Sony Mobile recently shared some interesting bits of information regarding the internal process that usually goes into developing the exterior design of its smartphones, more specifically the work that the creative team is responsible for in regards to choosing a color, material, and finish (CMF) for every smartphone model that comes out of the OEM’s factory gates. In the company’s latest ‘Meet The Makers’ official blog entry, Sony’s Art Director Kaoru Murai shares how the mobile branch goes about determining the final design touches of a device, and reveals additional bits of information regarding the color trends in specific regions and the changes in popularity for certain hues over the past 15 years.
According to Kaoru Murai, the process of choosing a color for each Sony smartphone begins with the creation of a CMF concept designed in accordance with the target user, i.e. a particular market segment or region. This CMF concept is then discussed by the members of the creative team who can debate on which color choice might be the most appropriate, however, it’s interesting to note that the designer’s recommendation takes priority “more often than not” according to Murai. Regardless, it appears that as far as the popularity of colors is concerned, hues of blue such as Forest Blue for the Xperia XZ, or Ice Blue for the Xperia XZs, have become more desirable for recent models. Yet looking back at the past 15 years, Sony’s Art Director shares that the smartphone market was initially dominated by achromatic tones such as silver and black, but the OEM’s early adoption of more chromatic colors - such as pink – greatly contributed to a shift in the market trends. But despite Sony’s apparent desire to offer colorful choices to its customers, Murai claims that the wildest finish the OEM has ever come up with was the chrome flavor employed by the mirror-like Xperia XZ Premium.
Also interesting to note is that colors and finishes have leaned more towards soothing tones in recent years, though as far as neutral tones are concerned, silver remains the hue of choice in Europe, whereas customers in Japan seem to prefer white. In any case, Sony Mobile might shift its 2018 smartphones from the current OmniBlance design language to a new aesthetic previously referred to as “Mirai”, and knowing a bit more about what goes on behind closed doors when choosing a CMF, it’s going to be interesting to see what color choices Sony will prepare for its next generation of devices.