area 127+ | colour in design

architect: HÅG Design Team

year: 2012

What is your favourite colour? What colour does your products identify with the most?
The essential idea of the HÅG SoFi design project was to create a shape that could provide many possibilities in visual expression. HÅG SoFi as the name reveals is a chair that can be dressed up or down with colour and fabric combinations to either Stand out or Fit in at any work environment. The form can be underlined or dimmed with different textiles and finishes.
The design team behind HÅG SoFi consists of two renowned Norwegian design firms as well as our in-house design team. Colour is a personal preference and selecting one would be challenging. To inspire and to make the choice easier for our customers, the design team has narrowed down the vast selection of possibilities to 9 favourites representing a variation of visual expression as we would like HÅG SoFi to have. These favourites are now called Designer’s Choice. (overview and images of these 9 models you’ll find enclosed)
Inspired by colour trends, architecture, materials and different work environments, we came up with three different design directions answering to the needs of the work place where we believe HÅG SoFi could fit into: “Formal” for the formal business environment, “Casual” for home at work and “Edge” for the innovative work place. Each of these directions has a colour profile for fabric, metal- and plastic parts as well as a fabric choice that emphasise different aspects of the chair. The direction gave us the opportunity to play with identity as well a tool to limit the vast possibilities in visual expression and to focus on defined target groups within these segments.

Light, material, colour: how do the three elements dialogue in your projects?
At Scandinavian Business Seating we are very conscious on how these elements contribute to and affect the visual expression of our products. We have in-house specialists within colour, textiles and surfaces who are involved from the beginning of every design process to ensure that these elements harmonise and create excitement. Being part of the Scandinavian design tradition we are inspired by light and nature of the Nordic region, honesty in the use of materials (what you see is what you get), and using the most environmentally sound ones is of great importance to us. We are conscious and thorough in the way we work with these elements in order to create the optimal coherence of materials and colours, and with HÅG SoFi we have taken it to yet another level. We have i.e. worked closely with our suppliers to develop a new silver paint, to adapt the grey colour of the plastic parts to the new paint, and to find the right colour tone for one of the fabrics.

How much does the colour count for the commercial success of your products?
This is difficult to measure. Colour inspires, gives a statement and evokes emotions. Colour is an important element in building product- as well as brand identity. It contributes to revitalize existing products and can give a completely new expression to a product and to its surroundings. By having our in-house experts on colours and surfaces side by side with the designers throughout the process, demonstrates the thoroughness we deploy in the design work.

What role does colour play when designing a product, and in particular for your SoFi chair?
Our internal experts work closely in dialogue with the external designers to ensure coherence in the visual expression by developing colour profiles and harmonising the colours and structure of plastic, metal, textile.
HÅG SoFi stands out and fits in – within the HÅG brand and within the work place. Our work with the collection of colours and surfaces reflects this promise. A chair is not just a chair, but an essential element in the workplace. It creates an atmosphere. It is not just what you see, but also about what you touch and what touches you. It should move you, inspire you and make you desire to work - HÅG SoFi invites you to use your senses.
Use of colour, surfaces and textile create the visual identity of the three HÅG SoFi design directions:
Formal: Discrete and subdued luxury. Tailored and classic look emphasising elegance and refinement. Use of plain and tone in tone colours in matte/glossy combinations to accentuate details and surfaces in a sophisticated manner.
Casual: Relaxed and unpretentious with a casual attitude: use of soft toned colour and subtle contrasts. An overall harmonious and likeable expression.
Edge: Distinct and clear expression. Use of contrast colour as an effect to accentuate details and lines on the chairs, presents a brave and playful attitude – gives an inspiring and surprising experience.