What is a CMF Document?

A industrial design 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. 

Creating Inspiring Products with CMF Design: An Essential Guide

Welcome to ANDesign Lab, a leading design studio dedicated to creating innovative and captivating products through the art of CMF design. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fascinating world of CMF (Color, Material, and Finish) and its crucial role in industrial design. Join us as we delve into the importance of a CMF document and how it can transform your product into an inspiring masterpiece.

1.    The Power of CMF Design:

CMF design encompasses strategically selecting and applying colours, materials and finishes to enhance a product’s aesthetic appeal, functionality, and brand identity. It is pivotal in capturing consumers’ attention, creating emotional connections, and elevating the user experience. At ANDesign Lab, we understand that the right combination of colours, textures, and finishes can transform a product from ordinary to extraordinary.

2.    Crafting a CMF Document:

A CMF document is a comprehensive blueprint that guides the CMF design process. It is a communication tool between designers, engineers, and manufacturers, ensuring a unified vision and seamless execution. Our team at ANDesign Lab meticulously crafts CMF documents, which outline each product component’s specific colours, materials, and finishes. From vibrant hues to tactile surfaces, every detail is carefully considered to create a cohesive and visually striking end result.

3.    Strategic Color Selection:

Colours can evoke emotions, convey messages, and establish brand identity. Our CMF experts meticulously analyse market trends, target demographics, and cultural influences to determine your product’s most suitable colour palette. Whether bold and vibrant shades to captivate a younger audience or elegant and muted tones to convey sophistication, our team ensures that the colour selection aligns seamlessly with your product’s purpose and intended user experience.

4.    Materials that Inspire:

Materials not only provide functionality but also contribute to the tactile experience and perceived value of a product. ANDesign Lab collaborates with trusted suppliers and manufacturers to source the finest materials, ranging from sustainable options to cutting-edge composites. By carefully considering factors such as durability, texture, and environmental impact, we help you select materials that enhance your product’s quality and desirability.

Finish with Finesse:

The finish of a product can make all the difference in its visual appeal and perceived quality. Whether it’s a glossy surface that exudes modernity, a matte finish that imparts elegance, or a textured treatment that adds depth, our CMF designers choose the perfect finishes that complement your product’s design language. Through meticulous attention to detail, we ensure that every finish reflects your brand’s identity and resonates with your target audience.

As pioneers in CMF design, ANDesign Lab is committed to helping businesses and entrepreneurs bring their product visions to life. By leveraging the power of colours, materials, and finishes, we create captivating products that inspire, delight, and leave a lasting impact. Contact us today to collaborate with our team of experts and embark on an exciting journey of CMF design excellence. Together, let’s transform your ideas into extraordinary realities.

Learn More about Pre Production here