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Choosing Colors for Your Brand

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Pantone vs. CMYK vs. RGB

Let's be honest. By the time you were in grade school you probably felt you learned everything you were ever going to need to know about color. Spoiler Alert: we were wrong!

Color psychology is real. There's a reason why white space can make us feel more open and a bedroom with red walls may not give you a tranquil effect. It's because for those of us who are able to see color, there are cultural, emotional and marketing considerations tied to choosing a color for your brand.

Color in Branding

Have you ever noticed that many social media platforms have a blue logo? That's because the color blue has a connotation to be connected to businesses which are community based. People perceive blue as a trusting color. Red on the other hand is a color that is great for grabbing attention. Many roofing or plumbing services may incorporate red into their logo because it's more memorable when you are driving past it on a highway. Purple is seen as very calming and serene, so it is used often in branding for psychology or medical services.

Knowing your ideal customer is crucial to choosing even just a color for your brand. You want to be sure your logo conveys trust, professionalism and knowledge within your market.

Each Person Perceives Color Differently

To add to the pressure, we have to remember each person sees color differently. Some don't see color at all. Some vendors also have limitations with printing in full color. Having color specifications for your brand can help you communicate better with production teams and illustrate your expectations. That way whether your logo is on the side of a plane or a koozie, it is easily recognizable as a part of your brand.

Why having a color specification matters:

If I put 10 people in a room together, point at a chair and ask them to identify the color, each person will use a different word to describe the same chair. What is red for me, may look burgundy to my neighbor. This is why, if you tell a designer you want orange to be used on your website, we need you to specify: which orange? I promise, we don't do this to be annoying. We are trying to do your brand a service by not guessing, but instead implementing brand consistency.

There are 3 Color Profiles that we are going to focus on today: RGB, CMYK and Pantone.

CMYK is for Printing