September 13, 2010

Me and hue: researching color

Filed under: Design & Art,Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , — lidia @ 9:00 am

Pantone mugs from Uncommon Goods

Lately, I’ve had color on the brain. Between working on a new packaging project and developing new designs for my line of business greeting cards, I’ve been perusing, reading, sketching and generally immersing myself in the topic of color.

Color is generally rather subjective, as one person’s favorite may be detested by another (case in point: I know someone who loves kelly green but for me, not so much). However, as historical and cultural color connotations have grown and evolved over time, some general feelings of color have emerged. Who can argue that a bright, curry red restaurant poster conveys “heat” while a pale, muted gray business card speaks “tradition” (of course, typography and design falls into play, but we’re just talkin’ color).

Here are my general feelings on color as it’s used in business:

  • Red: powerful, bold
  • Orange: unique, creative
  • Yellow: joyful, light-hearted
  • Green: grounded, natural
  • Blue: reliable, trustworthy
  • Purple: spiritual, ethereal
  • Magenta: playful, whimsical
  • Brown: solid, strong

Businesses can use color to their advantage. We’ve all seen how a brand’s colors become so recognizable, that we know who it is without even seeing the entire logo. When you are developing your business or marketing materials, it helps to think about color and how it will portray your business: unique, conservative, intelligent, fun?

Along those same lines, a recent article in Deliver magazine spoke about color hues in relation to the outcome of a direct mail campaign. Color Communications Inc. examined colors in regards to how they make customers perceive pricing, value, safety and sophistication in products. For example, they found that orange helps to play up affordability, while white implies a higher-price point. Very interesting and useful stuff if you are marketing a product or service.

Are you using color effectively for your business?