WBC Colour & Design Trends Report 2018

WBC Creative Director Mark Ho, has spent the last 6 months visiting the biggest & best UK & European shows within the industry. Picking out the key trends that help us direct our product development for the coming year is essential. Did you know, the majority of our designs our designed and manufactured in-house. And because retail is always moving, we have to too. Keep an eye out for funky patterned bottle bags and gift boxes coming your way for Autumn/Winter 2018! But first, here’s your 2018 Design Report and the colour trends that are hot this season. Don’t forget, if you see a design, colour or pattern you like – give our sales group or bags for life team a call and let’s get you trending!


The Company’s Story

An increasing number of companies are using their unique environmental and ethical stories to connect with their customer base. Here are some examples…

Recycled Materials
We’ve spotted handwoven indoor and outdoor rugs and textile bags made from yarn spun from recycled plastic bottles. We are able to produce similar bags made from recycled materials, using out Economy bags for life service. We also have new ways to help you lose the plastic from your bags for life entirely. Ask us about our services.

Arthouse Meath
ARTHOUSE Meath is a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities, all requiring varying levels of support. Working alongside their instructors, these artists create works which are developed into products for sale. Many Arthouse Meath creations have been used in packaging for a range of products, including handmade chocolates.

Read about their design process here: arthousemeath.com/about-us/design

West Elm Homeware
West Elm say: “Community matters. We’re invested in the areas we serve and committed to making a difference, both locally and globally. This means carrying products from local makers, empowering store managers to tailor their own inventory and improving the lives of the handcrafted artisans we work with.

Texture & Pattern

Minerals and Marbling

Although marble has been trendy for a while, we believe it will remain popular through 2018. Look out for broader colour schemes that feature browns, greens and blacks. You’ll also find elemental patterns that take inspiration from the texture and colour of minerals and gems.

Distressed Mirrors & Patinated Metal

Texture is back in a big way, with an emphasis on weathered and worn textures. Think rusted metals and corroded copper, and you get the picture.


Textured Art Prints

There’s been a rise in artists’s paintings being translated onto fabric, rugs, wallpaper and garments. WBC bags for life had produced similar printed bags for life for museums and galleries in this same way. The overall look and feel is very textural with a natural and worn aesthetic.

Zellige Mosaics

Geometric tiles are quickly becoming a staple of fashionable interiors and homeware stores. This graphic trend is a delight for the senses and adds a graphic contrast to plain walls and solid colours.

Heritage Plaids and Weaves

Tartan is making a hearty comeback, not just in clothing and accessories, but also in furniture and homewares.


This 80’s revived trend has been around for a few years now, but we’re seeing accents of it in less explicit guises. The origins of Memphis design is focused on the kitsch and the ironic. It is often characterised by “tutti frutti” colours, brash patterns and the use of contrasting materials.

Flora & Fauna

Exotic Animalia

Rather than patterned animal prints such as leopard spots and zebra stripes, designers are taking things to a much more literal level. Look out for animal print splashed on cushions, wallpaper and gift wraps of playful animal figures. The aesthetic is very much about ‘maximal-ism’ – getting as much detail in as possible.

American Prairie

Predicted for Autumn 2019, the American Prairie trend looks towards homespun looks. You will find vintage patchworks, clustered floral sprays and prairie landscapes. The floral patterning and palettes are much more quaint and delicate in feel. We’re loving the Prairie look here at WBC.

Floral Botanicals

Since 2015, botanical exploration and historical studies of plant life has been a strong trend and it’s still going strong. For a glimpse of how they can work for you shop, take a look at some bags for life designs we have produced for our clients’ spring collections. We call it floral fantastic!

Palms, Palms, Palms

Palms have been around for a few seasons already, but there seems to be no escaping further incarnations of the tropical palm print. Trend forecasts predict the patterning will go well into 2019. You’ll find a few bottle bags and gift bags in our off the shelf collection that cover this look.


Mixed Metals, futuristic fabrics, polished bronze, rose golds; they’re all in the mix for 2018. Mixing metals is a trend that can be brash or subtle. You will find it appearing everywhere from phones, bags, furniture to gifting and stationery. Watch out for new gold gift bags coming into stock this year in our WBC wholesale collection. To keep an eye on what’s new visit ‘New & Limited Edition’.



Geometric patterns are dominating the stationery market.

And other cool patterns we saw out and about at the shows…



Urban edge

More and more companies seem to be offering an array of aprons in different materials and textures. Leather and denim will be the fabric of 2018 when it comes to barber shops, farmshops, delis and butchers. WBC bags for life are currently in production to bring you some really classic aprons this year. And if you’d like to go denim, leather straps and waxed cotton fabric, speak to a member of our team. Whatever you see below, we can make to your specifications!


Block colours

Cool use of solid & block colour in different contexts, including fashion, stationery, homeware and much more.

Mid Century Design

60’s Forms

The mid-century modern trend is still going strong, where you’ll find vintage looks mixed with a modern twist. Further popular materials will include rattan, plywood and leather.

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