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I'm working on my MDes thesis that will result in a tool that helps industrial design students more methodically apply color to their products. I posted earlier on the topic back in October. From my research and personal experience, I've found that ID students struggle with the ability to confidently justify their color selection/application strategy. In order to combat this problem, I'm trying to create a database to reference that inputs the knowledge from professional ID/product designers in order to feed the tool I'll be designing.

With that said, what a) resources b) advice c) way did you learn how to approach certain considerations that commonly come up when selecting color for a product? e.g. trends, designing for different cultures, materials and manufacturing, color psychology for evoking specific emotions or associations, competitor benchmarking, color theory, color usage for functional touch points or use of pop-out, branding, target user testing, or anything else you can think of!

Any input helps! I'd love to get a good discussion on the topic going!
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Dan Lewis
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WOW, seriously, this is a Master's thesis!!!!!!
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Just out of curiosity, does your thesis advisor think this is a good thesis topic?

What do you see yourself doing once you graduate with your masters? I ask because this thesis topic seems a bit thin and as your biggest output from your masters program I think it could hinder you on the job hunt.
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I can see the need for a CMF design tool and IDers being part of the market, but the solution is probably more IT / computer science related. I can see a tool or Photoshop plugin that provides different coloring strategies and creating custom pallettes with drag/drop interface which will involve advanced tone mapping and UI design, even AI? You will want to discuss and elaborate a bit more with your advisors on the topic first.

Also before embarking on your own trip, briefly research the vast literature on this. Papers from Delft University of Technology are a good start.
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Isn't this kinda what you are proposing?

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"I've found that ID students struggle with the ability to confidently justify their color selection/application strategy". I've found that too and they usually say "here are some color variations/ways" without any reasoning behind the color schemes. The problem might be teachers or schools not teaching how to efficiently do mood/inspiration boards; what are the trends and: a) should you follow the trend or b) should you move away from the pack? Usually some of the "award winning" designs don't follow trends in color/shapes.

For the longest time aircraft interior clients have been asking for a CMF configuratior to show airlines. Even when we have attempted to do one it has never worked because some client always wants something different from the options presented.

CMF comes from the designers inspiration and knowledge based on current trends. I don't think you can pre-select that.