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GLOBAL – The Nokia N8 is a colourful creature, and will see its aluminium shell launching in a collection of handsome shades. You’ll be able to pick your flavour, with a choice of bright orange, green and blue tones, balanced by more classical light aluminium and dark grey colours. But which colour do you feel best suits your character? Submit your vote below and click through to read on and get insights from top Nokia designers on the colours that were chosen for the Nokia N8.

Little did we know that so much went into picking a colour palette for a device – it’s not nearly as one-dimensional a process you might imagine. It turns out that creating a collection of colours requires a whole lot of research, design expertise and understanding of core construction materials in order to achieve the best and most arresting effects.

We caught up with Pinja Rouger, Senior Designer for Colours and Materials, and Axel Meyer, Head of Design for Nseries, to get their insights on choosing colours for a device and the shades available for the Nokia N8.

Pinja gave us a little background on the design process of choosing colours, and enlightened us to the fact that different countries and even regions have unique colour preferences:

“To define the right colours for a product is quite a long process. What we do internally is understand different regions of the world and what colour preferences each country or area has. From that we build quite a wide palette, and we start testing on what material the colour looks best – aluminium for example, and how does it feel. We’ll take colour samples to different kinds of people and ask how do people like it, and see what colours are preferred. And of course we can do quite large studies as well. So we can give enough options for a global product and ensure there’s something there for everyone.”

Choosing aluminium enabled the design team to present the five colours in a way that maintained the metallic and robust feel of the Nokia N8, as granted by the material.

“Aluminium as a material gives us the possibility to make the most out of colours. That inspired us to bring bright colours in. With aluminium what you can do is you anodise in this oxidation process, so you can bring colour into the metal without actually hiding the metal, so it still looks like metal.”

As for the colours, Pinja provides some insight into why they were chosen.

“The light metal colour comes from the aluminium itself. So the main structure is aluminium and this is the natural colour of it, so that’s something we found very beautiful when finding the nice smooth finish on it. We wanted to have that as well as the colours. It’s also a really classical choice. As a balance for the light one we have the dark one. Here we studied quite different shades of grey and shades of black and in the end ended up going with this dark grey tone which is not fully black – it helps balances the whole range of colours with both shades offering more classical tones and options of light and dark. For the brighter colours we have these three colours. Starting with the orange, with this colour we wanted to bring some warmth to the colour palette and give a fresh orange tone that is still sophisticated and looks high quality. We also looked into what colours work well on this material and this finish [anodised aluminium]. We have the bright blue, which is more of a cool tone, that feels quite young and fun as well. And last but not least the green, which is really the freshest tone in the palette that also brings something a bit more extreme to the colour range. It’s making the options a little bit more fun and enables everyone to have something personal to pick.”

Speaking to Alex Meyer, Head of design for Nseries, he also explained how the colours of the Nokia N8 could achieve other smart theme effects.

“We wanted to think that in the case of N8 having the possibilities of using aluminium would allow us to blend the physical with the digital, and work also so each of the N8s will come with a theme that is blended with the colour of the device… I think it’s really super nice to bring some colours that reflect people’s spirits and express who they are.”

Let us know which colour you chose by voting in our reader poll above, and let us know why you picked the shade you did in the comments section below.