Color Stylist

Hello everyone, I hope this isn’t too newbie of a question!

I’m doing some research for my company to try and find a person who can help us take our product to the next level with color and finishes. The problem is I have no idea what the technical description of that job is, nor how to go about finding the correct person. Is this something that all industrial designers do, or is it a specialty?

Specifically we need someone who can interface with the factories in China to really fine tune the final product to their liking.

I appreciate any and all help! Thanks so much!

Specifically, you would be looking for a ‘color designer’.

Some firms have these people, most don’t, and settle for the Oakland Raider’s color scheme of silver and gray.

It’s not something that all designers do. When you talk about ‘interface with Chinese factories’ you are taking it to another level. You can’t tell China ‘make the plastic bezel Pantone PMS-122C’ and be done with it. It takes iteration, collaboration, and patience in working through a lot of chemistry.

Where are you at in the process?

Do you have colors picked out and you just need someone to oversee the process to ensure quality, or are you needing someone to research the market and deterime the appropriate color scheme?

Knowing where you are at would help with providing you some guidance.

In terms of where we’re at in the process we have a general color scheme in place, but aren’t happy with the overall effect. In the short term we need someone to finesse the existing scheme into something a little more finished. In the long term we definitely would like someone to do some color trends research and apply those learnings to the product line.

Product category? fashion, consumer, etc?

I have heard of colorist specific to to fashion and footwear, but I have personally never come across such a position relating to consumer products.

That being said, many people (including myself, hint) do provide color and trend research and material and market driven color selection services.

Depending on the complexity of the project, timeline, “interface with China suppliers”, I would think your project goals may be different however.


Or, do as many others do, and just copy the latest apple product. (jsut kidding).

Ahh - the industry would probably help out you guys. We’re in the consumer electronics space.

I am good friends with the color designer at Nissan Design International here in San Diego. She’s great and does freelance work on color and materials.

Send me a private message and I’ll forward her information to you.

That being said, many people (including myself, hint)

Hey, you just trumped my hint :wink:

Where are you located, or is your budget such that location is less of an issue?

There are most definitely color stylists that do what you are looking to do. I can’t, for the life of me, remember the name of a very well respected one based in California…Bay Area if memory serves. Company name was something like Surfaces, inc…errg…memory sucks.

There are a few things you can do for yourself…more for the long term: Join the Color Marketing Group. They have a very good color trend analysis package that comes with membership. They track trends year to year and put out a pantone-like guideline for the current year and looking forward over 2 - 3 years. So far I have found them to be pretty good in their interpretations. This won’t help you in the “finesse” department, however :wink:

We’re located in Southern California, but are certainly open to working with someone just about anywhere - dontcha just love the digital age!

Indeed. These days I cant see what difference location would make to most projects aside from the inconvience of time zones. Most of my correspondance, for example is with China, 6 hours different from my current location in Denmark.