Most design studios use colours in their design to express brand values. We found two design studios, Montana and Normann Copenhagen, who both use colours strategically but apply different approaches.
Designing with colours
Some people speak, listen and think colours, and most designers are passionate about the use of colours in a design. Whether they work mainly in black and white or their design is filled with colours, it is important for designers to set the right tone in their design.
At Montana, they have a clearly defined colour palette of 42 paint colours, divided into seven ‘families’ and three veneers. They apply these colours throughout their materials. As Joakim Lassen, Managing Director of Montana, explains: “Montana’s colours are used across all of our sales material, colour cards, samples, colour boards, POS materials at the retailers, and wherever Montana is being marketed. We do not favour one specific colour but try and communicate our motto: ‘making room for personality’.”
This becomes visible in the Montana 1112 shelving system, which comes in all 42 paint colours. At Montana, they see it as an alphabet of modules that can be put together in all kinds of style languages and thus fits into any room or home.
At Normann Copenhagen, they don’t have an overall colour palette, choosing instead to challenge the use of colours in interior design and to play around with colours to create a new palette for each project. Vibe Høst, Communication and PR Manager at Normann Copenhagen, elaborates: “We experiment quite a lot with colours and are not afraid to change them when we grow tired of them. We want to inspire with our choice of colours, not dictate a style. Therefore, our Form chair can be personalised from a wide variety of different colours and materials, so that our customers can make the chair their own.”
Form is a contemporary shell chair made of moulded plastic that can be covered in a wide variety of textiles and combined with different leg types, giving more than 50,000 possible combinations. With a soft silhouette that merges with a rigid Nordic wooden frame, Form is Normann Copenhagen’s idea of the perfect chair, they say.
Colours define the brand
Though they apply different strategies, both Montana and Normann Copenhagen consider colours to be important in defining their brand strategy and communicating their vision.
At Montana, they use colours to set their design free. “The many colours of Montana play an important part of the brand and support the idea behind Montana: that people want freedom to create and design their own spaces and the possibility to rearrange spaces while changes in their own needs or their surroundings create new demands,” says Joakim Lassen.
In October 2017, Montana tried to set their design free and invited three very different personalities to decorate their homes with Montana furniture. This gave some interesting results.
To Normann Copenhagen, it is important to send a message about being brave when using colours: “Colours are amazing. They can set a tone, bring out feelings and push a well-known design in a whole new direction. Colours are also a way of showing personality, both for us and for those who buy our designs. Courage when it comes to colours surely has helped us getting noticed and has meant that we have managed to stand out among Scandinavian brands,” says Vibe Høst.
When the Normann Copenhagen showroom was relaunched, they had painted one of the rooms pink, which became a big hit on Instagram and a hot topic for national and international media. “We use different colours to make “noise” and surprise. In that sense, we use colours to make a mark and create a story around our brand,” says Vibe Høst.