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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Dec 5, 2023 8:00 AM

Exploring the World of Color with Sherwin-Williams

In the world of architecture, construction, and design, color plays a significant role. It can transform spaces, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impression. To gain insight into the fascinating world of color trends and their impact on various industries, we recently interviewed Brynn Wildenauer, Architectural Color Designer, from Sherwin-Williams' Design House. In this blog post, we'll delve into the key takeaways from our conversation, shedding light on how Sherwin-Williams is shaping the future of color.

Understanding Sherwin-Williams' Perspective on Color

new_SW_socialmod_chipsSherwin-Williams, the leader in the coil coatings industry, recognizes the importance of color in architecture and construction. Their goal is to create joint content that educates and inspires stakeholders at every level of the supply chain, from architects and contractors to end-users like residential and building owners. 

Brynn Wildenauer, as an Architectural Color Designer, highlighted their critical role in educating and guiding stakeholders about the significance of color. She explained that architects often have a visionary approach, and Sherwin-Williams aims to meet their needs. Simultaneously, they work with manufacturers and contractors, ensuring that color palettes align with regional and market preferences.

"We're trying to inspire and encourage people to think more creatively and kind of push the boundaries of our available color options."

Color Trend Forecasting

Color trends are ever-evolving and influenced by various factors, including technology, sustainability, and societal changes. 

Sherwin-Williams follows a multi-step process to identify these trends:

  1. Mega Trends: Examining global trends, such as technological advancements and sustainability.
  2. Macro Trends: Identifying visionary concepts within these megatrends.
  3. Micro Trends: Observing how these concepts impact specific industries, like the building products market.

The goal is to distill complex concepts into colors that resonate with different industries and regions. For instance, the sustainability trend might manifest as shades of blue and green in architectural colors. Sherwin-Williams aims to provide a broad color palette that appeals to consumers while staying ahead of the rapidly changing customer color preference curve.

Brynn says, "We need to push the industry to be a little bit different, and there are so many options out there; we need to take advantage of it."

Exploring Current Color Trends

During the interview, several color trends were discussed:

  1. Neutrals: Light neutrals are warming up, moving from cool whites to softer, more inviting tones.
  2. Metallics: High sparkle coatings are transitioning to satin finishes, offering a more natural appearance.
  3. Dark Tones: Colors like navy and dark green are gaining popularity, often adapting to neutral palettes.
  4. Texture: There's a growing interest in texturized finishes, providing depth and character to coatings.

Interestingly, these trends apply to exterior surfaces and interior spaces, creating a cohesive look for modern buildings.

Challenges in Color Development

Creating colors for architectural applications is a meticulous process. While Sherwin-Williams can produce thousands of color matches, specific color spaces may have limitations due to pigments and durability factors. For example, reds can be challenging, and blacks fade faster than lighter colors.

The Role of the Design House

Sherwin-Williams' Design House, located in Minneapolis, is a pivotal resource for color development and consultation. They collaborate with various businesses, from building products to appliances and tractors to automotive and wood coatings. Their services span from creating entirely new color palettes to tweaking existing ones tailored to each customer's unique requirements.

"We're here as a resource to help and kind of guide that conversation because it's a little daunting to do all the research on your own."

Quality Assurance

Sherwin-Williams is dedicated to maintaining consistent quality across its color offerings. They employ rigorous testing, including outdoor exposure testing in Florida, to ensure that colors meet aesthetic expectations and remain durable and fade-resistant for decades.

Additional Resources

Roofing Passport is a valuable tool in Sherwin-Williams' arsenal, designed to provide users with an automated program that enables project estimation in one click.

MetalVue is a residentially focused suite of services that can be marketed through the customer/value chain, including distributors, contractors, and even installers.

Sherwin-Williams offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and webinars for those interested in learning more about color. These resources are designed to educate architects, contractors, and other stakeholders about the industry's latest color trends and developments.

Final Thoughts

Color is a powerful tool that can transform the look and feel of architectural spaces. Through its Design House and extensive expertise, Sherwin-Williams is at the forefront of shaping color trends and ensuring that stakeholders across the industry have access to the latest innovations in color design. Whether you're an architect, contractor, or building owner, Sherwin-Williams is a valuable resource for all your color needs, helping you create spaces that leave a lasting impression.

McElroy Metal partners with Sherwin Williams for roof and wall panel coatings. We appreciate our long-term relationship and we thank Brynn for taking the time to help our audience learn more about color!

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Metal Roofing, Substrates and Coatings, Color

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