Colour does matter

Colour is in many cases the most salient quality of a product. We often identify and describe objects by their colour rather than their shape or structure.

Colours indicate the intended target group and use of a product as well as its other qualities. Colours can be used to camouflage an object in its environment or make it stand out from it. The choice of colour affects the impression and perceived quality of a product. Unsuccessful colour choices may make a buyer decide against purchasing a product that would otherwise be to their liking. Colour design should therefore be an integral part of product development if the aim is to come up with winning products and concepts.

We spent the autumn 2012 and spring 2013 developing the colour concept for Lappset. The goal was to create a flexible and customer-oriented palette with suitable colour choices for different environments and user groups. The purpose of our colour concept was to support the unique identity of Lappset’s products that make them stand out against the competition, and to create a recognisable brand image that carries through the different product families. The new colour concept was to include colour combinations that would engage the customers, make the products more easily identifiable and ease the selection process. To achieve this, we invited customer representatives to participate in the design process and to evaluate the working designs. This helped us ensure that the solutions would be feasible and the colours attractive to the customer.

Designing the colour concept, we were also required to consider a number of technical and production-related issues. The life cycle of Lappset products is long, so the choice of colours must be equally able to stand the test of time.  We drew a balance between the number of colour options, and optimised logistics and production solutions. Lappset products are made from components of different materials, so the nature of these materials and the method of the manufacture played a role in the choice of colours. Exposure to extreme weather conditions and sunlight places its own demands on the colours and their durability.

The result of the colour design work, the “Living Colours” concept, draws from the colours of both the natural and modern built environments. The palette is complemented by a number of fresh, modern accent colours. Using the colours of the palette in different combinations gives a wide range of possible colour schemes to suit different environments and user groups. There are five main colour schemes, in addition to which the customer may also select their own unique colour combinations.  A natural, harmonious scheme may be based on a combination of wood-toned frame and accent-coloured laminates (e.g. Lime Green). This combination works particularly well in parks and similar environments, and for a wide variety of users. The more playful colour schemes (such as Tutti Frutti), represent a new take on traditionally colourful playground fittings and are designed especially with children in mind. In these schemes, the wood-toned frame is paired with three different accent colours forming a fresh and bright combination. A more urban and grown-up version is to use the frame and laminates in downtoned grey hues (Liquorice Grey) to suit the tastes of older children.

A bright play structure with Tuttifrutti theme brings joy even to a rainy yard. 
Lime Green theme fits perfectly in a green park environment.

The coordinated but extensive colour concept guarantees that there will always be a suitable colour alternative for different modern built settings and product combinations. Depending on the location and user needs, the customer may also create their own unique colour scheme from the Lappset Switch It tailored product line, with all colours in the colour concept available to be freely combined.

A well thought out colour concept increases the marketability of a product, helps the customer in their selection process and supports the brand – that is why colour does matter.

 

 

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Arni Aromaa
Arni Aromaa
Creative Director
Pentagon Design, founded in 1996, is one of the leading Nordic design agencies. We create holistic concepts resulting in user-driven products, packaging, spaces, services and brand experiences that generate delight for consumers and value for our clients.
http://www.pentagondesign.fi/en
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