Muted vs Bright


It happens on snowy days.  Let’s focus on the values of muted verses bright and how a simple awareness can really help your marketing success.  Our business communities have evolved over decades, even centuries, with the help of printed marketing materials.

Letterhead, business cards, flyers, newspaper ads and even billboard posters have conveyed the “trusted” feel with colors of blue, grey and white or the “traditional” feel with colors of taupe, hunter green and burgundy.  Compare these to the retailing norms of black, red and yellow, or the gun show industry using neon lemon on black, and you get the sense of muted verses bright.

We can learn a lot about designing billboards by simply driving down the road while focusing on the yellow lines, purposely NOT looking at the billboards.  The ones that screamed at us and felt like they were yanking our eyeballs out of our head, were the ones deemed highly effective.  And they were BRIGHT.  Just like the gun show example – neon, lemon on black, hot pink, etc.

Now how many of you would actually use those colors in your marketing?  Those in corporate arenas might have a more difficult time than those running their own shows.  Part of our challenge is to test the edges and reach slightly outside of the box for you, to make the advertising as effective as possible, while staying within your guidelines.  We want to punch up the colors, add some complimentary schemes to push your current message and find some zesty photos to help say a thousand words.

Primary colors seem to present the best contrast and ease of recognition, yet can be notoriously difficult to reproduce in print due to the difference in digital RGB (used for computer screens and TV), and the CMYK needed to crank out the “in-your-hand” paper with the design on it.  Digital billboards have helped us address gap and allowed a few years of trial and error using effective color combinations to help brighten things up.

We’ll challenge you to have an open mind to try some new color combos and test the edges a bit, and happy to do that any time.  A fine lady that works with us regularly comes in and dreary weather days, after walking past the digital billboard in the parking lot, “Today’s a great day for billboards!” she says.  After all they are bright, zesty and shine like the sun.  They’re a great way to brighten up your marketing efforts.

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