From The Editor: The Art of Finding the Perfect Color for Medical Devices

The selection of colors for medical devices can be a complex process that takes into account various factors, including functionality, safety, aesthetics, branding, and regulatory requirements. It often involves a combination of user research, design considerations, and adherence to industry standards to ensure that the colors chosen enhance the overall usability and effectiveness of the medical device. But where do you start?

The Sherwin-Williams General Industrial Coatings division recently released its fifth color trend forecast, “V: Colors, Finishes and Effects Evolving and Emerging in Industrial Design.” Among the insights, the forecast includes callouts specifically for designers in the medical device field. Colors recommended for medical devices include a red-orange hue called “Take Care;” green hues, including “Minted,” “Lenity,” and “Approachable;” blue hues called “Constant” and “Synthesize;” a tan hue named “Meta-Mineral,” and a very light gray hue called “Full Scope.”

Inspiration for “V” comes from a myriad of sources and involves “a delicate balance of art, science, history, and futurity,” says the company. The Sherwin-Williams DesignHouse team uses the six pillars of forecasting, a part of the M3Trend process developed by Kiki Redhead, Global CMF and Trend Manager for DesignHouse, to identify influential factors and visualize future pathways. For this forecast, the team investigated the catalysts that drove mega trends, mega trends that inspired macro trends, and macro trends that led to micro trends. After countless hours, they said they identified one central concept: authenticity.

“We found that society is driven by the desire for authenticity,” says Redhead. “Sherwin-Williams is no different. It’s why we’re analyzing past work in this year’s report, and it’s why we continue to reinforce our commitment to driving innovation and sustainability, both for our team and for our customers.”

The insights from the forecast are categorized by verses; color spaces; and effects, finishes, and textures:

  • Verses. From nature to the cosmos, relationships play a big role in shaping the world we live in.

  • Color Spaces. Twenty-two colors break down the evolution of trends across six different color spaces.

  • Effects, Finishes and Textures. Tactile materials offer new ways of connecting to the world around us.

The report took a data-driven approach to identify themes and overlaps from the past five years and determined what that meant for the future of each color space, says Redhead. She says this forecast will influence color for the next three to five years.

Sherrie Trigg

Editor and Director of Medical Content

A copy of the report can be downloaded here .