Cannes Lions

ColorSnap Visualizer by Sherwin-Williams


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Every paint company communicates color offerings the same way: small, printed swatches. Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer was made to revolutionize the color swatch, and provide personalized, contextual color samples in the palm of your hand. For eight years the brand has continued to reimagine this experience, bringing something fresh to the equation with each new update. The latest version is the most comprehensive yet, further bridging the gap between physical and digital (for instance, connecting users to a specific swatch on the shelf for validation) and instilling color confidence (for instance, showing how colors will look in your space from day to night).


ColorSnap Visualizer was designed and engineered as a best in-class mobile app for iOS and Android platforms. A team of system architects, developers, UX specialists and designers collaborated to transform a complex proprietary color data set into an intuitive experience.


Technology central to our 2016 enhancements fall into two categories: finding color and previewing color. Several new features provide simple, seamless interaction with Sherwin-Williams color data for each category, often at the same time. Colors can be matched from any image or Pinterest board, immediately previewed in room scenes by scanning a color swatch, or with pinch and zoom on the matrix of 1,500 colors arranged identically to the in-store display. Edge-detection algorithms analyze images to allow one-touch painting on photos of users’ own homes. To complete the color selection process, a user’s colors can be pinpointed when in-store for validation before purchase.


The ColorSnap Visualizer platform is fueling the renaissance of a thriving 150-year-old paint company.

Embraced as an essential renovation companion by professionals and “do-it-yourselfers” alike, ColorSnap Visualizer has millions of active downloads and user-generated color palettes (and counting).

Since launching a revised set of features in 2016 targeted at infusing the ColorSnap Visualizer experience with confidence-boosting, indecision-killing features and content, app engagement has soared. Compared to 2015, users in 2016 spent three times as long per session exploring and experimenting with color within the application. Consumers in 2016 increased their overall engagement and activity within the app 128%. These year-over-year contrasts demonstrate not just improved functionality, but an assault on the indecision and abandonment that results in stalled projects.

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