Together, these form a system offering countless possible combinations with a coherence that make it easy for architects, interior designers or private clients to define a lively interior collage with a strong identity.
The aim of the collaboration between Vitra and the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius is to create a unique realm of Vitra colours and materials that augment contemporary designs and renew classic pieces in the collection.
Hella Jongerius lives and works in Berlin. She founded the Jongeriuslab studio in 1993. For Vitra, the Dutch designer has developed distinctive pieces such as the Polder Sofa and the East River Chair. Jongerius has consistently addressed the significance of colours and surfaces in contemporary design in her work with textiles, ceramics and furniture. She has been the Art Director for colours and materials at Vitra for many years and developed the Vitra Colour & Material Library – a system that enables the versatile combination of different materials and colours throughout the extensive Vitra product collection.
Jongerius' colour concept for Vitra organises all colours in four contrasting colour worlds. The greens, the reds, the lights and the darks suit both home and office. The system encompasses the entire spectrum of colours, while the different colour worlds classify their specific purpose. The Vitra Colour and Material Library is no advice kit. It is to be used as a tool, both within the design and production process as well as outside of the company grounds.
After living in a green environment for thousands of years, distinguishing prey or edible plants, our eyes’ colour receptors have become most sensitive to the greens. A biological evolutionary process now enables us to differentiate many shades.
Red hues appear vibrant, dynamic and more immediate than other colours. Along with oranges and yellows, they need light to unfold their true beauty. Red is the first colour that babies acknowledge.
Retreating and absorbing, the darks are more distant and calm. They take in light and hold warmth. They are shadow colours – the darker a colour, the further it seems to be away from its observer.
The light colours, which we call ‘lights’, accentuate, reflect and project other colours. They remind us of an empty sheet of paper, untouched snow and are a Western symbol of purity.
'The Vitra Colour & Material Library encourages creative freedom and fires the imagination – not by making everything possible, but by providing a clear display of options.' - Hella Jongerius