In February of each year, the Sherwin-Williams color marketing trend team convenes to begin selecting the color forecast. The color and design directions for each year are the result of a concerted effort by Sherwin-Williams as their color team pours over extensive research, materials, imagery, and color samples.
Upon reaching a consensus that the chosen hues are meaningful, relevant, and validate the upcoming year’s design trends, the color story is revealed to a cadre of design professionals throughout the valley and beyond.
The 2017 palette is no less well thought out and is a welcome respite from the vintage hues, blushed neutrals, and whites of 2016. The coming year’s palette foretells of a new spirituality, feisty self-expression, and soulful nostalgia based upon global influences and respite from fast paced lives.
Night is amongst our most precious commodities, a time to unwind and recharge the spirit. This mindful melancholy is fueling a new romanticism marked by medieval patterns, renewed customs, and poignant beauty. Think rich vine ripened fruits, deep ocean blues, moody neutrals, and rich yellows.
Sustainable design and sweeping transparency are the new design standards. We’re in pursuit of an elusive ideal and acquiring luxury experiences is gaining popularity over the acquisition of physical things. Looking good is being replaced by “Doing Good” in the form of healing retreats and eco-travel. This journey is paved with hues of arctic neutrals, blush rose, and wild browns.
Our virtual and physical lives are becoming blurred as commerce takes the form of “office anywhere” collaboration. Identity has become fluid as we reinvent ourselves in response to social and political change. “You do you” is the mantra of a generation primed for self-expression, cheered on by social media influence, and tossing aside old restrictions. There’s a feisty energy to our present moment, arriving in fiery tones and vibrant, kimono colors.
Brands are becoming more purposeful as communities become more connected. Design is adapting as global migration is redefining borderlands, national identity, and our sense of coexistence. Overconsumption becomes passé as we invest in the best we can afford and then keep it forever. Global consciousness is a mural painted in earthy mustards, ocean blues, corals, and muds.
Assembling these thought provoking hues is only the beginning. With release of new color palettes each season, Sherwin-Williams sets upon the task of educating and arming its ever reaching cadre of design experts with fresh tools to specify colors for residential and commercial projects across the globe.
This year the investment in the design trade was as purposeful as the development of its color trends. After months of removing old and outdated colors and adding almost 200 new hues, Sherwin-Williams began releasing its much anticipated professional color kit. Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap is its most integrated color selection system to date.
I recently attended an event at the newest Sherwin-Williams valley store located on East Thomas Road and 42nd Street in a newly renovated former Arizona Bank Building by Ralph Haver & Associates complete with waffle ceiling and floor to ceiling windows. Within the newly renovated walls (SW7067 Cityscape and SW7037 Balanced Beige) of this historic site, Laurie Clark, Sherwin-Williams representative, dazzled us with her knowledge of each and every aspect of the thoughtful design. ColorSnap designed to complement how the designer works whether in their office, on the job site, online, or in one of Sherwin-Williams’ numerous stores does not disappoint. Allowing an intuitive and seamless transition between tools and making the art of specifying color much more fluid and quick.
Just like as in our interiors, Sherwin-Williams has set about to improve ergonomics and color wayfinding in ColorSnap’s new designer-friendly features. Each of its more than 1,500 carefully curated hues are regrouped by color family. This deliciously enhanced palette is now organized consistently across all color tools making specification fast and easy.
Less popular hues have been archived and replaced with 200 gorgeous new shades. Formulas for retired colors are still available upon requested. Besides an expansion of high-demand color families, that perfect mid-value tone has been added to all color families. My personal favorite, whites, neutrals, and subtle grays are grouped to allow for the most delicate of differences to emerge.
Besides the much expanded and revamped selection, colors are logically organized first by family and then by saturation levels. Color Names and Color Numbers have stayed the same on all existing colors with new colors beginning in the SW9000 series. Colors numbers are no longer presented sequentially within the overall palate. Instead the newer Locator Numbers have been introduced sequentially, guiding you to exactly where the color lives across all displays from fan deck to binder to store front showcase.
It goes without saying Sherwin-Williams knows its designer well. The eight tabbed binders, with clearly identified and hole-punched 4×4 color samples, make it easy to find, remove, and replace colors while keeping the palette in sequence. Laurie stressed the value of not removing the color sample but rather tear at the perforation for client presentation. She knows the design community all too well as we, although always well intended, never refile removed color samples.
Enjoy your new professional color tools and in parting, here is some interesting trivia. In 2002 the Sherwin-Williams color system, COLOR, came out with 1200+ colors all named by Linda Trent & Becky Ralich (both retired) from the Sherwin-Williams Color and Design team. These ladies passed on their color wheels and thesaurus to Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams Director of Color Marketing, who named an additional 194 colors in late 2015 that now comprise the new color system, ColorSnap. When flipping through the fanciful names think of the monumental task these ladies had in coming up with the perfect words to describe so many perfect hues.
Sherwin-Williams new ColorSnap has 1500 colors to choose from and offers professional designer tools to make selection easy. You can see all that ColorSnap has to offer at www.sherwinwilliams.com or directly at www.colorsnap.com.
What color trends are you visit web looking forward to seeing in 2017? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.