Color is one of the most important factors that sets the overall tone, and even the identity of the car.
These days, many car manufacturers go for bold and symbolic colors to represent the concepts of their cars. Kia Seltos, the ’high-class’ small SUV, is also one of them. The color schemes comprises strong-looking achromatic colors and of course bright vivid colors. Senior researcher Jooyeon Lee explains the whole process of putting colors and interior design together.
Q. The color is one of the most important factors that sets the overall tone. How did you begin designing the colors?
A new color trend comes with each year. However, I found the identity of Seltos the most important factor when designing the right color. Knowing the lifestyles of our target customers also played a very important role here. Endless researching was needed.
As a designer who studies colors, I find the looks of Seltos quite slick. Any color would be a perfect match, from strong-looking achromatic colors and of course to bright vivid colors. The aggressive design of Seltos helps the color appear more attractive, and the stereoscopic face shows bulges, and highlights its color.
Q. Seltos targets towards the young. Were there colors chosen for them?
We thought about ‘the new generation’, not ‘the young generation’. The term ‘young generation’ just symbolizes the young age, but the new generation is a group of people with fresh taste regardless of their age. The color choices for Seltos were made for them.
Being exposed to vivid colors of media, the new generation of consumers prefer to have cultivated taste. Seltos harmonizes its interior and the exterior with showing aggressiveness and sensitivity at the same time. The same formula is applied to its colors. The slick, brown-colored center fascia garnish and point areas of the seat represent the delicacy of Seltos.
Q. There always are the colors matching the products. What is the new color for the Seltos?
Seltos is offered with two different main themes. One is sportiness. There are chrome surroundings around the face and the back of this model, so when we give it a fancy two-tone job we put Steel Gray that can go well with chrome details. This mid-contrast gray color gives a metallic look, highlights its firm SUV image, even represents its high-tech features.
The second color theme is called Urban, which represents the new generation of consumers and sportiness at the same time. Those consumers never hesitate when choosing a color for their cars, and usually they go for bright and bold colors, unlike previous generations. To meet such demands, we created Starbright Yellow and Dark Ocean Blue exclusively for Seltos. Their metallic looks are the manifestation of being sportiness.
Q. I heard that color designers also should seek to design materials that are used for the interior.
Aside from color designing, we also have to choose the right element, including its texture, for the interior. All that means is that even a single element has the ability to draw attention to itself. Our customers want elegant and smooth textures to bring a luxurious tone to the cabin. As a ‘high class’ small SUV we had to focus on texture interior designing, from the main garnish to a door trim.
Especially, we used 3 different processing called Laser Embossing (raised designed using laser), Hair line(a textile design consisting of lengthwise lines usually one thread wide), and Inmold Stitch (stitch pattern) for decorating the main garnish. Brown or dark metallic colors were used for the looks. For example, the premium Brown Pack offers elegant brown genuine leather seats to highlight its smooth texture.
Q. Seat design is one of the key elements that controls the mood of the interior. How did you manage this?
For starters, the seat is designed to support each body part, and show its aesthetic beauty. We carefully designed the color and the pattern of the seats to make them go well with the character of Seltos.
Plum pack that brings plum-colored perforated leather upholstery with warm purple stitching, plum-colored door armrests. With its tone, it boasts its own beauty and elegant look.
The Brown package is all about the luxurious looks. The Brown package brings brown-colored leather upholstery with fractal pattern, which is also used for the surface of the speakers. While ventilated seats represent practicality, the delicacy of the design shows elaborate beauty.
Q. Offering premium quality sounds quite difficult. Was there any obstacle while you were working on the interior design?
At first the main garnish was made of painted plastic, and that was absolutely not enough to make the cabin look cozy and luxurious. I thought soft-touch materials on the dashboard were necessary to make the inside lounge-like. Though it took a while to persuade other teams, I feel proud of myself as a color designer for pursuing what I believed in.
Q. What do you expect from dual tone color combination? The way that Cherry Black roof goes with those color options looks very revealing.
Though the dual-tone color options are now revealed, there are not many who have actually seen them with their naked eyes. The names of the five dual color options are Clear White, Gravity Gray, Mars Orange, Dark Ocean Blue, and Starbright Yellow. These options definitely make the body look slick than ever. Also Seltos is designed to go perfectly well with its dual-tone roof. The glossy A-pillar and a floating roof effect set the tone for the cherry black roof.
Q. One of the biggest questions is definitely the color choice. Which one would you recommend?
Any color choice would match your Seltos, but as a designer, and if I have to, I would go with Dark Ocean Blue. The paint reflects various kinds of lights in different ways, giving different looks each time, day and night.
Among the interior color options I love the brown package most. This color emphasizes the character of the interior so well that we used the brown interior for most of the showcases. Many other designers also expressed their love. We also decorated the main garnish, door trim, and seats with leather, making the cabin look lounge-like and spacious.
Seltos if offered with 6 monotone and 5 dual tone options, and 3 interior color options. Dual-tone options give both weighty and sporty look at the same time. Know your lifestyle and fashion preference, and let Seltos embody them.