PASSION FOR COLOURS SINCE 1851
A conversation with Creative Director, Cenk Kivrikoglu
At Gabriel, the art and craft of colours run in our veins and have done so for 170 years. When Gabriel was established in 1851, the textile mill housed a dye house operated by skilled dyers with expert knowledge on colours, formulas, and application. Today 170 years later, dyes and colour design are still valued skills at Gabriel, and our inhouse designers compose beautiful colours and colour schemes that set Gabriel fabrics and collections apart.
A talk about colour design
For our Creative Director, Cenk Kivrikoglu, colour design is a craft and an art form that require intuition, creativity, ingenuity, and knowledge. We joined him for a talk about his approach to colour design, how colours and colour schemes are composed, and about the defining characteristics of Gabriel colours.
- 17 years at Gabriel and years of experience as a self-employed designer and artistic director for the textile and furniture industry.
- Specialised in weaving, materials, and colours with focus on design and development of textile collections for furnishings, curtains, floorings, and wall covering.
- Master in Textile Design from Ecole nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La ‘Cambre’, Brussels, Belgium.
- Teacher at the Textile Design Department at La Cambre Visual Arts Academy in Brussels and at KASK – School of Arts in Gent.
Fusing intuition and data
At Gabriel, the process of developing colours is based on the combination of two equally important factors: Intuition and data. “Intuition is the human factor - the designer’s creativity, a spark of an idea, a feeling. Data, on the other hand, is all the knowledge we have. Of markets, demands, and of our customers. Combining the two creates a solid foundation for the development of colours that define spaces and furniture.”
An act of imagination
Specialist know-how and knowledge of dyes, textures, and materials guide the development process of each single colour and colour scale, but it is also an act of imagination. “The process requires that you are able to imagine how the colours will interact with the fabric material, envision how it will work in a specific context and space, for a specific furniture design and application; how it will connect with different objects and surface materials. To create a successful colour design, you have to be able to envision all that – and more.”
“Gabriel colours are poetic and dynamic. Dynamic means that Gabriel colours are highly chromatic, they attract attention and significantly affect the look of surfaces and spaces.”
Interplay of colour and material
Behind every single Gabriel colour lies a time-consuming development process and multiple attempts to adapt the colour vision to the fabric material to ensure that the colour highlights the fabric – and vice versa. “It is impossible to think about colour without thinking about material, just as it is impossible to think about material without thinking about colour. The two elements are intertwined, impossible to separate, and mutually dependent. At Gabriel, we have the specialist knowledge to adapt the idea of the colour to the material. We know exactly how specific colours react to specific materials, and we know how to adapt the colour vision to the material in order to create the exact colour we want.”
Colours create user value
User value and the interplay between colour, product, and user is an important focal point for the development of colours at Gabriel. “We want to compose colours that create a connection with the users and build a bridge between product and user. The colours that we develop have to be easy to integrate into different spaces, into different contexts, and complement a variety of furniture designs. It is important that our customers can easily envisage the colours on their specific furniture and in the spaces in which their furniture will be put to use.”
“At Gabriel, we are always looking ahead, predicting the colours of the future and transforming trends into new shades and tones to meet market demands.”
Zeitgeist & feel-good factor
A poetic dimension and longevity are some of the defining characteristics of Gabriel colours and colour schemes. “We always strive to create colours that are long-lasting and remain relevant for years but at the same time catch the zeitgeist, express personality, creativity, and innovation. Gabriel colours are poetic and dynamic, send out positive vibes, have a strong feel-good factor, and create a sense of quality.