Design Vocab

Sometimes I work with European and American design consultants and they hand over design instructions with pantone chips, which works fine.

However, parts are given descriptions like ‘fine finish,’ ‘fine texture,’ and ‘light texture’ all in the same document.

Is there a consistent way or format for describing finishes that could be shared here?
( I realize it may be hard for some design firms to get a hold of commonly used samples from manufacturers )


Mold-Tech is a good source for texture standards.

We spec VDI. I think you would be fine with that if you are looking for “descriptions like ‘fine finish,’ ‘fine texture,’ and ‘light texture’”. You can often get a sample swatch by going to a trade fair from a tool maker (it’s a chip, not a book, so not expensive to give away). Moldtech is more of a pattern things, like leather texture or hexagon patterns etc.

Often in asia though they use something else entirely. The best is to find a sample product and send that, and then document whatever they say they will use. I have a book here that says “Jia-Xin” for example, I think one of our suppliers used it when we sent a moldtech spec.

And in Hong Kong/China you would use Yick Sang texture guides.

So unfortunately there is no universal standard.

You just need to make sure that you and your partners agree on a spec and sample, then stay true to it. Suggest one of the options mentioned above.

I’ve never had an issue using mold tech call outs in Asia.

We use mold tech, but will also send samples if possible. I feel like the best way to minimize confusion is to send a sample of exactly what you want.

If you are sending samples like Yo says i would add the following.

Obtain a sample big enough to have it cut into several pieces (4-6)
Date each sample and provide an approval signature area for both parties involved
Each party involved keeps on sample for their records and it is stored with the project books.

This is what i do and was taught, I have made standard practice at every company i goto that does not do it.

Golden samples are always beneficial, but as previously stated, all parties involve need a certified sample.