Design

It seems like everywhere you look now there are notebook computers available in a myriad of bright colors and decorative patterns. Kind of reminds me of the olden days when even stodgy IBM sold mainframes and typewriters in colors. I used to own a bright red Selectric before it got lost in a move. IBM stopped offering the color option because of the enormous business complexity it drove. The current color movement seems to be primarily focused at consumer notebooks. Will the trend overtake business computing? Color can be something that is strongly connected to a brand. Imagine a John Deere tractor coming out in a color other than green? What if the Pink Panther wasn't, or if Batman wore a white suit? Some brands have celebrated color choice as a brand attribute offering new colors all the time. Apple continues to offer a rainbow of colorful iPod choices. Even Levi's offers blue jeans that aren't blue. Shame on them? ThinkPad has never really departed from classic black, with the exception of a short run special edition titanium cover on the Z series. For the record, it was real titanium, not paint. Over the years we have made matte black, gloss black, rubberized black, metallic black and even titanium sparkled black. We should get a healthy discount on black plastic and paint based on purchase volumes and long term contractual commitments. I'm sure you have all seen that a company called ColorWare will gladly take your precious ThinkPad from you, bathe it in your favorite color, and return it to you for about 400 dollars. When returned they look a lot like this.

I'm curious what Design Matters readers think about ThinkPad coming in colors other than black. Should we join the color trend or stay the course? 

David Hill

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