Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FAQ: Why does LEGO use so many messy colors for parts?

Q: Why does LEGO use so many messy colors for parts?

  • A: Many LEGO fans, myself included, find the multi-colored messes of Technic sub-frames, interior and back-of-model builds to be just that, messes, and quite undesirable.  However, LEGO has previously made it clear that what causes these messes is a very intentional, strictly-enforced design policy regarding ease of building.  In a pile of random parts, friction pins, frictionless pins, friction axle-pins, frictionless axle-pins, and 2L axles all have extremely similar shapes and can be difficult to distinguish if they're all the same color,  LEGO developed a color-coding system specifically to combat this.  Frictionless axle-pins are always tan, while the friction versions are always blue.  2L axles are red by default, though designers can be granted exceptions on a rare case-by-case basis to use black ones if they can convince the design review committees it's absolutely crucial or if there are no black 2L pins going in the same build steps.  These are just some examples, but the policy is applied to many types of parts, even basic bricks and plates.  It's applied even more frequently & strongly with foundation assemblies that are going to be hidden (or mostly so), and also in builds targeting the youngest builders who may not yet have the patience to do much sorting & sifting. There's a method, backed by science and research, behind the mess.  Still a mess, though.

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