Nokia Conversations has published an article that walks us through how the colours came to be for the N9 and Lumia 800/900 handsets. Tiina Aarras works at Nokia as a materials designer and is responsible for the intense colour choices we have with Nokia Windows Phones. The average consumer wouldn't believe there to be much thought behind the process, but Aarras explains how complicated it was to get it 'just right'.
"There are hundreds of colours to choose from, but it’s not just about picking a colour. The start of this project was dominated by working on which colours work with the right materials and finishes. These products are about what you hold in your hand, and what you see on the screen. It was about taking away everything that is not needed, and leaving you with the best."
Everything came together for the handsets with the use of premium plastic (for enhanced antenna performance), since more colours were available compared to the choice with metal. Aarras and the team worked with 100 colours to narrow them down to just four, which are what we see today - black, magenta, cyan and white. Being inspired by the CMYK group (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black), Aarras ensured that the idea of purity shown in the end result. Would be interesting to see a yellow version too?
"Those colours are pure, defined and exceptional. They’re distinctive modern design icons and people recognise them. Because these are primary colours they contrast with each other – put them together with a black glass screen, and they are ideal for producing a bold and confident approach."
As well as choosing the right colours, Aarras explains that their next mountain to climb was to have the colours permeate the whole product. Close collaboration between chemists and dye suppliers was required for the team to achieve exactly the right pigment.
"The beauty of these phones is that different people can use these colours and give a totally different expression to them."
The Lumia 800 has won multiple awards at the CES 2012 convention and continues to grab the attention of those who see the handsets in use or on promotional material. The Lumia family is rumoured to receive more varients should demand call for more choice. What do you make of the available colours? Let us know in the comments below.