CREATIVE SHOWCASE: Thinking in color


What if the human mind could create color? Imagine if you let your mind wander—relaxed, frenetic or somewhere in between—and your thoughts created a color palette specific to how you think. Now you can, thanks to an immersive experience created by Wunderman Minneapolis for Sherwin-Williams.

Sherwin-Williams makes paints, and for this story, we’re focusing on its line of exterior coatings for commercial projects. This usually isn’t the stuff of stories. After all, large metal buildings are mostly painted white, gray, or—yawn—a shade of charcoal. But Sherwin-Williams offers more color—50x more than its competition—and the paint company wanted architects to see all the possibilities—to actually think in color—when it comes to commercial buildings.

Our team set its sights on the target-rich environment of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference, the world’s largest gathering of architects, held in New York City last summer. And rather than compete in the overcrowded Exhibit Hall, our team invited architects to a private event hosted by Sherwin-Williams, where we created an experience like no other. Thinking in Color was both beautiful and wildly technically creative: One at time, architects put on a special headband that sensed brainwaves, and our team’s custom algorithm turned those waves into a color palette specific to the brain activity of the architect. The hues were then displayed on a 17-foot video wall for all to see. According to executive creative director EJ McNulty, “Doing something creative, in tech for the first time, is a high-wire act.”


Thinking in Color grew beyond New York City, capturing imaginations, mindshare, and data as Sherwin-Williams took it on tour (seven locations to date). Our team seized the opportunity they discovered in the data from the project’s more than 5,000 experiences and, as a result, Sherwin-Williams will soon release The Architectural Series, the first-ever user-generated line of paints. More on this creative-technology-experience-project-turned-product-line story in the weeks to come. #ColorObsessed #Growth