Sherwin-Williams' 2011 Color Forecast Spins the Wheel

July 16, 2010

Sherwin-Williams celebrates individualism with 39 colors chosen for the 2011 collection. The colors have been grouped into four palettes: Purely Refined, Bold Invention, Restless Nomad and Gentle Medley.

“We've seen reactions to the economy move from panic to acceptance, if not appreciation, because people are finding they have the opportunity to be true to themselves,” said Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Status is no longer about consumption; it is about personal identity and colormix 2011 evokes that sense of uniqueness.”

The Purely Refined palette includes pared down blues, lilacs, greens and grays interwoven with understated neutrals. “When we look at what luxury truly means to us now, people are seeing beyond the glitter and glitz that saturated our culture for so long,” said Jordan. “This palette whispers upscale in an effortless manner and looks chic when paired with layers of chunky organic textiles and subtle details.”

Bold Invention (above) looks to the colors of the streets for direction and incorporates vivid greens, a range of intense turquoises and blues, with hot red and neutrals providing balance. “We might refer to this as our rebel palette because it is inspired by the creativity that comes from living on the edge,” Jordan said. “Colors inspired by Latin America pop into this palette, prompted by the carnivale spirit of Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.”

Characterized by the colors of Morocco and Turkey, Restless Nomad offers dusky darks, hot vibrant pinks and reds, and earthy food-influenced hues that evoke eggplant and cabbage. “The virtual world breaks down barriers to experiencing new cultures, and because of that, we see people embracing cultures they might not ever get to experience in person,” Jordan said. “Ethnic patterns, patchwork and tapestries now reach across the world and enter into our designs.”

When speaking of the Gentle Medley palette, Jordan said, “Hard times call for soft colors. People are romantic about the simpler times of youth and its refreshing honesty. Because of it, we are seeing a draw toward hues that are nostalgic, such as the colors of tinted photography and faded maps.” Gentle Medley includes neutral tans, freshwater blue, mint green, copper, chartreuse pastels, and safari greens and browns for depth.

The colormix 2011 palette can be accessed through the ColorSnap mobile phone application, which is available for download at Also, at, designers can access downloadable palettes for use in color rendering software and order large-sized color swatches and fan decks.

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