Interview with Sahra Lysell, Ørgreen’s Senior Color Designer

When Sahra Lysell was hired by Ørgreen twenty years from now, the Copenhagen-based eyewear company had just started experimenting with color. Today, she works as a full-time Senior Color Designer. We had the chance to meet her in an interview during which she told us more about her incredible job.

Can you tell us what your job is about?

I work as part of the design team as a Color Designer and my job is all about colors! I come up with the color schemes and the combination of shades that we use to make our colored frames.

How seriously does Ørgreen take the subject of color?
Sahra Lysell Ørgreen's color designer

Sahra Lysell

Very seriously! A couple of decades from now in Scandinavia, most eyewear for guys was either very classic or totally crazy. At that time, Ørgreen decided to offer colored frames for men who were looking for something a bit more interesting than a pair of tortoiseshell specs but weren’t quite willing to go the whole Elton John way! Run by a bunch of friends with little experience in the field but a huge amount of enthusiasm and style, one can say that Ørgreen established themselves as Scandinavia’s first sunglasses and optical brand thanks to color.
Where do you get your inspiration from as a Color Designer?

Everywhere! For me, color is emotion. So the starting point is more internal. Design and color are part of our daily life and society. For that reason, you can take inspiration from anything ranging from a stroll in the narrow alleys of Copenhagen with their colorful houses, to a film or the colors decorating a Mexican graveyard for example. But I always keep in mind that the longevity of our glasses is crucial. Considering the high quality and cost of Ørgreen spectacles, I am careful not to get too involved in fashion trends and prefer to rely on my instinct and my deep knowledge of the market.

Equipment for Ørgreen's color designer
How would you explain the global success of Ørgreen?
Rounds glasses made with acetate by Ørgreen

Ørgreen’s eyeglasses – Daniel frame

Ørgreen takes into consideration the cultural differences across the world when designing their glasses and that is the reason why their market is truly international. For example, for the Chinese market we choose to work with a gold that has a hint of red, in reference to the Chinese imperial history. On the other hand Scandinavians prefer a whiter gold. In addition to those cultural differences, skin tones are also taken into consideration when designing a range of colors. Glasses are now seen to actually enhance beauty and may even replace makeup to emphasize the eyes. Actually, the makeup world sometimes inspires me!

After the design stage comes in the conception stage, right?

Yes, this stage is more technical than the design stage but it is also the most exciting one! Each frame goes through up to 100 separate processes before completion to produce results beyond reproach. Ørgreen titanium frames are individually hand-painted with durable paints that comply with multiple legal and environmental regulations. Moreover, we work alongside with the best factories so that the final painting reaches the same very high standard from the first process to the very last one.

Equipment for frames's color designed by Ørgreen

What is your role during the conception stage?

I work very closely with our factories and can keep a sharp eye on the creation of every pair of glasses. My collaborators are always very patient and they are used to being sent a striped feather or a Christmas bauble with my instructions to turn those colors into reality. They surely think that I am the most annoying woman on the planet; but in the end, the results are great.

Design and colored sunglasses by Ørgreen

Ørgreen’s sunglasses – Eero

What can we expect from Ørgreen for the years ahead?
The offer of a colorful life to its wearers! The company’s success has very much been based on titanium frames but we have recently started working with the more classic acetate and this has opened up a whole world of new possibilities for color schemes and combinations.
On a more futuristic note Ørgreen’s Quantum collection is made through 3-D printing. This cutting edge technology allows for the creation of polyamide frames combined with titanium branches. I cannot wait to play with all these new materials!
Ørgreen's eyesglasses produced with a 3D printer, Quantum collection

Ørgreen’s eyesglasses – Quantum 2.03

Ørgreen's eyesglasses with branches of titanium, Quantum collection

Ørgreen’s eyesglasses – Quantum 2.07


Photo credit : Ørgreen

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