What is a CMF Document?

A CMF document is used by designers & factories to communicate the Color Material and Finish of a product, however it may distinguish other characteristics of the product as well. It is essentially a document that aims to prevent any ambiguity in design. For example, an inventor might say he wants his product to be “green”.

A designer will help that inventor decide specifically from a universally recognized color chart (such as Pantone) which green they like. Then, put that color code along with a swatch example into the CMF document.

Utilizing a CMF document helps to keep your design consistent across generations, families, and iterations of products. A CMF is best, if not an essential, practice for manufacturing. Occasionally brands will work with multiple designers. In which case ad-hoc CMF design manuals are shared between designers to ensure a coordinated identity among products.


Here’s a video of Andrew Namminga, our CEO, talking about Manufacturing pre-production, in which he briefly touches on CMF documents:


If you have any questions about CMF documents, the design process, or anything else design related feel free to contact us through our Contact Page.