Who Comes Up With Those Paint Color Names?

Leave it up to the Wall Street Journal (my favorite newspaper by the way) to answer the burning question: How does Sherwin Williams pick out names for all its paints?


Believe it or not, one lady in Cleveland decides whether “Cherry Tomato or “Stolen Kiss,” the latter being a dark red… is the perfect name for a particular color. Many of these charming names often end up on Delta Millwork’s paint-grade wood products, so for me, the WSJ article was a must-read!


First, I got a kick out of reading that “Wall Street” is an actual Sherwin-Williams paint name. It’s a dark gray. I thought it would have been a money-green color… like in a dollar bill. Not sure where the dark gray comes in for “Wall Street.” Perhaps someone can comment below on how they think she came up with a dark gray for “Wall Street!”

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But anyway - the color lady - Ms. Jackie Jordan, 52, says naming colors is “an emotional thing. People like to have an association with a particular color” she told the WSJ. Jordan has a team that helps her find new palettes.



For example, according to WSJ she tells the lab to come up with five new blue colors that fall in between two existing colors like sky blue and blue-green. When they come back to her, she goes to work, thinking up what she hopes are memorable names.



Ms. Jordan tells WSJ that she draws inspiration from everything, including books, song lyrics, foods and places. Some color names are obvious in their color, while others like “Indulgent” (lavender) don’t really indicate their color.



The WSJ also points out that paint color names can’t be trendy since they keep them 10-12 years on average. And, once a name is given to a Sherwin-Williams color, it stays that way forever.



And if you’re thinking… really, how many palettes can Sherwin Williams possibly come up with… and does anyone really care? Yep, decorators will all tell you that colors are vital to making a home beautiful. So do realtors. “When we have good paint colors, we stand a better chance of selling a home and selling it for a higher price,” Realtor Sandra Salander told the WSJ.



For example, designers are ranting breathlessly about one of Ms. Jordan’s new palettes called “Honed Vitality.” Seriously, you ask? Well, let me give you some quotes from reviews on this new Honed Vitality palette.


“The Honed Vitality palette takes its inspiration from the textures of nature and from our own handiwork… interaction with the environment... This palette is driven by our mother earth as well as the science we use to discover and uncover its many possibilities… “


April Elizabeth, Interior Designer

Salt Lake Interior Design Examiner


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Wow, I think I’ll stick to making wood products and let those interior designers work their magic on making my product look even better.



Click here to see if you agree with the designer’s critique of the “Honed Vitality” palette.





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