[ 彩材拆拆 x 𝗨𝗡𝗪𝗥𝗔𝗣 𝗖𝗠𝗙 ]
𝙲𝚑𝟹𝟷. 𝚄𝚗𝚠𝚛𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝙲𝙼𝙵 𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚐𝚗 𝚘𝚗 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛, 𝚢𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚛 𝚗𝚘?
CMF is a specific discipline within industrial design that focuses on the development of a product’s color, material, and finish. Unwrap CMF writes about little stories of CMF Design for those who are interested in learning more about this niche field. Comments and inspirations are welcome!
Before we start, the answer is both. Depending on your samples to evaluate, sometimes it is useful to have a colorimeter, and sometimes human eyes may perform better accuracy.
As a CMF Designer, one of the responsibilities is to ensure color consistency across all mass-production units. To do so, during trial production cycles, designers are required to check color samples for their color accuracy comparing to the standard color chip and to set up an acceptable limit range. Here is where the discussion begins.
Though colorimeters seem to be useful with its scientific measurement, however, on many consumer products, a reflective coating or color-changing additives may be implemented to the surface. There are also many products with complicated curvature or texture on the surface. In these frequent scenarios, the accuracy of a colorimeter is questioned. When light is transmitted and reflected through various coating effects and on top of diverse finishing texture, colorimeters may not capture colors as correctly as they should.
To further expand on this hypothesis, with the learning from Professor Donald Green’s research methodology course at Columbia University, I performed a small experiment with Nix Mini 2 color sensor. The task is to measure 30 painted color chips that have been randomly assigned into treatment and control groups, where the treatment is the additional iridescent pearls, giving it a diverse reflected chroma around corners.
Disclaimer: Color was measured at the rounded angle for the purpose of this experiment. In any other given situation, please always measure colors on a flat surface as advised by Nix Mini 2’s user manual.
With this small-quantity experiment, it was proven that when the colorimeter is used to measure color samples with iridescent pearls, the color difference (Delta E that is generated by CIE L*a*b coordinates) is higher than the color samples without iridescent pearls. Translated into designer’s words, when measured at the rounded corner of an iridescent red color chip, the colorimeter will read it with a pinkish hue which is the result of the iridescent pearls.
The finding from this experiment, however, does not suggest that colorimeters are not suitable for all occasions. For example, when the same Nix Mini 2 color sensor is used to measure the flat surface of an air conditioner, the accuracy of color sensor can reach as precise as Delta E <1.5.
To sum up, colorimeters and gloss meters are great with measuring colors on top of flat surfaces that are without decorative coating. However, on products with a complicated finish, curvature, or texture, designers may need to check color accuracy manually through human eyes.
All that being said, this is just a preliminary exercise with one kind of colorimeter and color samples. I welcome any comment and experience-sharing to inspire more thoughts and possibilities! 😉
CMF為Color Material and Finishing，譯為色彩、材質、及表面處理工藝，屬於 工業設計 旗下重要的一環。Unwrap CMF（ 彩材拆拆 ）將圍繞著這個主題，以淺而易懂的小故事拆解 CMF設計師 的日常。
身為CMF設計師，其中一項職責是確保所有量產配件的顏色保持一致性。因此 試產週期 中，設計師需要檢閱顏色樣本並與 標準色樣 對比顏色的準確性，再以此設定可接受的 限度範圍 —— 然而這就是意見可能分歧之處。
聲明：出於本實驗的目的，特例於轉角處採集色彩。在其他任何情況下，請都務必按照Nix Mini 2用戶手冊所建議的，於平面測色。
通過這次小批量的實驗，證明了用測色儀測量幻彩色板的時候，其色差（利用CIE L*a*b值所推算的Delta E值）比不帶幻彩珠光的色板要為嚴重。翻譯成設計師的語言，也就是說，當測色儀在測量幻彩紅色色板的圓角處時，它所讀到的顏色會偏粉紅色調，也就是受幻彩珠光反射的結果。
然而，這次小小實驗的結果並不代表測色儀不適用於所有場合。比如說，當同款 Nix Mini 2 測色儀被用於測量在無特殊效果的冷氣機平整表面上，測色儀的準確度可精確至Delta E小於1.5的數值。