Colour has always played a major part in car design. But just as the creases and curves of a car’s outward form have evolved over the years, so too has the palette of colors adorning the metal. Much of this, of course, may be attributed to the transient nature of fashion and the constant evolution of taste.
Colours often capture and reflect current trends, fluctuating between flamboyant and conservative with the passing of time. However, the emergence of new paint technology and processes has, perhaps, been an even bigger factor – giving vehicle designers and automotive colour teams the ability to play with new shades and finishes to delight the senses, inject personality, heighten visual impact and accentuate the aesthetic.
At Infiniti Design London, the importance of colour in the design of a new vehicle is fully understood, and the team there – led by Matthew Weaver, director of Infiniti Design London, and Sandra Boberg, Infiniti Colour Manager – ensure that Nissan’s luxury brand is always on trend and will be at the forefront of the next colour revolution for the road.
Through the past decades, a number of car brands and car-loving nations have become intrinsically linked with certain colours. Imagine a Ferrari that’s not offered in its now eponymous red, or a Mercedes-Benz that’s not available in the company’s famous silver.
As a younger brand with the emphasis on new ideas and fresh creativity, Infiniti’s designers and colour team have the freedom to push the boundaries of colour and choose the tones and combinations of tone that best work for a particular model and will do most to delight the customer.
Development of new colours and the future image of Infiniti is a top-secret process, and it has a unique and fascinating location for the work that it does.
Its library of colour is buried deep inside an old railway maintenance terminal next door
to Paddington Station in London. It’s home to tens of thousands of samples from suppliers around the world. There are trims, foils, leathers, paint samples and myriad textiles and threads. They not only provide inspiration, but also show designers what they can use for production and concept cars.
Boberg understands the latest trends are to turn to the past for colour inspiration, with some brands returning to pastel shades to evoke the design language of the 1950s and 1960s. With Infiniti, Boberg is utilising all her experience to help the brand create a colour statement of its own.
We talk to Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor.