McKinney and Sherwin-Williams turn images into paint palettes with Chip It! - McKinney

McKinney and Sherwin-Williams turn images into paint palettes with Chip It!

February 15, 2012

Chip It! heralds first McKinney Ten Percent innovation in 2012

Now with just the click of a button, any online image can turn into a palette of paint colors with Chip It!™, an interactive tool created by McKinney for Sherwin-Williams. The first-of-its-kind Web-based tool allows consumers to select any online picture and instantly identify the Sherwin-Williams paint colors that best correspond to the colors contained within the picture. Consumers can now use the colors that inspire them while surfing the Internet to help make paint color selection easier — in their bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or any room in between.

Created entirely in-house, Chip It! is a project of the McKinney Ten Percent, an initiative that encourages all of the agency’s employees to dedicate 10% of their time to innovation.

“We’re always excited to present a big idea to a client, particularly when it’s inspired by the McKinney Ten Percent,” said McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude. “With Chip It!, we turned the entire Internet into a color library. It’s a powerful tool that reinvents the creative canvas and reinforces why Sherwin-Williams is best at helping consumers choose color with confidence.”

The idea for Chip It! came from McKinney’s Stevie Archer, a copywriter not originally assigned to the Sherwin-Williams team. “I’m constantly working on do-it-yourself projects, and I love everything related to interior design. I pin all inspiration on Pinterest,” said Archer, who teamed with Art Director Rocky Reed, Creative Technologist Adam Carroll, Programmer Rafe Kemmis and Producer Jesse Wright. “I noticed how many Pinterest users, including myself, were pinning color palettes and inspiring images with no easy way of putting them to use in their homes. With Chip It! everyone can make their own palettes instantly and also get the paint colors they need to bring the palettes to life.”

Within days, the team had developed a working prototype. “Chip It! analyzes every single pixel in an image and compares each to one of more than 1,500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors,” explained Kemmis. “Then it uses an algorithm to find the most prominent colors and composites the top 10 into a ChipCard. All in seconds.”

McKinney presented the idea to Sherwin-Williams in September of last year and received approval in early November to begin the project for a first-quarter 2012 launch. “When we first saw Chip It! we believed it would be the perfect tool for consumers who want to take their inspiration and turn it into a reality,” said Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin- Williams.

Chip It! rounds out Sherwin-Williams’ suite of interactive tools to help consumers choose color with confidence. The mobile ColorSnap® app allows users to quickly and easily identify the Sherwin-Williams paint colors that most closely resemble colors found in their smartphone’s photo album. Online, the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer offers consumers the ability to upload their own photos or choose from a library of home interior or exterior images to experiment with thousands of color combinations. For more information about CHIP IT! or to create an account, visit

Here’s how to Chip It!:

Go to and add the Chip It! bookmarklet to your Web browser toolbar. This bookmarklet allows you to create palettes from pictures online using up to 10 Sherwin-Williams paint colors. All you have to do is click to activate the tool, and then click the picture.

After you’ve created a color ChipCard, log in with Facebook to save it to your Chip It! account.

You can explore, share and print all your ChipCards from your Chip It! account whenever you want.