Lucite introduces new colors, details selection process
By Jim Raposa
Chris Robinson has a colorful job. He spearheads the group at Lucite International, deciding which spa siding colors stay and which are jettisoned in favor of modern trends.
Lucite recently announced a few new acrylic spa siding colors to its 2018 showcase: Crimson Night, Sedona and a concept color it calls GNC, which resembles the interior blue of a pool. Robinson says it’s important for the company to keep colors fresh and appealing to current consumer tastes. “We usually release at least one new color each year,” he says. “Some years it’s two. With regard to our concept colors, we strive for something just outside of the ordinary. We did that in 2016 with a first generation version of Sedona. We got comments from industry professionals and a color specialist, and refined the color based on this input. That’s the version of Sedona we just released.”
Lucite’s process for color selection and development is much like that of Crayola. The venerable crayon maker strives to keep its color selection fresh by keeping tried-and-true colors and replacing underperforming colors with new ones with interesting names. “This business is most definitely subtraction and addition for our color portfolio,” Robinson says, “and the market demands that we offer a broad range. We need a breadth of colors to offer customers, but we also need to keep the assortment in check.”
The criteria for keeping a color tends to be determined by sales volume, he says; the ones dropped either haven’t sold well or are past their prime. The portfolio also contains legacy colors, which continue to sell in sufficient quantity to remain. “A few go back to the 1980s,” he says. The oldest color offered is sterling-silver marble.
Lucite became wildly popular when it introduced the first line of acrylic paint to consumers in 1960. Previously, paint colors faded quickly, but the company gained a reputation as a color leader — and this status has transferred to Lucite’s line of acrylic spa sheets. The colors are vivid and remain so, even under harsh water conditions.
“We look to be color and effect leaders,” Robinson says. “We have a color consultant we work with who is an interior designer.” She, like Lucite, is a member of the Color Marketing Group, an association of designers, architects and others involved with color and design. “These folks select the hot colors for each year and track color trends,” he says. “As an active member of that group, we bring those trends back and try to look three to four years out and determine how to apply these color trends to our application in the spa market.”
Robinson says current spa-shell trends include some sort of sparkle effect with a “movement.” For example, speckled granite and granite that has a wave look that appears to move. “When they say granite moves, that means more money,” Robinson jokes. “We’re going on that trend to provide a significant high-end look consistent with what today’s homeowners are looking for in their outdoor living space.”