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June 29, 2017

ALPOLIC and Sherwin-Williams: Achieving Custom Color Excellence

Alpolic Materials Valspar

Having been in the business of painted aluminum composite material since 1991, ALPOLIC, as you can imagine, has a staggering amount of color formulas in its archives. But in today’s brand-driven world, it’s not uncommon for a client to request a color that needs to be created from scratch.

Daily, architects and fabricators come to ALPOLIC to get the exact color they require for their architectural designs. While reformulating an existing color or creating one from scratch relies heavily on modern technology, it remains as much an art as a science — one requiring the know-how of well-trained experts.

When clients request custom colors, our team works closely with them to establish exactly what they have in mind. After submitting a custom color form and sample of the shade they’re after, the QA department gets to work.

The QA team begins by analyzing the color sample provided. A spectrometer measures the sample, determining the tristimulus color coordinate — a precise, objective measure of the sample’s hue. With this numerical value, they then can compare the sample to our archive of existing colors. In some cases, the process is as simple as finding a match and sending it to the customer. But when no exact match exists, or when customers request a slightly different version of an existing color, the team’s expertise comes into play.

By visually comparing samples of the existing colors that most closely resemble the sample provided by the customer, the QA team establishes a narrow range of hues to help guide Sherwin-Williams (formerly Valspar), our paint supplier, in creating the new color. Despite the precision of the spectrometer analysis, only a well-trained eye can take into account the many variables that determine how a color is perceived, including lighting, finish gloss, and more.

Sherwin-Williams’ task is far more complex than simply matching or creating a color. In addition to being just the right shade, the new color must meet the customer’s requirements, including coating, gloss, special effects, durability and suitability for different material surfaces and environments. Whether the color is to be used for an internal wall or a building envelope, the paint must be able to maintain its color for years. Sherwin-Williams' painstaking testing process ensures that the color will last and meet the customer’s warranty requirements.

Once Sherwin-Williams creates the new color, ALPOLIC’s QA department still isn’t finished. After receiving color samples from Sherwin-Williams, they check these against the customer’s requirements and original sample. Only when they’re certain the customer’s needs have been met do they send out the samples for approval. Once the customer is satisfied with the results, the color is recorded and archived for use in future projects.

Getting the color and finish right means the artistic vision of the design can be fully realized. The partnership of ALPOLIC and Sherwin-Williams makes that happen.

If you’re looking for just the right color for your next project, we’re here to help. Find out more about ALPOLIC’s selection of aluminum and metal composite materials as well as our expertise with colors and finishes and let us know how we can bring your vision to life.

See for yourself the color possibilities of your next project. Order samples of ALPOLIC MCM today.

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