Umbrella Diagram: 1981-2021, five decades of forecasts and CMF design


  • Clino Trini Castelli Castelli.Design



CMF design and forecasting, Iconic Colors, Syntactic Colors, Color Presence, Color Distribution


The Umbrella Diagram, developed by Clino Trini Castelli since 1978, is a fundamental tool to configure CMF design languages and forecast historical color and material trends survey. The tool, based on decades, is represented by arches instead of an evolution of a timeline. This cyclical progress proved to be premonitory of the strong changes observed between the color languages of the decades. The umbrella shape of the diagram stems from the coexistence of large arches (historical trends) with smaller arches (fashion trends), frequently in conflict. Castelli first turned to the past of the 70s, 60s and 50s, testing his format backwards based on what was already observed. He then applied the same principles and parameters, looking rather at the 1980s and, till today, to the other four upcoming decades. The Umbrella Diagram was conceived as a proprietary tool of Castelli Design and reserved for his international customers and educational activities.

Author Biography

Clino Trini Castelli, Castelli.Design

Clino Trini Castelli (b. 1944) designer, artist and design theorist lives and works in Milan. Internationally known for CMF design (Color, Material and Finishes) of which he was the initiator, Castelli introduced the "No-form" renewal of plastic languages applied to industrial products through the tools of Design Primario. As opposed to traditional compositional methods, Clino Trini Castelli has focused on the design of the more intangible aspects of figuration, like color and material, light and sound, emphasizing the virtues of a sensorial approach to art and design. Since the early 1970s this has made him a pioneer in research on the emotional identity of products in the industrial sector. His work has received important European, American and Japanese prizes, including two ADI Compasso d’Oro awards.


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How to Cite

Trini Castelli, C. (2021) “Umbrella Diagram: 1981-2021, five decades of forecasts and CMF design”, Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science, 13(02), pp. 84–90. doi: 10.23738/CCSJ.130210b.