January 2013

What’s your color?

Pantone swatches

One of the most important aspects of your graphic identity is the color combination you choose to represent yourself. Color tells a story and evokes emotions, and when used consistently, can make a significant impact on your target market.

When choosing colors, be sure to choose the right combination for what you do. Home Depot’s signature orange gets people excited, energized, and thinking of construction and home improvement–but that same orange would send exactly the wrong message when applied to the logo of a funeral home. Your business should use colors that fit with its purpose and its spirit.

Once you’ve chosen a color combination, you should use it wherever possible to connect it consistently with your business. Don’t stop with your website, brochure, and business cards—bring color into your office, into your clothing, into your office supplies and accessories. I often wear red when attending networking events because it helps people connect me with my business, and I’ve gone so far as to work with a client’s interior designer to select a logo color palette in keeping with the decor of their office. Consistency is key when using color to enhance your brand!

To ensure your colors are consistent in print, your designer should assist you in choosing Pantone colors: special inks that guarantee your colors will come out perfectly every time rather than the hit-or-miss color representation you may get from printing in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black–four ink colors that combine to create a full spectrum). If color is a critical component of your brand representation, you’ll definitely want to make sure your business cards are the same color as your letterhead, your envelopes, and your brochures, and Pantone inks are the best way to do so.


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