Meet the Style: ŠKODA Color & Trim Design Team

Meet the Style: ŠKODA Color & Trim Design Team

Perfect proportions and handsome forms are the basis of every successful design. To bring out the overall impression in just the right way, however, one always needs to add just that something extra. Meet the real masters in harmonizing colors and materials.

26. 10. 2017 Škoda World INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

The team of designers known as Color & Trim stand behind the designs created and materials selected for ŠKODA cars. What are the latest trends and what are the factors influencing the decisions made by this team? And is it possible at all to envisage what is going to be trendy a few years from now?

“We get inspired by everyday life, including what combinations, colors and material textures people wear – even a tie pattern may become a source of inspiration. We read magazines and websites, follow the latest trends in architecture and fashion and visit world-class shows and exhibitions. Then we choose those impulses and pieces of information that we believe will make a perfect fit with the concept car or model concerned, i.e. items that are expected to underscore the car’s character, are trendy, are likely to retain their value and are in line with ŠKODA’s DNA. Each member of our predominantly female team is responsible for one or two types of material“, says Color & Trim Coordinator Andrea Jensen. Someone is expert in leather, someone in textile, interior paints, exterior paints, decorative strips, etc., but at the end of the day all actions taken and designs created by individual designers have to form a perfectly harmonised whole.

Andrea Jensen
Color & Trim Coordinator

“Someone is expert in leather, someone in textile, interior paints, exterior paints, decorative strips, etc., but at the end of the day all actions taken and designs created by individual designers have to form a perfectly harmonised whole.”


The responsibility for textile and Alcantara, a leather-like microfibre, lies with Kateřina Vránová and Jessica Lopez (from Spain). “Alcantara is very pleasant to touch, looks like leather and is equally expensive, because its production is complex. It is used for seats and doors in the SUPERB and KODIAQ and it is also part of some accessory configurations (higher trim levels) in other models. We draw inspiration from Nature, and we are interested in a variety of bio-textiles, such as bamboo, linen, wool and Tencel, a fabric made from wood pulp cellulose. Plus, we pay a great deal of attention to recycled polyester. Besides creating patterns for textiles to be used on future seats, we look for new upholstery options, such as incorporating natural light to the seat design and thus using it as a decorative element – to name a few examples, light can be part of seat’s edges, backlit logos or spotlights located inside the textile area. We also use fluorescent materials“.

Seen exclusively as an upholstery material so far, textile can perform some other functions, too. In thermal print solutions, for example, it can change its color at a certain temperature or sense various bodily and/or interior parameters and then provide the driver with useful data. And while today such solutions are still regarded as hot innovations, a few years from now they may be seen as ordinary interior items, and not only in cars.

Jessica Lopez
Kateřina Vránová


Debora Poussif from Argentina is responsible for designing and selecting materials for surface decors. Examples of materials currently considered trendy include, among others, aluminium, wood and carbon. For the sake of inspiration, some of the suppliers have provided Debora with samples made on a 3D printer – small sample plates made of glass, aluminium, woodchips and plastic are lying on her desk. Models in which light flows over various juts and protrusions and then goes through the material structure look absolutely miraculous.


“Some special features only stand out at night time, for example interior LED backlight, and then the same vehicle will look different at daytime and in darkness,“ says Debora and goes on to say that: “Panels that light up on touch are exciting. This is a great game. New materials are not just nice to look at – for example, materials with aluminium or fabric look are very pleasant to touch, they actually entice the user to touch them. This tactile effect adds a special value to the surface.”

Debora Poussif


Leather parts and interior paints are Markéta Kalíková’s bread and butter. “I look for inspiration mainly at exhibitions, and I keep learning. Lineapelle, an international show that travels the world, is highly important, because it is attended by big leather producers and the main focus is on fashion. I use this event to look for the best in the automotive world“, says Markéta, smiling, and then she shares her recollections of the Alcantara production process that she saw in Italy.

Markéta Kalíková

“I like sporty things. I play with materials, trying to find the right expression. The current trends include perforated, intertwined, quilted and stitched leather. There are many designs, but only a small fraction of them get as far as the production stage“, says Markéta whose most recent concept products include, among others, a retro-designed, ivory-colored seat for the KAROQ with an embroidered historical logo of ŠKODA. In ŠKODA vehicles leather is used primarily for seats, armrests and the “Small Leather Package” (steering wheel cover, gear stick knob and handbrake grip).


Věra Vasická is responsible for exterior paints. The latest trends in exterior paints include a variety of new effects and nanotechnologies. Modern effects are mainly about big, radiant crystals, either monochromatic or featuring the whole diamond color spectrum. Innovations also include metallic effects such as silver with copper, bronze, bright fine gold, etc.

Exterior paints

Věra Vasická

“We keep striving to enhance the matt clear coat for series production cars to underscore the luxurious impression given to the car by the matt paint. One of the latest trends is to use nanotechnology for reducing the degree to which the paint heats up in the sun and/or to which it can be damaged by scratching, etc., and we keep testing some easy-maintenance designs, i.e. “non-soiling solutions“, says Věra Vasická.

“When designing new exterior paints, we agree on and then stick to a particular color-and-effect direction that we believe will underscore the car’s character. The biggest amount of freedom comes with colors designed for show cars, such as the gold-and-grey VISION E and the green-and-gold VISION S. In the series production context we need to arrive at the best possible compromise, taking into account the available technologies and the given technical parameters. We have to adapt the color accordingly and choose a tone to guarantee long-term quality. Using some of the currently trendy bright crystalline effects, we have developed Velvet Red, a series-production metallic paint to be used across all ŠKODA models.“


Věra Dudychová

Věra Dudychová follows new trends in carpet and ceiling solutions. Věra mainly draws inspiration from home products. “The driver’s comfort is the top priority for me. It’s the same as at home, a soft carpet is a great thing. However, the materials used to produce such products are often expensive, and they therefore tend to find their place in accessory portfolios rather than series production ones“, says Věra while showing us the latest ceiling upholstery and carpet sample books. Again, fine plastic patterns breaking the compact surface of the fabric represent the latest trends.

svetelny_efekt_u_very_dudychoveDetail of a luminescence effect

“Textile reliefs are done by laser or by embossing. And light can create exciting details, particularly on ceilings“, says Věra while reaching out for a ceiling upholstery sample with a fluorescent layer. Then she starts doing magic tricks with a laser pointer. Children would love that – an exciting drawing experience during a long night-time holiday trip! Well, the drawings disappear in a few seconds, but it’s a great adventure, anyway!


The responsibility for developing designs for plastic parts and leatherettes lies with Lada Dlabolová. A sample book with tens of color tones is lying on her desk. Lada’s ambition is to make vehicle interiors more colorful, and she uses the book to choose exciting combinations. “The parts have to be practical, pleasant to touch and environmentally friendly. Besides developing new materials, the industry places a great deal of focus on the existing ones – these materials are further developed to become environmentally friendly. The latest trends include, among others, metallic materials and carbon, and designers combine various structures and liven up car interiors with plastics featuring 3D-effect, both visual and plastic. Reliefs are also used on leatherettes – generally, this product is under constant development, and the market keeps coming up with new leather imitations and alternatives.

Lada Dlabolová

ŠKODA Design: Color & Trim

As the product development process unfolds, the initial design goes through gradual changes, including measures taken to improve the car’s economy, and that poses new challenges - automotive designers are required to find the right compromise between practicality and aesthetics.

The harmony between materials and colors is visualised by means of software applications, using small boxes and vehicle segments in which the designers can change and modify individual components.


“Visualisation tools are very important. With virtual reality in place, we can sit into the car and see what the newly designed interior materials and color combinations actually look like. All these tools help us achieve good results“, says Color & Trim Coordinator Andrea Jensen.

The impulses for choosing particular colors and materials are primarily influenced by current trends and/or trends for the coming years. Perceptiveness and a feel for detail are important, and every designer should have some vision to help them imagine what a car that is to be launched several years later will actually look like. It is often fascinating to see that a shape can be born and gradually developed and eventually “hit the bull’s eye”, although its development has taken several years.

Miloš Nesvadba, the only man in this woman’s world, acts as a kind of team administrator: “My female colleagues develop and prepare colors and materials and I classify the ones that are eventually selected with codes and numbers and draft specifications. I am the team’s bureaucrat!”, says Miloš, laughing.


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