A compelling story…a strong FOUNDATION.


Colwell Industries is a family-owned business, now in its fifth generation. In 1893, T.H. Colwell purchased half of the University Press in Minneapolis. More than 125 years later, the original Colwell Press building still stands today at 123 N. Main Street. In the 1950s, Colwell introduced the color card concept to the market for the first time, manufacturing color cards for Minnesota Paints. This was the catalyst for Colwell’s obsession with colour.

Our core colour-sampling business allows us to serve many industries, including architectural coatings, building products, automotive, contract furniture, stationery, fine paper, window treatment and the accompanying business services.

Throughout the years the Colwell family has been involved in a variety of successful business ventures but Tad Colwell’s passion has primarily remained on color merchandising tools and the visual excitement they bring to the exploding decorative arena. As CEO, Tad’s passion for helping people select color, his leadership as well as his unique and entrepreneurial spirit, inspires each of us at Colwell, every day.

At Colwell we are proud … proud of our roots and proud that we have expanded throughout the world, from our humble beginnings in Minneapolis.