Hi everybody,

I’ve been working lately on a project that requires more work on CMF. I’ve been trying to find some tools and websites which could be useful but couldn’t find much more than the official Pantone stuff and websites like thecoolhunter, pinterest or tumblrs. I’ve also looked for projects posted on coroflot or behance and in most of them seemed like the design team just defined that by themselves, which has been the way I’ve done it this far.

I’d like to know if you guys had any tools, websites or suggestions to make. Has anyone been using the pantoneview service? I used it back in May last year as a trial, but it had just been launched and there’s wasn’t much in there.

Much thanks!

Depending on what it is, I would recommend not doing this digitally and rather use sample books and swatches with finishes in the right material.
It is not just about color. Texture and feel are just as important.

I am sure you can order these from DuPont, Pantone and the like.

I’d agree, the computer screen isn’t a valid representation of color, material, or finish. I can take a super great photo of fake carbon fiber that looks awesome in the photo, and terrible in real life.

Reaching out to your vendors, buying sample products that use materials you like, are all ways of building out a CMF library you can reference and pick from. Every vendor who wants your business should be more than willing to provide you with samples. Texture plaques, paint chips, plastic samples, etc are all easily picked up if you have vendors available.

To add to Cyberdemons advise, I’d also reach out to a modelmaker in case you use one.
They have huge reference libraries and just like the vendor, will gladly share with prospective business partners.

We use their books all the time.

I like this website: Materials Archive - MaterialDistrict

It’s a nice collection of materials and finishes with listed properties.

Totally, we do a lot of CMF dependent work, like the teak computer speakers we just launched.

My biggest advice would be to definitely get as many sample books as you can, but beyond that just go out into the world and collect. I often buy things to cut up and send to the factories and have them source something as similar as possible. Often this is called a “golden sample”. For example when we were digging into brown leathers for our headphones we were cutting up old bomber jackets and sending swatches.

I totally agree there’s a big gap between something you can touch and play around vs just seeing that on a picture (which many times has plenty of PS work on it). I got some catalogs and samples from our suppliers but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to collect some more. Much thanks everybody for the help!

@noahwangerin Pretty cool website! Thanks!