Glossary for Industry Terms

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Colorways

What are colorways?

Colorways are different color combinations for the same design. Have you ever loved the design of something but hated the color? By creating a few color options you will appeal to a larger amount of customers.

Research on trend forecasting and target market should be carried out before making decisions on color. Different combinations of color can change the whole look of a design. The reason a customer chooses your product over a competitors could be due to you choosing a better color range for your products. 

What to include in a colorways spec?

A colorways spec sheet is the part of a tech pack that explains all the different color options for your product. In order to communicate your colorways, there are a few items you should include in your spec sheet.

  • A trade drawing of your design (front and back) clearly showing each colorway. If you have chosen three colorways, then three trade drawings are required. These drawings should include everything right down to a thread or trim color. 
  • A description next to each trade drawing detailing which element is which color. 
  • Swatches next to each trade drawing.
  • A unique name for each colour (It is easy for manufacturers to confuse colours, especially if there are different shades of the same color)
  • A clear visual of where your artwork is going to be placed on your product and what colors are being used. A detailed description of the position can include measurement locations. (if necessary) 
  • A close up of your pattern in each colorway. (if necessary)

If your colorways are quite complex you may need to add extra information or imagery to properly communicate your designs to your manufacturer or supplier. 

Do I need colorways in my tech pack?

Colorways are optional, especially for smaller businesses. If you are producing small amounts of products then colorways may not be necessary. Changing your designs and colors seasonally may be enough.

Even if you only require one color combination per design it is still important to include a simplified version of this document. Similar things such as artwork placement, pattern design, trade drawing, swatches and color details still need to be covered but just for the individual design.

Check out out article on creating a tech pack to learn more and start designing today.

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