to be creative

2020 is a new dawn, the beginning of a new decade, a turning point on a big scale. What do we need and want as we move away from a chaotic time? Tranquillity, calm, and positive intentions. We want to find balance and have structure that works for us as a society, to be the true designers of our collective futures.

Positive change, positive impact.


Need help figuring out what to pair this colour with? Luckily, the helpful people have us covered and have come up with 4 palettes to perfectly compliment Tranquil Dawn. The possibilities are endless. Each palette relates to the four factors of what makes us human; the meaning palette, the creative palette, the play palette and the care palette. Because of the versatility of this colour you can create a whole range of feelings and atmospheres. It pairs well with toned down colour or loud, vibrant shades. As well as looking great with darker, more moody hues, it also gives a more interesting alternative to black and white.

Depending on the lighting and time of day the colour changes and gives off a different glow and dynamic. It allows the outside in and connects the inside with nature, giving off a sense of peace, stillness and calm. Whatever colour it is paired with it subtly enhances that colour, making it richer and giving it more character.

We are looking forward to seeing many inspiring colour combinations emerge and watching how this shade truly represents what makes us human.