Outstanding design: Automotive colour by BASF recognised with renowned Red Dot Award

26 June 2024

The colour Zenomenon, designed by BASF’s Coatings division, was the only automotive paint to be honoured this year at the Red Dot Award: Product Design, one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world. The innovative technology and the special aesthetics of the coating have impressed the experts on the Red Dot jury in the “Materials and Surfaces” category.

Zenomenon’s coating formulation is based on polymer structures developed by the cooperation partner Cypris Materials from California. Instead of classic pigments, special polymer structures with a high proportion of renewable materials are used. This way, the colour represents a more sustainable alternative in the area of surface aesthetics for automotive coatings. The result is a unique colour effect that arises from self-assembled layered structures, reflecting light in the visible spectrum with a flop effect. This gives the surface of the paint layer a shimmering, strikingly iridescent shine. With a view to future mobility, these polymers are also suitable for LIDAR or radar sensor systems.


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“Being awarded a Red Dot in product design is a very special honour for us – especially as a chemical company. The award underlines our design and technology expertise – and the trust in innovative solutions that our customers in the automotive industry place in us,” said Mark Gutjahr, Global Head of Automotive Color Design at BASF.

At the Red Dot Design Award, all submissions are assessed based on the four basic principles of good design: the quality of function, the quality of seduction, the quality of use and the quality of responsibility. “The development of Zenomenon is remarkably future-oriented. In particular, the interplay of aesthetics, sustainability and functionality is fascinating”, said the independent Red Dot jury.

All award-winning products, including an exhibit painted with Zenomenon, will be on display until May 2025 as part of the winners’ exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein in Essen, Germany.

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