What is your favourite colour? When people ask me that, I will always answer; “Black.” I know some people say that black is not a colour, but I don’t care. From head to toe, my stuff is coloured with black. If people ask; “why black?” I’d say, “I feel comfortable with black.” And it’s true. I feel like I’m flowing with energy every time I wear black so I wear everything black almost every day. This tendency of wearing black has become my identity over time. People in my groups or my co-workers know me as ‘the gothic chic’ or ‘the black witch.’ Like I said, this is not about a colour anymore, this is more about identity and how that colour shapes you into a person you consistently are and that colour is what people recognise from you. This got me thinking; as someone who works at a creative agency that provides services for business owners, I often help my friends from the web design team with colour inspirations that can represent the clients’ business identity. Even though the clients already have their own identity colour, of course we still have to make variety of that colour without being out of character. Why? That’s because the proper set of colour palette is important for the business identity. Not only can this shape the business identity, this can also increase consistent brand awareness. For the past few years, our company has helped clients’ businesses find ‘their colour.’ How do we do that? Well, let me give you a warning; don’t be surprised. My friends and I in the company are always inspired by Sherwin-Williams colour palette. I know this sounds kind of absurd since Sherwin-Williams is basically a company in general building materials industry, but after reading this article, trust me, it will all make sense. Therefore, please keep reading to find out!
Sherwin-Williams Company is an American Fortune 500 company in the general building materials industry manufacturing, distributing and selling paints, coatings and many other related products to industrial, professional, commercial and retail customers. The company operates more than 3,000 stores in the United States, Canada, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. I’m not writing this to promote Sherwin-Williams, but I got to admit, they are really colour specialists – let me just tell you that. Why? With over 1,500 collections of paint colours and colour palettes, they really know colour and how to make it flow through every project. Also, they make colour forecasts based on imagery and the meaning of the colours flowed in selection of themes which represent “the free thinkers.” Imagery-based decisions are often stronger than text-based because that visual story is often seen first by our eyes and the text comes later. Colours help bring stories alive. Colours bring business identity alive and actualised. That is how we learn from Sherwin-Williams’ colours.
In 2019, Sherwin-Williams released another set of colour palettes with several themes. According to Sue Wadden, director of colour marketing at Sherwin-Williams, her team approached each colour in their colour forecast as a unique personality that when it is used on its own or combined, it can tell a story. Humans are born with different kinds of personalities and colours are also a personality. By thinking about each palette as a person, they assigned attributes that could inform decisions by business owners or consumers. And guess what, your business can find inspirations from that too, be it for your business brand identity or for your website design! So, what is the 2019 colour forecast by Sherwin-Williams that you can learn from? Let’s check it out below!
Timeless traditions and nostalgia are what shape this palette theme. According to Wadden, Aficionado evokes an emotion of what’s best-in-life, well-worn and bespoke. It is ostentatious but without being fake or showy, and has the right amount of charm. This colour palette theme is ‘timeless’, denoting classic but not old-school and modern but not too trendy. Rich and deep colours that include copper and gold ground the merlot and grey. This colour palette is suitable for the identity of companies like law firms, book stores, or boutiques.
This palette was originally inspired by the healing energy of spirituality and the cosmos. Coupled with majestic blues from deep oceans to the galaxy, rooted by strong geometrics and clean lines, everything about shapeshifter is mystical but modern at the same time. Wadden denotes this palette as the atmospheric wisps of colour, grounded by deep, mysterious blues capture the unique space between technology and spirituality. This colour palette works well with businesses like hotels, psychiatric clinics, fashion boutiques, salons, or beauty spa destinations.
Wadden explained that the Wanderer palette is sun-washed and warm. It brings you to a modern desert made of one-part cowboy, one-part Scandinavian style the produces a luxurious atmosphere. This colour palette gives you a sense of adventure. With subtle earthy colours such as clay, caramel and browns, this colour palette combines adventures with modern desert aesthetic which may be suitable for interior design companies, rustic-themed restaurants, furniture companies, or beauty clinics.
Enthusiast colour palette theme is intended for those with free-spirited minds – the free thinkers. This is for those who don’t know the meaning of less is more – those who know no limit. This palette was inspired by artistic expression and confidence, taking ‘maximalism’ into the next level and pushing the boundaries with colour. The mix of rich blues, lush greens, reds and golds are suitable for those who are not afraid to experiment with colours – like antique stores, art galleries, traditional restaurants, art stores, souvenir shops, or modern art museums.
Your business needs your own trademark colours that identify your brand and differentiate your brand from other brands in the same industry. It becomes your colour and identity. For that reason, when you think about the colours for your brand and your business website, make sure you adjust it to your business type and values, so that people can understand more about your brand as a whole.