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Pressemitteilung BoxID: 201782 (BASF Coatings GmbH)
  • BASF Coatings GmbH
  • Glasuritstraße 1
  • 48165 Münster
  • http://www.basf-coatings.de
  • Ansprechpartner
  • Michael Golek
  • +49 (2501) 14-3747

The trend sleuths

A look over BASF Coatings' designers' shoulders

(PresseBox) (Münster , ) The designers at BASF Coatings have ideal working conditions at the new Color Design Studio Europe. But how exactly do they discover and compile new trends? We took a look behind the scenes.

"We are constantly on the lookout for new color trends that we can evaluate for the automotive industry and translate into up-to-date collections of paint colors with innovative effects and surfaces," explains designer Eva Höfli. Höfli, Mark Gutjahr and Katja Pauli make up BASF Coatings' Design Team. The three designers see their role as partners and consultants for the automotive designers. Color, paint and its texture accentuate the contours, the way the form communicates and the character of the particular car model, and so they have to fit all these attributes. These elements allow car buyers to express their individuality.

The designers are inspired by architecture, product design, fashion, art, consumer habits and many other social trends. Constant research in specialty publications and fashion and design magazines is equally as important as attending car and furniture shows and fashion trade fairs. "At the shows, we can do our jobs as trend sleuths and get new ideas too," says Höfli. Once their research is complete, it is used to produce BASF Coatings' annual trend collection, which is presented to the carmakers at so-called color shows or trend presentations. If a car manufacturer then decides to go with one or more of these color ideas, the wheels are set in motion. At the BASF labs and application test facilities, the colors are tested to ensure they meet the particular customer's requirements and the paint formulas are adapted to the technical conditions at the respective production sites. The results decide which colors can even be realized in the first place. "Of course design needs its freedom," says Höfli. "But what good is an idea if it can't be implemented?" For this reason, the color designers work at different levels to achieve a "golden fit." In specific terms, this means that while they have to be ahead of their time with their ideas, they can't lose sight of the technical side of things.

However, many of the new colors stem directly from the automotive designers - for instance, in the planning phase for a new model. It's not unusual for the automotive designers to bring along color samples, moodboards and other "conceptual snippets" that the BASF Coatings team then translates into actual suggestions for new colors. This translation is one of the crucial steps in the design process. "Our customers want to offer their buyers models with a color palette that is as individual as possible but at the same time technically feasible at competitive prices," explains Gutjahr. This interplay contains a major design challenge.

Due to the wide range of test procedures, it takes between two and five years until a new color is actually seen on a car. "As you can see, we are way further ahead of our time than our design colleagues from the fashion industry, for instance. They work about a year ahead," explains Pauli. "But that's where our challenge lies. Figuring out today what the favorite colors will be in the distant future," she adds.

BASF Coatings GmbH

BASF Coatings, the Coatings Division of the BASF Group, develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints. BASF has significant market positions in the Coatings sector in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region. In 2007 BASF Coatings achieved global sales of almost 2.6 billion euros. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.com About BASF BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products, and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition, and mobility. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com. BASF has been a committed partner to Greater China since 1885. It is one of the biggest foreign investors in the Chinese chemical industry. The company currently has more than 6,000 employees and operates 23 BASF wholly owned subsidiaries and 10 BASF joint ventures. In 2007, BASF achieved sales of about €4.4 billion in Greater China. For further information, please visit www.greater-china.basf.com.