Clariant inspires 2019 mould texture specialist


PHOTO: Alessandro Pozzati, ColorWorks industrial designer, says “This is exactly why the ColorForward tool, and Clariant’s global ColorWorks design and technology centers exist. The collaboration shows designers, brand managers and product developers to help better understand and appreciate how colour and texture can move and influence peoples purchasing decisions.”

CLARIANT a world leader in speciality chemicals have completed a collaborative project with Pel Plastics srl, an Italian company specialising in mould texturing and surface design. Inspired by the 2019 edition 'ColorForward'. Clariant's colour trend forecasting tool, Pel Plastic decided to experiment with a radically different approach to product design.

A typical design project usually begins with a product concept and then proceeds quickly to drawings and prototype parts, all before the selection of colour and texture. However, after viewing a presentation about ‘ColorForward’ 2019, Pel Plastic designers were inspired to ask Clariant to partner with them in taking a different approach.

“We saw that ‘ColorForward’ is based on research into social trends and how they could influence the way consumers respond to different colours in the near future,” recalls Mirella Sala, key account sales manager for Pel Plastic. “This is something that we have been doing with textures and the idea of looking at textures and colour together – so that one can support and help express the other – seemed like a very interesting project.

In consultation with Clariant, the Pel Plastic team began by picking one colour from each of the four ‘ColorForward’ 2019 themes. They created mood boards to help them better understand the potential interaction of theme, colour and texture. In the end, the designers selected the Do Not Disturb This trend theme and a transparent light green called “focus.”

Do Not Disturb This trend theme is based on the idea that technology makes it very easy for people to become distracted. Overwhelmed by choice, consumers look for ways to consciously limit options to make decisions easier. For that reason, the colour palette for Do Not Disturb – including the ‘focus’ green that Pel Plastic liked -- is simple, serene, soft, and minimal.


The texture Having settled on their colour, the Pel Plastic team began working on the texture that would be applied to the moulded plastic. The result is very much in line with the trend theme, enigmatic, somewhat contradictory and distracting, but eventually resolving itself to the bulls-eye focal point. The clear polymer – polycarbonate – and the transparent colour are rendered translucent, almost opaque, by the texture. The exterior surface of the prototype – a standard shape Pel Plastic uses to evaluate textures – is absolutely smooth, while the texture is created on the inside or backside of the part. This construction creates depth and an almost pearlescent appearance, despite the fact that there are no pearl pigments in the colour.

“Through this project, we learned that colour and texture together can have a completely different effect than either one alone,” Ms. Sala says. “We will use the results in presentations to customers so that they can also better understand the relationship between plastics, colour and texture. We appreciated the collaboration with Clariant very much and we would like to continue as a partner and develop more textures with colours in the future.”