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Shape + Color

Liz Whipple

Posted on May 15 2020

 

Exploring colors and patterns is a critical and creative part of our design process. The look of an acetate, whether it's bright, subtle, solid, or transparent, is just as important as the shape of a frame to the overall effect of a pair of glasses. 



Steeplechase in Canary, Sunspot, Crystal and Blush

We often begin with a concept for a color palette, finding inspiration in film, architecture, nature, and anywhere else we can imagine. Next, we take our ideas to the materials library. Our materials library is an enormous collection of color samples, and can take days to go through. Between our two main suppliers, Mazzucchelli in Italy and Takiron in Japan, there are thousands of available acetates. 

Just a few of our many, many acetate samples

 

Next, we take a look at the shapes we're working with. We cut samples to get a feel for the thickness and form of each frame: qualities that play an important role in selecting an acetate colorway. Our small size and streamlined production allows us to play around and experiment with unusual acetate and lens color combinations: being able to run tests like these is one of the many benefits of manufacturing in house.
 
After our first round of samples, we usually have a rough color palette built out for each frame. It's not a linear process, and after seeing the frames cut out, we often go back, try new colors, and revise.

Once we have a palette, we create real samples in each color. We'll produce small batches of each colorway to make sure that it's a good fit, not only for the individual frame but for our collection as a whole. Once the new colors are finalized, it’s time to put them into production.
 
Roseland in Mint, Powder, and Peach


There are many advantages of being a small, in-house manufacturer. Not only do we have flexibility and production capacity that allow us to quickly develop and test new colorways, but we also offer unique small-batch frames. Occasionally we find a new acetate that feels particularly special, which we will use for a small release, like we did with 3sixteen. 
Lowercase X 3sixteen

Lowercase specializes in limited edition runs: colors that we produce only once. Working with our acetate suppliers, we often select dead stock pieces of acetate that have been discontinued. Our Limited Edition frames are individually numbered and stamped, making each pair truly one of a kind. 
 

 Marlton Limited Optical in Oxblood

 

 

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