June 2012

The Trend Forecasters Handbook

Laurence King Publishing Limited

  • 361-373 City Road
  • London ,

020 7841 6900

http://www.laurenceking.com/product/The+Trend+Forecaster%27s+Handbook.htm

A welcome addition to the literature around trend forecasting, Martin Raymond’s book contains a breadth of perspectives and depth of hands–on working–pro information that will reward both the casual reader and those with a special professional interest in this area. Co–founder of the brand strategy and innovation collective The Future Laboratory, and editor-in-chief of Viewpoint Magazine, Raymond is able to provide an overview of contemporary trend forecasting, as well as drill down into the working methods and tools that trend forecasters use in their profession. The author speaks to all aspects of trends and how they behave—from the anatomy of a trend and expected timelines to many tips, charts, and metrics which can be applied to trend forecasting. What distinguishes Raymond’s book from some of the other notable fashion–focused titles around trend forecasting is that his Handbook is written across industry and field, and may be applied to all aspects of cultural, industry, and design/arts trend forecasting.

Seeded throughout the book are stand-alone profiles and interviews with many recognized experts in the trend-forecasting field, including Li Edelkoort, founder of Trend Union; these alone are invaluable for the methods and personal/professional perspectives from different countries and backgrounds, with links provided to other professional websites. Another recurring feature of the book is the series of excellent techniques pages that offer methods and tools to the student and prospective trend forecaster toward a total trend practice. Topics include observation, networks, selecting an experts panel, framing interviews, improving empathy, conducting photographic case studies, running a successful workshop, and many other techniques, tools, and topics. A glossary provides some trend hybrids for consideration – Alphaluxe, Bleisure, Eve-olution, Freesumerism, Manaissance, and New Sobriety, among others.

The book is beautifully designed, highly readable, and richly illustrated with inspiring photographic material. In short, whether reading this title with an eye towards honing one’s own practice, or skimming for quick inspiration and tips, the reader will gain increased knowledge and understanding around modern trend forecasting with some valuable takeaways.

Reviewed by FIDM Library Staff Member Evan Carlson