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Color is a remarkable gift to mankind, and much like the skills of a musician to write and plan a composition, the ability for us to be able to combine colors in our messages in a terrific advantage. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that some of us are color blind although many of us can’t carry a tune if you put ‘em in a bucket. Which makes us aware that while some of us see colors well, interior designers, canvas painters, etc., many of us don’t really focus on what color combinations work best for marketing.
Large corporations generally have nice, lovey, touchy, feely, color schemes that present well in the board room and printed material in their hands. They look great and give the officers, directors and employees a great pride. But sometimes they may not help with marketing efforts.
Smaller organizations have a lot of flexibility with color selections and I find many times that lots of colors are used, depending on which advertising media is being used, or who coordinated the artwork. The only problem with this approach is that we miss out on the three key factors in marketing, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition (click). We should strive to use the same brand, same fonts, same color combinations when laying out our marketing plans as we want to reinforce every instance that the LOOKer has to bring the message to Top of Mind.
What colors work best depends on a lot of things. Primary colors generally work better when used in correct combination with black, white and contrasting colors (see below). Muted colors and colors that are closer together on the wheel have a tendency to confuse the eye and not be read as well. It really depends on the existing logo color scheme and the photos or graphics that are needed. That’s where years of hard knocks and trial and error come in to play.
Different colors also can target different people and we’ll investigate some of them in the future. There’s also a difference between designing for digital format and for print format.