The Art and Science of Lure Color Design – Esa’s Story 

In the world of fishing, the right lure can make all the difference. But have you ever wondered how the colors of your favorite lures were designed? Meet Esa Juusola, a Lure Color Designer at Rapala, who shares his creative process and insights into the art and science of designing the perfect color for a Rapala lure.

Innovation, People | 3 min read

What does a Lure Color Designer Do? 

I oversee the appearance of the Rapala lures. I strive to constantly develop innovative techniques and ways of making more durable, beautiful, and fish-catching lures. 

My work tasks include drafting, graphical design and collaborating with our lure designers. I see a lure as a multi-dimensional canvas. Lure’s shape, structure and coatings affect the color choices and final outlook of the product. 

Therefore, the color aspects are considered from the beginning of the product design process. Often the smallest details are what make the product phenomenal. 

Can you walk us through your process for selecting and incorporating colors in a project?  

The process of developing new colorways can move forward in many ways, depending on the project. I constantly work on finding new colors and ways of producing them, but naturally some of them never make it into production. Color design like this is closer to R&D style development – sometimes great innovations are discovered and implemented on new lure designs. 

In a nutshell: a project starts with defining the target species and area of use for the lure. 
The next step is deciding a selection of colors that will be produced. After that we develop them to fit the shape and structure of the lure perfectly. 

As an angler I know which elements a good fishing lure needs to have. So, for me it’s about merging this knowledge with the artistic vision to create as good product as possible. 

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right balance between art and function – but when the balance is found, the result is an extremely efficient lure that looks fantastic. During the design process, we go through a series of test with different options before deciding on a winner.  

How do you know which colors fish like? 

If I had the perfect answer to this, then fishing would be too easy. One day a color can work like magic, the next it can be the worst option in your tackle box. This might be one of the reasons I find designing lure colors so interesting. There’s no Holy Grail of color designs.  

Give a tip to anglers: how to choose which color to use?  

This is a question I get asked alot. You could write an extensive study about this. In theory, there are some basic guidelines, but they are just that – guidelines. In practice situations and surroundings change all the time. 

Without any additional knowledge of the species and water system I would start with as natural color as possible. One of the most popular Rapala colorways around the world is Silver (S) which is a safe choice for the most situations and species.  

If you were a Rapala lure, which one would you be?

I’ve put my heart and brain into developing the colors to our Elite series, which I am immensely proud of. That’s why I would be the CountDown® Elite. Especially the 55 version, because it has performed extremely well in Lapland for fishing running waters.