New series on Color Data! In this series, we will be covering how data can be a powerful tool in communicating CMF. Leave a comment for thoughts and questions!

Should I pursue a master’s degree?

Master’s degrees aren’t necessary for all CMF roles. I have been a CMF Designer for 14+ years at several Fortune 500 companies, and I did not received my M.A. degree until last year.

If you are considering M.A. or Ph.D., my first suggestion would be to explore this path after at least a few years of hands-on experiences. The time at workplace will help you get more familiar with the needs and hiccups from the real-world, and help you realize what you would like to add on top of what you’ve already equipped so far.

In another word, it would make your tuition more worthy. I’ve heard CMF friends adding neuroscience and sociology as an addition to CMF skill set. All paths are great, and data science is just one of them.

Why data science?

I get asked a lot about why I chose to pursue data science half way throughout my CMF career. Sometimes I would jokingly respond and said it’s so I could argue with PM’s. It’s a joke and not entirely true, but yes, to a certain degree, it’s pretty real.

Between C-M-F, discussions around materials and finishes often revolve around practical factors like cost and manufacturing feasibility. You can choose the more expensive materials for the more luxurious look, or you can choose the more risky manufacturing process for the more advanced path that no competitor has taken before. Either choice, everyone at the table all understand the give and take.

But when it comes to color, it often lacks scientific support when communicating with non-designers. Even with a full set of color knowledge and trend forecasting research, it is still challenging to get pass someone with a strong personal preferences or beliefs.

I’ve also worked with people who couldn’t make an emotional connection with colors, or colleagues who aren’t as sensitive to different degrees of saturations and tones. When communicating with these colleagues, a conceptual color proposal would be like speaking a foreign language.

And that’s why numbers become a powerful tool as a mutual language that everyone can understand. Ten is bigger, one is smaller. That is the fact.

When proposing colors, I’ve been using different forms of data to story-tell my proposals. I wouldn’t say it is a 100% hit, but the success rate is definitely higher than not having data.

You might still question… Is it necessary for CMF Designers to be equipped with data knowledge? Just imagine if data is a powerful weapon – you want to be the person holding the weapon instead of being pointed at. Don’t you? 😉

Don’t worry, I’m not convincing anyone to quit their job to go back to school. I will be sharing how CMF Designers can utilize data in our work to better advance our CMF strategy.

Next, we will explore the different forms of data, how to utilize data, and the do’s and don’ts. Stay tuned.

Problem-solving ??? ?????. Former head of CMF at Motorola. A New York-based and world-traveling Design Consultant with over 13 years of specialty in CMF Design. 高雄囡仔,前摩托羅拉CMF設計團隊負責人,目前定居於紐約並遊牧世界,任自由撰稿人兼CMF設計顧問,持續投入在CMF設計的科普推廣,並為WGSN及羅技等公司提供CMF專案支持或諮詢服務。

One thought

  1. This is so required. I was working on a trend mapping project and I was anxious about building a narrative to it which a lot of people can relate to. Even though I could convince the clients, I still didn’t feel that satisfaction. It would be great if you could add these points in your next article. Eagerly looking forward to it.

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