Today’s consumers are more design aware than ever before. Which means they’re also more demanding of products and brands. They’re motivated by new criteria and reasons to buy, looking for reliability, attractive lines, differentiation, status, and details that bring real added value to the products and brands they choose to make a part of their lives.
Colors, Materials, and Finishings (CMF) are key factors in these choices. CMF is a marketing lever to capitalize on since it influences perceived brand and product quality and distinction. Which is why we offer our clients a CMF Lab with more than 20 years of experience and a team of leading specialists.

How the CMF Lab works

Our CMF Lab offers a research, consulting, and analysis service for Clients and Design Centers in the form of: Dedicated CMF Design projects that are managed independently, or more complex integrated projects involving more than one division, for example product, branding, and spaces. We provide support at four levels: Sector Research, Brand, Products & Interiors, and Consulting/Advisory.


Vertical Sensitive Cheeks + Teeth

  • Uniilver Ivy Cheek 08
  • Uniilver Ivy Cheek 09
  • Uniilver Ivy Cheek 05A
  • Uniilver Ivy Cheek 05C
  • Uniilver Ivy Cheek 05B

3M Design Center Italia

CMF Design Guidelines

From technological constraints to inspirational trends

This inspirational research into aesthetic surface treatments aimed to provide the 3M design team with a resource for improving user perceptions of the aesthetic quality of their products in line with the main 3M identities.

Finding inspiration in trend insights

The CMF Lab publishes overriding trend guides that draw their insights from the world of fashion, interior design, and other avant-garde sources.

Current trends in these areas often trickle down to FMCGs over the coming years, providing valuable insights into the future.

  • CMF 3M CMF Trends (4)
  • CMF 3M CMF Trends (5)
  • CMF 3M CMF Trends (3)
  • CMF 3M CMF Trends (6)

CMF Style Guidelines

These insights form the basis for CMF schemes that can easily be referenced for projects. They contain a Pantone palette and example products that clearly show the effect of surface treatments. A library of these products is provided so they can be sourced as desired.

CMF design that’s aware of technological constraints

A section of each guide is dedicated to the production and surface finishing technologies available to obtain the desired effect.

Vimar Eikon Evo

Cover plate system for electrical switches

Luxury Materials and Technology

As part of the new positioning of the Eikon system, the CMF Lab identified the aesthetic and stylistic trend scenarios that appeal to the target customer base. The luxury lifestyle trends identified led to the materials and finishings selection and development project carried out in conjunction with Vimar’s Technical Design and Industrialization Office. The main CMF design characteristics were authentic materials, refined machining, and extreme attention to detail.

  • CMF VIMAR (1)
  • CMF VIMAR (4)
  • CMF VIMAR (5)

Target and lifestyle scenarios

Eikon Evo Collection


System pro-E Comfort MISTRAL®

Colour Dominance

The System pro E comfort MISTRAL series of control units completes the wide range of ABB products for the residential, service, and industrial sectors. The styling project commissioned to Design Group Italia entrusted the CMF Lab with color research.

The petrol blue color of the transparent door is the distinctive characteristic of the product’s identity and what it communicates. The challenge was to find a balance between an innovative, fashionable color that would differentiate the product from the competition and a sober color capable of fitting into many diverse interiors.

  • CMF ABB Mistral (1)
  • CMF ABB Mistral (5)
  • CMF ABB Mistral (4)

Chicco Artsana

The CMF Lab has been providing Chicco – Artsana with consulting support for over 10 years on a wide range of products, mostly designed by Design Group Italia designers. Our research into color trends, the world of early childhood and Chicco’s target customers helped build a broad cross-segment vision of the projects. Likewise, our consultancy on the individual projects formed part of a wider integrated strategy to provide consumers with a unified decorative and color panorama.

Physio Ring Pacifiers

CMF Lab contributed to the project for refreshing the Physio Line of pacifiers, already on the market, by coordinating the color and decoration project. Contributing to the materials and graphics choices, DGI were able to match the expressive language perfectly to the identity of the line. A series of bottles and clips that are color-coordinated with the pacifiers enrich and complete the offering.

  • CMF CHICCO Colour Renov01
  • CMF CHICCO Colour Renov02
  • CMF CHICCO Colour Renov03
  • CMF CHICCO Colour Renov04

Physio AIR Pacifiers

The CMF project for a new design by Design Group Italia. The materials, colors and decorations for this new design needed to convey the concept of a light pacifier that allows the baby’s skin to breath thanks to an innovative ergonomic solution. The CMF aspect offers bright colors and transparent materials coordinated with light and playful graphics.

  • CMF CHICCO Air01
  • CMF CHICCO Air02
  • CMF CHICCO Air03

Physio Comfort Pacifiers

Comfort, the latest addition to the Physio collection, benefited from full recourse to CMF Lab expertise and the creativity of Design Group Italia. The colors, materials and decorations were designed to evoke feelings of refinement, emphasizing the soft shape of the pacifiers - conceived to reduce contact areas, irritation, and rashes to a minimum.

  • Chicco Comfort 01
  • CMF CHICCO Comfort02
  • CMF CHICCO Comfort03


Although the most famous notebook in history is totally black, color nevertheless brings its own pleasures to the Moleskine collection

Color project for the Volant Collection

Notebooks that say something to everyone, matching their harmony and world in a color pairing. To feel more unique. To make a choice. To live the pleasure of being in harmony.


Color project for Diary Line packaging

The brief was to improve the communication of the different daily, weekly, and other diary lines and to emphasize the new shape of the packaging band. This was achieved by introducing unusual new colors for the spine and using the same color as the cover of the diary for the front of the packaging band: black on black, red on and red, and so on.

  • CMF MOLESKINE Diary 01
  • CMF MOLESKINE Diary 02
  • Moleskine Volant 3

Glass Emotion: Active wall system

Sector Trend Report

Glass in architectural space

The simplicity of form and aesthetics of lightness accompanying the trend for integration have led designers in particular to turn their attention to the undisputed virtues of glass. Its potential functional and aesthetic versatility have already given rise to new aesthetic identities in Interior Design for residential, office, and contract projects.


Report Milan Design Week 2014

DGI annually create a publication on the occasion of Design Week in which we report on current trends and future developments from our own point of view. Observing the trends that make Milan the center of world design for a week, we review and interpret the scenarios presented both by the companies and public in attendance. Scenarios that in our opinion contribute to the development of aesthetic languages and lifestyles. The subject that dominated our thoughts on Design Week this year was the trend for balance and harmony in seemingly opposing elements - historic buildings that house extremely innovative design, the duality of technology and nature, the density of marble and lightness of form, and polychromatic harmonies that give rise to richly monochromatic atmospheres and vibrations.

  • CMF REPORT Salone 2014 (2)
  • CMF REPORT Salone 2014 (7)
  • CMF REPORT Salone 2014 (3)
  • CMF REPORT Salone 2014 (4)
  • CMF REPORT Salone 2014 (5)
  • CMF REPORT Salone 2014 (6)

Huld Design

Identity Color Program

An Icelandic sense of color

Huld Reykjavik is a small fashion company that makes and markets handbags and other fashion accessories. The Identity Colors Program researched color harmonies with strong connections to the moods of Iceland’s nature and local traditions, while simultaneously reinterpreting the folk style of handcrafted local products with an eye on current design trends and a desire for high production quality.


This is the color area on which the overall brand image has been based to create a solid foundation that allows the easy harmonization of future color projects with a limited life, such as seasonal collections.

  • CMF HULD Modificato 06
  • CMF HULD Modificato 03
  • CMF HULD Modificato 05
  • CMF HULD Modificato 04