Color and color palette selection is often the most controversial piece of a complex project. Everyone has an opinion on color, and each person often has an association with each color based on a range of factors, including memory, heritage and even hearsay. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “I hate blue” while wearing said color . . . But for those of us who love color—a wide range of colors—and work with it every day, it is one of the most powerful design tools. Color can transform a space or element into something very different and, often, for the better.
When Sherwin Williams releases their Color Mix story for each year, only one color is named “Color of the Year.” Jackie Jordan of Sherwin Williams calls these colors the “storytellers.” She writes: “It’s a hue that evokes an emotion, depicts a mood, is emerging in new product rollouts and has endless possibilities. It’s a color that can be the hero in a space or set the stage for others to follow. It’s a color that’s being driven by our desires, our lifestyles, our mindsets and our inspirations. Personally, I must have complete conviction that the hue I choose for the color of the year has longstanding potential and appeal.”
Much time, research and effort is put into color forecasting, which stretches beyond paint and architectural finishes into fashion, industrial design and even stationey. Sherwin Williams has named SW6606 Coral Reef its color of the year for 2015. Many would call this color “pink” and, I’m sure, even many more people would categorize it as unusable. However, color is sequencing, color is appropriateness, color is contextual. Most of all, color is a healthy dose of stimulation and even a very small amount can make an impact unequaled by any other design element.
Sources: Coastal Living by Peter Murdock, This Old House by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Let’s take residential front doors as an example; something that the majority of the population notice and interact with each day. Would these images be as striking with differently colored front doors? Maybe. However, I would argue that it is the juxtaposition between the calmer surroundings and the one striking, saturated hue that makes these images so very interesting. These doors are evocative and do, in fact, tell a story that resonates with their viewers.
The power of color is unequaled.