Making colors for eternity: RAUVISIO crystal

Creating a Timeless Color Pallete 

The science behind choosing colors that endure for generations.

Remember #DressGate, when the internet freaked out over a dress that looked blue and black to some people, and white and gold to others? The dress actually became internationally famous and highlighted a fact which is quite often forgotten: Not everyone sees colors in the same way.

The Science of Color is Complex

The visual cortex in the brain translates the light our eyes capture into colors. The color we believe we see is defined by the wavelength of the color impression – and varies from person to person according to their eyes. These are further influenced by the surroundings: pink on a green background looks different from pink on a white background. And every brain deals differently with color correction in daylight: if the blue tones are factored out, the dress looks white and gold. If gold is factored out, it is blue and black.

That is exactly why the simple question of the color of a dress can become #DressGate, and part of why developing a new color collection for the acrylic laminate RAUVISIO crystalTM took careful consideration. Colors can set trends, but they can also be perceived as irritating. They can harmonize positively with the surroundings or have a negative effect on the observer’s mood.

Ensuring Perfection

To be certain the new color range would hit the mark with timeless tones and colors suita­ble for a wide variety of settings, kitchens and bathrooms to hotels and offices, while also working equally well across national borders, REHAU decided to develop the range together with Professor Axel Venn, a color researcher, designer and color artist from Berlin.

Professor Venn’s central questions were about product philosophy:

– Should the focus be on new or traditional?

– Should its effect be brief and surprising?

– How daring is the customer?

– What will the product be used for?

– For which countries and which areas of application?

“Creating something that would last forever was almost revolutionary for me. It is far simpler to follow a trend which is envisaged for one particular application. What we have done is actually not so exciting because we acted outside the dictates of accepted fashion. De­spite this, the range is inspiring and calming at the same time: colors have been created to be passed on through the generations and that once again plays a role in the contemporary philosophy of furniture, which concerns durability.”

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Creating the Colors

Professor Venn created a total of five colors by mixing 700 colors by hand at first, and then comparing them with one another as a scale. He then checked this scale with recurring basic and accent colors from the last 200 years of central Europe.

The colors were presented to more than 2,400 survey participants worldwide, and the series they preferred was chosen. The range can be considered gender neutral, with even the dark tones possessing a genderless quality. The colors are perfect for large surfaces and combine easily with other tones, patterns and materials such as wood, stone and metal.

RAUVISIO crystal looks like real glass, but it isn’t. The acrylic laminate has many advan­tages over real glass, from break-resistance to flexibility and is available from REHAU as custom cabinet doors or individual matching components. For more information, click here.

By Madeline Lewis, REHAU Communications

Engineering progress

Enhancing lives

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