IMG - STIR: Jackie’s Notebook: The Creative Chaos of colormix header
Originally published in STIR®

By Jackie Jordan


Come behind the scenes with me to get a glimpse of what goes into assembling our yearly color forecast.

Every February, the Sherwin-Williams color marketing trend team convenes in a large conference room in our Cleveland, Ohio, headquarters to start work on one of our most challenging yet most rewarding projects: the yearly color forecast. We share our most significant research, deliberate over tremendous amounts of information, synthesize it into a set of well-defined concepts, then use them to validate the color and design directions for the coming months and year.

Despite the fact that it’s so dreary, overcast and frigid outside — or maybe because of it — the conference room really heats up, fueled by passionate conversation and spirited debate. Materials, imagery and color samples fairly fly around the room, as we assemble seemingly infinite arrangements. Success comes when we finally, finally — and collectively — agree which drivers affecting future design trends are meaningful, relevant and validated; that the design philosophies and sensibilities of the industries’ influencers support the drivers; and, most important, that our chosen hues are reflective of the consolidated findings behind each color story.

This year’s conversations, as they inevitably do every year, wandered in so many different directions — from outer space to under the oceans, from Africa to Brazil, from Japan to Hawaii. Research covered just about everything: architecture, community, urban development, economics, consumer behaviors, sporting events, fashion, craft, culture, change, astronomy, growth, balance, unexpected humor and serendipity. And of course photography, print, pattern, texture, materials and product design played important roles in helping to reveal the upcoming color stories.

Right now, we’re seeing four clear color and design tendencies just starting to trend that will reach their crescendo in 2015. And because, as we all know, trends are fluid — evolving and morphing over time — we’ll find several of our 2014 color forecast trends continuing to influence and develop in 2015.

As you wait for the release of colormix 2015, consider the following words and what they may tell you about the upcoming forecast: Chrysalis, Voyage, Buoyant and Unrestrained. Curious? I hope so! I also hope you’ll be on the lookout for our launch at NeoCon®. Or, better yet, please join us for a colormix event in a city near you this fall. All events will be posted on our Facebook page. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and share your color thoughts at #SWcolormix. I’d love to hear from all of you!