The Power of Colour: How to Amplify Brand Meaning

Manchester, England

Colour truly holds power. In terms of brands, colour often holds the power of recognition, loyalty, and purchase. According to an Institute for Color Research study, 92.6% of people surveyed noted colour was the most important factor when purchasing a product.

We know colour has a subconscious effect on us as consumers. Some colours trigger excitement (red), while others depict calming qualities (blue). Design agencies work closely with their brand clients to capture the mood and feel of how a product should be perceived. And that of course means choosing a colour palette that fits.

Here are four ways to ensure your colour palette fits with your target audience:

Understand the meaning and symbolism of each colour. Audit the colour landscape and how it relates to your product. Look for examples in competitive markets to learn from what has been done already — keeping a close eye on what has worked and the opportunities from others’ failures.

Create prototypes to test consumer reactions. Packaging mockups and prototypes are a wonderful way to get products in the hands of consumers before a big rollout. If you’re introducing a new colour scheme, this is incredibly helpful for products launching in new regions, or for complete rebrands to measure how consumers react to a new design.

Develop colour standards + test on multiple substrates. Working with cross-functional teams across the organization, build out a playbook with the new colours. This is also a good time to consider how the colours will look on different substrates.

Assign a colour governance team. Once you communicate your colour standards to the design team and stakeholders — hold people accountable for using the colour playbook when creating new content.  

On a few occasions, colour experts have been involved in troubleshooting where artwork and colour requirements for a product were set prior to knowing exactly what materials or printing processes were going to be used. The result was that not all of the colours involved could be colour matched due to being out of gamut.

This may cause disappointment for the brand but also the creatives involved. No doubt, all involved in the process spent a lot of time fine tuning and deliberating over the colour palettes and how they would look to the consumer. That’s why standardizing the print quality management process is so important.  

The good news is ColourLab can assist in the early stages of the creative process. We can advise and help define how a colour will translate between substrates. This means everyone will know up front what colours will work but more importantly which one’s wont.  

These colour standards can then be used in the creation process — from applications like Adobe Creative Suite all the way through to proofing, ink formulation and finally the printing process. This gives end-to-end colour consistency from start to finish.  

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