Good design with paint is not about choosing what color to use but, rather, understanding how colors work. That's what the folks at Sherwin Williams learned when, while developing Stir magazine, they queried designers on what they valued. ( Stir is written and distributed by a division of Hanley Wood.)

The publication, meant for designers and architects, is a 360-degree look at color. “We designed Stir to be a visually engaging magazine that educates and empowers readers regarding one of the fundamental tools of their craft, color,” says Terry Makowski, director of trade communications for Sherwin Williams.

While many of the articles will use Sherwin Williams paints as examples, the content is much broader. For instance, volume 2 issue 2 has an article on how color affects mood and behavior: Red walls raise blood pressure, blue is appetite suppressing, and pink is thought to dull aggression.

Another issue highlights the meaning of color in Japanese culture and discusses the concept of “wabi sabi,” an ancient Japanese philosophy based on “finding beauty in simple, humble, aged things.”

There are interviews with designers in fashion, furniture, and other fields, as well as department stories covering color and technology, environmentally conscious paint design, and color schemes used in specific projects.

The magazine has won three awards, including a Folio for best design for a new custom magazine. Subscriptions to Stir can be processed online at