Developing a solid brand identity is a complex task. First, you need to think deeply about who you want to reach and how you want them to feel about –your company. Then you need to develop a collection of symbols and phrases that sum up your message in a way that effectively grabs your audience’s attention and invokes the emotion you want in them.
Few entrepreneurs do this on their own. Successful branding takes a good team. You’ll probably hire a graphic designer to develop a powerful logo and other graphic components of your brand such as a colour scheme and fonts. You’ll also need a savvy website designer, an experienced copywriter and a reliable company to provide quality printing. (Your printer can also talk to you about lithograph vs digital printing and which is best for your brand.)
Along the way, you’ll hear a lot of pop psychology about colours and emotions. Much of it is put forward as if it is hard science. It is not.
We have all heard the theories. Red is exciting. Yellow reflects happiness. Blue calms us. Red stands for anger. Yellow is associated jealousy or illness. Blue represents reliability. But these simple theories overlook some critical details. If you are picking colours to represent your brand, you will have to dig deeper than these generalized ideas.
Shades of Success
One of the most important things to understand about using colour in your branding is that how we perceive different colours is cultural. Consider wedding dresses. Once upon a time, Irish women wed in blue dresses. Blue represented purity before white wedding dresses achieved global dominance. And in China, women traditionally wear red wedding dresses because in Chinese culture red symbolizes happiness and good fortune. So, as with every aspect of marketing, the key is knowing your audience. And the only way to really know them is to research them thoroughly.
The specific shade and hue of the colours you use in your branding matter as much as the colours. Jewel tones convey a different message than pastels. A bright canary yellow feels very different from a buttery pastel yellow or a rich mustard shade. That is one reason finding the right quality printing company is so important. Your brand needs to find the precise shade of colour, and you need it to be consistent across all of your uses – business cards, website, letterhead, leaflets, social media and more.
Consistency is critical to developing your brand. In order to achieve that consistency, your printed materials should also abide by the same principle, and this is where ensuring quality printing proves indispensable.
The type of printing used can affect the precise shades used on the final product. When considering lithographic vs digital printing, it is important to think about the colours you are using and not just the cost of the printing project. While digital printing is brighter in general than litho printing, some Pantone colours are hard to match precisely with digital printing. Printwise’s experts can talk to you about your specific needs and help you evaluate lithographic vs digital printing.
Your audience needs to recognize your brand at a glance. If they see different shades of the same colour in different presentations of your brand, it is jarring and confusing. Finding one company that can meet all of your printing needs means you can relax knowing that the colours you so carefully chose for your brand will be printed in the precisely right shade on all of your materials.