Posted in news on October 27, 2015 11:54 am EDT

Color Elements Make Swatch Books Obsolete

Variable Inc. launches Color Elements mobile app that links inspiration color with exact product names and numbers in wide variety of materials to streamline color selection process.

Color Elements Mobile App & NODE+chromaProand. Images courtesy of Variable.











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TAGS: architecture, design, interior, materials, sustainability, tools,


By Church Designer Staff

The Color Elements mobile app allows interior designers to identify a color and specify by manufacturer the exact match and complementary colors in paints, carpeting, tile and stone, leather, contract fabrics, upholstery, laminates and resilients. When paired with Variable’s NODE+chromaPro (device about the size of a roll of quarters), anyone can instantly and accurately measure a color and seamlessly transmit the data via Bluetooth to a smart mobile device.

Variable, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company that invented and manufactures the NODE+chromaPro system, is demonstrating Color Elements at booth 1619 of NeoCon East held at The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 28 and 29.

"It saved us a lot of time in measuring colors and organizing palettes. I can throw it in a sample bag or my purse, and it’s ready whenever I need it. And the color measurement was spot on."

—Jane W. Grant Owner, Grant Interior Design LAB.

"It’s really a new frontier for interior design," said Jane W. Grant, owner of Grant Interior Design LAB in Chattanooga who participated in a beta test of Color Elements. "It saved us a lot of time in measuring colors and organizing palettes. I can throw it in a sample bag or my purse, and it’s ready whenever I need it. And the color measurement was spot on."

Grant said she was particularly pleased with the simple way that Color Elements downloaded and organized colors in her smartphone so the project files could be accessed at any time or shared with others via social media. That was exactly the sort of experience that Variable was hoping to achieve with Color Elements, said George Yu, the company’s CEO and founder. “We brought the whole color selection process into the 21st century by recording libraries of these materials and making them available to anyone who downloads Color Elements into her or his smartphone or tablet.”

Interior designers can download the Color Elements app in either iOS or Android for free for a limited time through the Apple App Store or Google Play. To see how Color Elements works without having to download the app or register, visit (visit link) for a one-page summary.

The company has catalogued the digital color data for more than 215,000 colors from more than 64,000 products, along with names and numbers used to specify orders. Some of the manufacturers include American Tile (stone and tile), Bentley (carpet), Garrett Leather (leather); Interface (carpet); Koroseal (wall coverings); LOOMSOURCE (upholstery); Luna (drapery, panel and upholstery), Maharam (fabrics) Momentum (textiles); Shaw (carpet, laminate, resilient, tile and stone); Sunbrella (contract fabrics), Wilsonart (quartz and solid surfaces) and Textus (upholstery). More data is being added to the libraries daily, so interested individuals should contact Variable to determine if products from particular manufacturers are catalogued. The NODE+chromaPro and mobile app system has libraries of fandecks from paint manufacturers such as Behr Interior & Exterior, Benjamin Moore, C2 Paint, Diamond Vogel, Donald Kaufman Color, Farrow & Ball, Kelly Moore, KILZ Pro-X, Mythic Paint, PPG, Sherwin Williams and Valspar.

The NODE+chromaPro device blocks out all ambient lighting to capture color and uses an industrial detector that mimics the way humans sees color. Using the device and app, designers can identify a color of inspiration digitally, narrow down color matches or complementary colors quickly from thousands of choices, organize projects and ideas in files, and share those ideas with clients via smartphones or tablets.

"Interior designers who are participating in our beta test say they can’t wait until it is available to the public," Variable Vice President of Marketing John Kowalski said. "They are tired of digging through hundreds of physical samples to come up with a selection, only to have the customer ask for more options – and have to start all over again. Some are lugging around loads of 5-pound swatch books in the back seats of their cars, just to save time. "With our system, the only things you are lugging around is your smart phone and a 3-ounce instrument."




Learn more about the companies in this story:

Variable Inc.



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