Manufacturing Sponsored by
Red Bottle #1 (first iteration, shown on far left): Pantone 491C was used as a color starting point. For the bottle, the color was created using a combination of red, brown and black pigments to create a red-shaded brown that was used in the base layer. In the surface layer, a small amount of red pearl was added to heighten gloss and reflectivity. Although the color matched the initial reference (the shoes), this bottle was deemed “too brown.”
Red Bottle #2: The level of red was increased and the level of brown used in both layers was decreased, while keeping the black loading the same as #1. The amount of red pearl in the surface layer was increased by a factor of 2.5. This bottle was “better, but still too brown.”
Red Bottle #3: The level of red was increased by 40%, and brown was reduced by 50%, while keeping the black loading the same. This color was again used in both layers, and the red pearl in the surface layer was increased by a factor of 4.5 over #2. This bottle was “really getting there.”
Red Bottle #4: Technicians switched to a different red (a blue-shade red) in both layers, and brown was eliminated completely while the black and the pearl loading remained the same.
Red Bottle #5: The only difference in this bottle versus #4 was a switch to a different, high-intensity red pearl. The result was “very good just a bit too yellow.” Red Bottle #6: Blue was added to the formulation used in #5, which decreased the yellow and made the whole effect deeper and richer. This was the final formulation chosen for the shampoo bottle.
Pink Bottle #1: (not pictured) Pantone 493C was used as a color reference. The outer layer combined white and red with a silver pearl, while the base layer used the same white and red but no silver. Color loading in the base was higher overall in order to mask the shade variation of the postconsumer resin. This effect was “nice, but a bit dull.”
Pink Bottle #2: (not pictured) The formulation of the outer layer was changed to reduce white by one-third and reduce the red by 10%. A white pearl was added—along with a small amount of red-copper pearl to tone the flash (the light reflected off the bottle) toward pink and to warm the color. The inner layer remained the same. Ddecreasing the color loading in the surface layer had the effect of moving pigment out of the outer layer so that the color strength comes out of the inner layer. More clarity in the surface layer allowed light to work with the pearl much better. This was the final formulation chosen for the conditioner bottle.
Brown Cap #1: Pantone 4975 was used as the reference color. The ratio of brown to black was 5:1 and no pearl was used.
Brown Cap #2: The ratio of brown to black was reduced to 3.5:1 to create a darker brown. No pearl was used.
Brown Cap #3: The ratio of brown to black was reduced to 2.15:1 to go darker still. Again, no pearl was used.
All of these test caps were dark black/brown and totally opaque. Next, a series was made to create caps that were “more” red.
Variation Cap #4: The same color combination as the outer layer of Red Bottle #2 (developed from Pantone 491C plus higher levels of red, lower levels of brown with added red pearl) was used.
Variation Cap #5: Loading of all color and pearl was reduced 20% to allow for greater translucence.
Variation Cap # 6: (not pictured) This iteration has 25% less pearl than in #5, with the addition of the blue shade red that was used in Red Bottle #4.
Variation Cap # 7: Increasingly red, this cap had 33% more of the blue-shade red, along with magenta. Pearl was reduced 33% compared to the levels in Variation Cap #6. The result was a translucent red.
Both the shampoo and conditioner bottles were bi-layer extrusion blowmolded for economy and for maximum color effect. The surface layer was 20% of the total structure; the base layer was 80%. Caps were monolayer injection molded. Resins used were:
So, we spun the color wheel, and discovered our brand. Any brand owner would feel good at this point, but the lessons of the day did not end there. Some of these lessons (e.g., manufacturing our bottles) will have to wait for another article, but GCI magazine will share a lesson from the day on partnership—not dissimilar from another regular theme explored monthly—from Len Kulka:
“Where I think we distinguish ourselves is in our understanding of what’s out there in the marketplace, what’s available on the technical side, what the brand owner is trying to achieve and that reconciling all those different influences may require some compromise. If we can get all that information on the table early in the package-development process, we can eliminate surprises down the road as the package moves to launch. Color development then becomes an evolution of ideas, art, chemistry, physics and budget. Our customer is integrated into the process, and all the color options that have the potential to satisfy the customer’s expectations are explored. Unfortunately, design concept does not always translate into manufacturing reality. If we’ve pushed the creative envelope as far as it can go and find that there are areas of compromise, at least we have that knowledge early. The customer knows what the compromise is and what additional options may be available. From that point on, going to the manufacturing process, there won’t be any additional compromise. Everyone can pretty much buy into that.”
According to Clariant Masterbatches’ ColorForward 2010 color forecast, as international tensions and economic troubles make life ever more complicated and uncertain, consumers around the world seek simplicity, harmony and tranquility. They attempt to break stereotypes, form new connections and create their own sustainable environment. They yearn for authenticity, functionality and personal luxury.
“In general, the colors for 2010 are soft and understated,” said Cristina Carrara, designer at Clariant Masterbatches’ Clariant ColorWorks Europe division. “Only the organic colors from the 2009 palette become deeper and more complex in 2010, with beige and brown colors coming into focus. The bright primary colors that were popular during the past few years are disappearing. Yellow will remain bright, but it is trending a bit greener, while blues are lighter and fresher. The reds are moving more toward the pink and also deeper, with coral red becoming popular. Purple, which made its appearance in 2008, is still present, but now it has a new soul, trending toward violet and lilac.”
Pink/orange coral and turquoise are considered semiprecious stones and coral, in particular, is under increasingly ecological pressure as pollution and global warming limit the growth of reefs. “Their connection to nature makes these colors attractive alternatives to green for customers who want to follow an ecology theme,” said Carrara.
After determining which cultural and lifestyle trends will have true global relevance, the Clariant color specialists who put together ColorForward 2010 identify colors that convey the same ideas and emotions. For 2010, the team identified four sociological themes that will significantly impact consumer color choices:
Consumers are responding to the precarious nature of life by reevaluating their lives to see what truly gives them pleasure and satisfaction. This may lead them to create a peaceful home environment or to seek activities that provide escape and excitement.
Society has never been more open to technology’s ability to serve its needs and simplify modern living. Designers are able to cross established boundaries—embracing new materials and new textures—and creating products outside their usual spheres.
The ancient Greeks believed in Gaia, goddess of Earth. This ColorForward theme acknowledges how modern material and production technologies allow creative people unprecedented freedom to express themselves through the use of shapes, forms, functions, colors and visual effects drawn from Mother Nature. Colors in this group also feature natural pigments derived from plants.
Stereotypes are breaking down, and the boundaries between age groups are less distinct. Older baby boomers continue to enjoy a hip, active lifestyle, while affluent young people look for ways to demonstrate their style and sophistication—equating to energy and attitude across the generations.
Ampacet, too, creates an annual forecast—relying on socioeconomic research into the global influences likely to shape future color preferences. The company examines the predicted evolution of colors in a 12–18 month period to create a palette of 16 global colors, supported by four regional palettes 2010 color themes.
It has identified and categorized the following:
The era of mindless acquisition has ended, redefining consumers purchasing patterns as well as the methods used by marketers to gain attention. The trend of Conscious Consumption has morphed a concept of what is and what isn’t chic.
The range of colors in this palette gives new definition to the “classics,” although tempered a bit through softened undertones—much like global mind-sets.
The ways in which we communicate have evolved and become ubiquitous. Resonating the anxiety surrounding intellectual and physical exploration, this palette is expressed in a full range of brights.
Conspicuous consumption led to an erosion of ethics and a crumbling global economy. Its far-reaching impact is one of significant societal reassessment—pragmatism is the new reality. The palette for Collective Correction is overridden by a carefully muted outing of rich neutrals with polarity provided through the grounding value of one purple.
Moving toward more meaningful consumption in their everyday lives, consumers are now evaluating the impact of their actions on the environment at large. There’s a fusion of the internal ego with the external eco, providing a common ground for beauty, thoughtful process, design and spending. The mood is mirrored by the muted and softened palette found in this category.
“[ColorForward 2010] is a global forecast,” said Maurizio Torchio, head of Clariant ColorWorks Europe. “So our team looks for commonalities—ideas and hues that fit any part of the world, regardless of regional circumstances.”
ColorForward 2010 identifies 20 colors—five colors for each of the four societal and lifestyle detailed trends.
The color palette for Reinventing Happiness, for instance, features a warm, dark chocolate brown and a rich, creamy raspberry red. It also includes a soft grayish blue, a pearly champagne color along with a light turquoise blue that is reminiscent of shallow Caribbean waters. People will respond to these colors, the Clariant team feels, because they express harmony and balance, combining a feeling of luxury with the warmth and safety of a cocoon.
The color choices for Age Shock, on the other hand, are bright and fresh, with a hip and trendy appeal. This palette includes an energetic fuchsia as well as a softer red-shaded lilac. A pink orange expresses youthful vitality, while blue connects to the jeans culture. A saturated yellow is both bright and energetic and, at the same time, soft and childlike.
The forecast colors, according to Clariant Masterbatches, should be viewed as points of inspiration and exploration, open to interpretation and adaptation to meet the requirements of specific products and markets. Mixing and matching the colors from all four trends can further expand design concepts.
The rate of very cool looking plastic bottles, with a rainbow of amazing colors and effects, hitting the shelves seems to be on a constant rise. It’s a scenario written about in these pages monthly. There are more and more brands with growing lines competing for less shelf space and less consumer cash. Though it’s easy to appreciate brand and supplier efforts realized in finished bottles, it’s also easy to take the importance of color and effects, and their impact on brand success, for granted. GCI magazine had a chance to spend a day working with Clariant ColorWorks at its McHenry, Illinois facility on a faux project, creating bottle colors (really, brand identity) for an imaginary shampoo and conditioner line.
Len Kulka, director, creative development, consumer packaging, ColorWorks, Clariant Masterbatches, and his team took on the challenge of creating brand impact through color and effect based on a favorite pair of shoes. Sounds weird, right? But these kind of inspirations happen all the time, and have led to some pretty successful brands. So, GCI magazine’s Kim Jednachowski offered up her favorite flats, and Kulka and team got to work.
To take full advantage of the visit, staff members sent Pantone reference color numbers ahead of time. Typically, brand owners and their design teams begin their work with ColorWorks by going through a color library and exploring color trend forecasts. But by the time we arrived on-site, work was underway.
Kulka had created a project name, Twitter Me, for an imaginary hair care brand—Timeless Radiance. The project brief noted that the shampoo and conditioner were for an upscale market, and intended to be a “friendly” option for colored hair. It was important that the color conveyed luxury and communicated an upscale impression on shelf.