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Material identity

In addition to technical properties, a material also has non-technical properties. Material identity is a subject area that deals with these and other similar issues. What a material signals and how it is intended to be perceived can sometimes be even more important than its purely technical properties. For example, a mechanical watch may not perform as well as a digital watch, but its materials can still convey greater prestige.

Material identity involves the way in which we perceive a material via our senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell). Metals are often perceived as cold and shiny, while textiles are perceived as warm and matt. A material is also perceived through associations. Metals can be seen to be sterile and precise, wood can be perceived as natural and conveys associations of traditional craftsmanship, while gold implies luxury and wealth.

What should the material signal?

When working to develop new materials and packaging, material identity is just as important as technical performance. It deals with how a new material should be launched or which properties a material should be given. What determines whether a material is perceived as being "natural", cheap or modern? In which applications should the material be seen to be natural, and when should it convey a different feeling or association? Taking these and similar issues as our starting point, we work together with our customers to develop new knowledge within the field of material identity.

Kvinna med svarta glasögon som undersöker en kartong med texturerade ytor

Woman examines a box with different types of surfaces.


Siv Lindberg
+46 8 676 7162
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Mikael Lindström
+46 8 676 7433
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