Colour sense is something that some of us are born with, and some of us not, but colour is one of the most primary, and primal instruments used by mother nature herself, able to provoke a reaction in all living creatures, including mankind. If you are lucky enough to have an instinct for colour in the creative business it can become a tool for success. Astrid Davidse is one of those people: she has the gift.
Of course, Astrid had always used her talent for colour in her work, which started within the fashion business and gradually migrated towards Home Décor. Back in 1999, she founded a small studio in The Hague. “At a certain point, I had a casual conversation with a business coach, who gave me a piece of advice that has proved to be invaluable: standardise.” Standardise…not an easy concept for a creative team…but Astrid dwelt on those words, and came up with the idea of how to apply the advice to her design business: apply concepts for the colour.
She began to create colour cards as guides to follow for the designers on her team. Production changed. “Things became easier, quicker. Happier designers, less time taken for creative decisions, because the decisions had already been taken by me before the designers unleashed their creativity on pattern making.” For Astrid and her studio, it signed the start of a new era. The collection began to make sense, it began to tell a story, it began to coordinate, it began to make a statement, and business doubled in the first year!
The studio was used to taking part in the trade fairs like Heimtextil, and Astrid would show the collection of designs in a way that mirrored the colour concepts that had been applied, accompanied by her mood boards and the colour cards: “Clients were immediately attracted and enthusiastic about the collection, but also to the colour concepts as well”. It didn’t take long for some of those clients to recognise that Astrid was using her intrinsic colour sense as an instrument for the success of her design business and that that tool could be used by them too, so they asked her to replicate the concepts and sell them.
That’s how it began. Those in-house colour guides have become the way that many of her clients, all over the world, from various producers from the Home Décor sphere, even to design studios, add Astrid’s instinct for colour to their collections.
Each year Astrid condenses the influences from all that inspires her into two issues of colour concepts, one for Spring Summer, one for Autumn Winter. Those influences come from many, many things. It’s a process that is part of Astrid’s being, something innate: “A colour will touch a nerve within me, making me buzz”, and she’ll absorb it, put it into some corner of her mind, and let it float there. Then, twice a year, all of the inspiration will be distilled into nine concepts, each a fresh vision of colour direction that are an evolutive and interrelated statement for what’s coming next.
Ease of use of the colour concepts is an important factor in the way these guides are conceived and created. “All creative minds can interpret and personalize the themes that ColorConcept presents, but the presentation of each concept follows rules that make them something different from the many other colour trend presentations available to the world. Others can sometimes present fascinating, poetic colour concepts that verge on the abstract, and are difficult to read.
Our guides are immediate, clear, and concise, made to be an identifiable ‘light in the forest’. They’re recognised as such through their fruitful application by many clients over the years, created to be followed and ease those all-important decisions regarding colour direction for the whole Home Décor business.”
Colour Concept is aboard stonefree.design. Let yourselves be guided. Go follow the light!