The global b2b media company Ascential, home to WGSN and Cannes Lions, has launched a revolutionary new product set to contemporize the global color industry: Coloro - The Color Code. Refined with 20 years of scientific innovation led by CTIC (China Textile Information Center) and a collaboration with 80 industry leaders in fashion, design, and advertising, Coloro is set to change the game with a product that meets industry needs and applies logic to help professionals unleash their creative potential.
We caught up with the fountain of color knowledge that is Thorsten Traugott, Managing Director of Coloro and one of the leaders of this color revolution, to uncover how Coloro came about and what makes it such a revolutionary product.
Creativepool - What is your color story so far?
Thorsten - I have worked in the color industry my full working life. I spent 16 years with a company who were the exclusive distribution channel for Pantone in Europe, plus trend and color publications, before joining WGSN 10 years ago. So I started to build my network in the fashion, interior and lifestyle area up from 1991. When I joined WGSN, I was running the Sales and Marketing Teams as an Executive Vice President for EMEA before I was offered the role of running and developing the Coloro project, which I immediately accepted as I recognized the huge potential and need for this in the market.
Coloro launched in May. How was this revolutionary product developed?
Our Chinese partner CTIC invested 20 years of research to develop this unique color system, built on a 100-year-old methodology based on the Munsell system. The research explored how the human perceives color and how we decipher color combinations and harmonies. This theory demonstrates how the human eye distinguishes color by the Hue, Lightness, and Chroma - and by defining color in this way, we were able to create a logical system attributing a number for each of these.
With that in mind, two years ago my team reached out to the market to create a research panel which included about 80 companies from across industries who work with color (we call them our "VIP Color Panel"). Alongside developing the product, we consulted with them (under NDAs). We found them all highly engaged and fascinated by the collaboration and there was a general consensus that there were a lot of challenges and issues in the color market. The engagement and commitment for our project gave us a lot of confidence that the industry was more than open for a new way to work with color, but also really wanted a real system which is simple to understand and super easy to use. So in fact, the product was designed for the industry, with the industry, so they all have a very emotional connection to Coloro already. To be fair, the combination of the amazing WGSN content and trend team, plus this outstanding input and inspiration brought to us by some of our best contributors was the base for the product design, branding and the services we are offering to the industry now. The feedback from the VIP Color Panel after the launch was overwhelming. We also had brilliant design and branding support from our agencies Liganova and Staat.
As one of our clients said last week, if Apple had designed a color system, it would have been Coloro!
How is Coloro helping revolutionise how companies bring color to life in their products?
With Coloro, all players in the creative process can come together and achieve the colors they really desire. A huge amount of human creativity can be unlocked.
Coloro is built on science, so the Coloro codes, which are defined by the Hue, Lightness and Chroma, can be used to understand why your color selections fail and, equally, why they are successful. Using a brand’s data, we can help them understand where their color selections sit within our nine-section segmentation; from this, we can build a hypothesis to identify their strongest selections and provide insight into optimal color decisions for the future. Coloro analysis can help you to understand regional and cultural differences in color selection and wider color trends and patterns, as well as your target market.
There are A LOT of color systems out there. What’s your USP in this somewhat saturated market?
There are lots of USPs...
1. Coloro uses a logical system which allows you to accurately find colors quickly and easily - the emphasis here is on "system" as Coloro follows a logic to systematically attributes a code to a color.
2. Coloro uses color analysis like never before, based on science and logic meaning all future decisions on color will be strategic and measurable.
3. By using polyester throughout all products and replacement samples, we guarantee the highest level of color consistency.
4. Coloro is able to attribute every color with a specific code for all industries, including all relevant technical data and values e.g. Lab (QTX file),SRGB, CMYK, HEX etc.
5. Coloro is a universal language - you can communicate effectively and accurately across department and industries.
6. Coloro gives you creative freedom - choose the colors you really want.
7. We offer a perfect interaction between physical and digital products.
Just how important is color for designers? From graphic to fashion?
Color is one of the most important facets of all products and 70% of the purchase decisions are influenced by the color of a product.
Think about it - have you ever bought a product where you didn't like the color? I'm sure not very often, so the color choice can make the difference between making a product a winner or a loser.
With Coloro we give everyone a much better understanding about which colors to combine and which color to select for your creative decisions. With our logical and easy codification you could see what a color looks like without seeing the actual color - all you need is the 7 digit code. Every human sees colors differently, so a light red for me is not equal to your impression of a light red etc. With Coloro you can describe a color accurately and you always know by using the code if it is green or a blue etc.
How can creatives get to grips with the color revolution?
The Coloro Workspace includes the full digital color access to the Coloro system and allows you to create color collections in a very easy and super cool way. Explore the world of Coloro colors and take a look inside our 3D color space to get an impression of the complexity, simplicity, and beauty of Coloro.
Just go to our website coloro.com and bring the fun back to your work with color.