Trend: Rainbow Stripes

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I remember growing up with Rainbow Brite and Lisa Frank rainbows on everything from stickers and pencils to lunchboxes, t-shirts and the occaional velvet coloring poster. Growing up there was certainly no shortage of rainbows anywhere. While my style has matured a bit over the years, I'm still rather smitten with the vibrant primary and secondary colors of the rainbow. The Rainbow Stripes trend spotted in May's Product Spotlight is much more sophisticated than the rainbows of my youth.

AWOL Trends highlights a couple reasons for the return of the rainbow. Many backgrounds today are simple (and beautiful) whites and greys; adding these highly-saturdated colors to any product really stands out against the starkness. Trendsetting designers like Paul Smith and Kate Spade have also used bright-colored stripes for years as part of their signature look, which is now filtering to the masses on more and more everday products. Personally, I can't decide if my favorite part of the rainbow stripe trend is the colorful cakes or the tool sets. I mean, what's not to love about a colorful surprise in every sugary bite? Or a fun color wrench to lighten the frustration while you're putting together furniture?

To keep this look from being too busy, the bold stripes are grouped together and usually in ROY G. BIV order. Random sequencing can work, but it's best in smaller sections. Or a section of the rainbow may be highlighted with analogous colors (i.e. Yellow-Green-Blue), some of these treatments are shown below in our promotional product selections:


Rainbow Stripes is one of the themes reviewed in the latest issue of Product Spotlight, a monthly trends newsletter from Staples Promotional Products.

To see what other themes are covered in the May and other recent issues of our trend report, head to our Product Spotlight page.

Trendsetter sources featured for the Rainbow Stripe trend include: Radial Office by Sako Architects, Swiss Tools Rainbow Hex Keys, Paul Smith for Evian, Jimmy Choo Striped Wedges, Rainbow Cake, Test Tube Chandelier, Trend originally spotted from Ampersand Design Studio and AWOL Trends.


Stephanie Hertel's picture
Stephanie Hertel

As a Senior Art Director and trend guru for Staples Promotional Products, Stephanie Hertel develops eye-catching marketing materials. This self-proclaimed design nerd is a sucker for anything sustainable or bike-related, although her favorite promo product is the Papermate® Flair Pen in Tangerine or Sky Blue. She also blogs at Turtle Soup Daily and creates hand-crafted baby gender reveal products at The Gender Reveal.

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