Nissan color designer talks car color trends, predictions

Dylan Afuang
·3-min read

The world of cars will certainly become more vibrant.

After all, Myung-Eun Lee said that while white — the most popular car color globally for more than a decade — will soon make way for other hues.

"I predict the copper body color will become popular in future," Myung-Eun, Nissan Global Color designer said. "And more bright chromatic colors."

That alluring shade of copper was seen on the electric Nissan Ariya. Another Nissan wearing bright, chromatic colors is the Kicks e-Power in Thailand.

Ariya
Ariya

Originally from Seoul, Korea and now based in Japan, Myung-Eun Lee joined the brand full-time in 2012 after a "good and exciting" internship as color designer, also for Nissan. She manages and designs the exterior and interior colors of the brand's products.

The hues 'Sunlight Yellow' and 'Night Blue' of the Kicks e-POWER can be described as good and exciting, too, but Myung-Eun can describe them in a more accurate way.

Kicks
Kicks

"'Sunlight Yellow' gives bright, vivid energy, like the sun," she said. "'Night blue' gives the beautiful depth of the night sky. A cool thing is, with the pearl effect at various angles, it's like stars in the sky," she elaborated.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," she added, describing how she felt whenever a Kicks being driven in Thailand catches her eyes. "My personal wish for Thai Kicks e-Power owners, is that... they love it and it makes them inspired or reflects them as an individual."

The Kicks is also available in two-tone colors: its roof can be painted in a different color against the rest of the car's body.

"The two-tone option gives owners the opportunity to customize the vehicle to their own taste, with even more variations," the designer shared. "Also from a design styling point of view, a darker tone roof color can give the car more eye-catching proportions, which people love."

How does Myung-Eun go about designing these colors?

"The process is extremely detailed. A car is fascinating because it has to be comfortable, stylish, sporty, and be able to use all the time, for many years," she explained.

"When we design the Color Material Finish (CMF), we first think about the concept we want to deliver through the product. For Kicks, the concept was to build something modern, unique, compact yet powerful.

We study the market needs and customer's lifestyle carefully. Then build solid concept images and move on to create the color and material to match those images, which takes months of testing, trying."

On the subject of the market, Myung-Eun observed that "neutral and stylish" colors such as gray, white, and black are the most popular color choices in Thailand.

But color designers, she said, "definitely feel more diversity in color trends in Thailand and ASEAN. More people are enjoying choosing colors for their vehicle, and are more open to new colors."

"Especially for younger generations — they can be more daring — and a car is something that can reflect a person every day, and everywhere they go. It's not about showing off, but being individual, or memorable."

Meanwhile, on the subject of other Nissan cars, she wants the brand to revive the "classic yet cute" Figaro convertible from the '90s.

Myung-Eun Lee truly has eyes for all things pretty.

Photos from Nissan

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