CMF Trend: Colour Passivation | PDD

CMF Trend: Colour Passivation


on November 28 2012

Passivation – a process for metal corrosion resistance, and to reduce friction for better running surfaces. As a side-effect, it can lead to some interesting colouration. Typically an industrial technique, with little aesthetic application beyond zippo lighters and fountain pens, but are we seeing an emergence into the design scene?

Over the last two years we have seen a dramatic rise in the use of ‘coloured’ metal finishes such a copper, bronze and brass. Moving away from cold greys and silvers, the interior world has embraced the warmth provided by these metals, and used them to inject a sense of ‘affordable’ luxury that can’t be achieved with golds – which are far too ostentatious in this era of austerity! In Milan this year, we started to see this rainbow finish emerge in the form of Tom Dixon’s Stamp collection. In the image above, the screen combines a simple silhouette with the technicolour finish. Does this indicate a move towards more playful metallics, much like the fashion industry? (Check out Burberry’s coloured foil raincoats, below!)

Burberry Colour Trench Coat
Featured image credit: PDD, above image credit: Burberry

Passivation_business cards
Image credit: Denis Mallet
Even finding its way into print design, these business cards created by designer Denis Mallet for Parisian art merchant Julien Hauchecorne, use a “diffraction foil fore-edge printing process on the outside edges”.
Sculpture _france

Image credit: Bona-Lemercier architects

Bona-Lemercier architects sculpture for the National Centre Edition Art Image uses plated steel to create OPU (Original Bipolar Units) resulting in a dynamic and optically vibrant scene.
Personally, I think these examples have used colour passivation to a great effect – forms have remained simple, ensuring their objects do not become too fussy with such a colourful finish.
If you see or know of any other cool examples of this finish, do share it with us – @pddinnovation!