Signage with stopping power

A universally applicable signage system for Cromax

September 18, 2014

Following the global rebranding of DuPont Performance Coatings into Axalta Coating Systems, KAN has designed an internal and external signage system for the training centers, importers, distributors and retail network of Cromax® (the refinish brand formerly known as DuPont Refinish).  


Cromax®, formerly known as DuPont Refinish, has been a client of KAN Design & Brand Management for over two decades. Worldwide, it is one of the top refinish brands delivering products and colour systems that – together with a vast level of experience – are delivered to refinishers via a network of importers and distributors. In 2013, the brand was part of a global rebranding exercise; its parent company DuPont Performance Coatings was renamed Axalta Coating Systems and the brand DuPont Refinish (which focuses on the refinish market) was renamed Cromax®. The new visual identity of Axalta and Cromax® was developed by FutureBrand in the US and KAN was put in charge of the brand’s roll out in EMEA.

A thorough rebranding means that many brand touch points must be reviewed, including, in this case, the internal and external signage. At the request of Cromax®, KAN designed a custom signage system that is universally applicable. First, for the Cromax® training centers, where refinishers and bodyshop employees attend training courses, and secondly, for the importers and distributors who distribute the brand’s products and services. And last but not least, for the bodyshops themselves.


This project is a good example of how our internal graphic designers and product developers work together as a tight project team to see this multi-disciplinary project come to fruition. They developed a made-to-measure modular system for internal and external signage. Different requirements had to be taken into account, from branding, brand architecture and the context within which the design had to function, to the smallest technical and graphic details that play an important part of such an assignment. All this to ensure high visibility and continuity of the Cromax® brand.


For the design of the external signage, the focus was on stopping power, coupled with clear brand architecture: seamless integration of the various loyalty programmes, the possibility of customisation for the distributor, the importer and the bodyshop, while in keeping with the overall Cromax® look and feel. And all this in a sleek, modern but also timeless design.


The internal signage of the Cromax® training centers was designed in such a way as to follow the path of the different visitors. The signage is part of the architecture of the building in an almost organic way but still delivers added-value in terms of branding. It also offers extra information that Cromax® wishes to give to its visitors in the context of their training center. The modular aspect of the system guarantees a durable solution with the future in mind. Parts can be replaced in no time and with limited cost. Screens and other digital gadgets can, in the short or long term, be integrated into the signage system.


With this project, KAN delivered not only the design but also a specification sheet with the complete guidelines for the new Cromax® system, as well as graphic guidelines and production specifications. These work in combination to allow Cromax® to entrust the production of the signage to producers in other countries. The training center in Mechelen is the pilot project that will serve as the standard for the international rollout. Cromax® has recently opened a new training centre in Welwyn Garden City, in the UK, and here too, KAN had the privilege of designing the internal signage of the new building.