OEM&Lieferant Ausgabe 2/2018 / OEM&Supplier Edition 2/2018

124 What makes the Color Design Studio so special? The Color Design Studio Europe is not merely a workplace; it's a space for co-creation where workshops are held on a regular basis. Our clients appreciate the fantastic work culture that the studio offers thanks to its secluded lo- cation outside of BASF's premises. At the same time, we are located close enough to the lab- oratories where our colleagues are transform- ing the color concepts into paint formulations. The heart of the studio is the presentation area, where we display the effect of the colors in various light settings. Meanwhile, digitaliza- tion is also gradually changing the way we work. We are currently developing methods to digitally visualize car colors with all effects and color changes. What are the challenges of designing car colors? The automotive industry is a key driver of in- novation and the requirement for color design reflects this progress and makes it very visible. In contrast to the fashion industry, the car color sector does not embody fast-moving color trends that change from season to season. In fact, car paint is one of the most complex color themes there is. Paint particles attach them- selves irregularly on a very thin layer (com- parable to a human hair) and re- flect the light in a distinctive manner, producing immense depth of color. This is why it can take up to five years before the colors are ready for series pro- duction. How many colors are designed per year? We develop many color con- cepts which we discuss in more detail with the customer and then adapt to the respective car models. There- fore, there is always a difference between the color concepts and the actual colors. Every year several hundred color concepts are prepared that take several years to be developed into tried and tested colors. Our global Automotive Color Trends contain 65 key colors which repre- sent the most important trends in each region. Since we work with almost every car manufac- turer on the market, we currently produce over 600 colors in Europe with new colors con- stantly being designed. Do new mobility concepts also require new colors? Autonomous driving and elec- tromobility are playing an im- portant role as mega-trends in the future of color design. The car is being transformed from a dynamic, self-navigated vehicle into a ‘passive’, autonomous ob- ject. This affects both the in- terior of the vehicle and the color of the exterior. The paint also offers more in terms of functionality, by enabling sensor technology such as radar and lidar, for example. In addition, special color concepts are used to differentiate between driverless cars and conventional vehicles. The use of color design in electric vehicles varies greatly with some manufacturers opting for signature colors to promote new models. Others do not highlight their models in terms of color. Many manufacturers have firmly posi- tioned themselves on the market and already offer a wide range of products. The second EV cars wave will see far more progress in the area of color design – the future looks very exciting indeed! Color Design Studio Europe celebrates anniversary A center of creativity for tomorrow’s car colors Interview with Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Color Design EMEA at BASF's Coatings division Ten years ago, the Color Design Studio Europe opened on BASF's Münster site as a center of excellence for the design of new color concepts for the automotive industry. In an open-design Bauhaus-style building, designers from BASF's Coatings division adopt technical and societal trends to car color schemes – discussing their approaches with the design departments of car manufacturers. BASF Coatings Division www.basf-coatings.com Website Images: © BASF Mark Gutjahr A creative space: Color Design Studio Europe in Münster-Hiltrup Products and Markets