PLAYS ON COLOR
Many variables affect perception of color. When viewed under varied lighting, a color sample's tone (intensity of color) or shade (how bright a color is) is perceived. Another aspect of color perception lies in the effects of color layering. And, while a designer may adhere to the few colors designated as "web safe," variations in monitor settings prevent absolute uniformity in how myriad viewers will experience color on a website. Even in hardcopy printing, variations occur because of batches of ink and toner, the moisture content of paper, and production executed on innumerable types and conditions of equipment.
For impactful branding, harmonize what you like with what is appropriate to your industry, the current era (unless your enterprise is retro-oriented), and your physical location...if you are identified with a particular region. Regionalism may seem an unusual issue to consider, but examining the color of green alone demonstrates my point. Growing up in Oregon, I was accustomed to the dark green of Douglas fir trees and the mosses that grow on them. When I moved to Hawai'i, the green of palm trees seemed pale in comparison, even when allowing for the bright island sun. As my perception of "normal" shifted, the greens of Oregon seemed dark and gloomy. Later, in Rhode Island, I rediscovered the dark greens of my childhood, plus the blue-green of New England shoreline grasses. In Arizona, the array of green is rather mixed, depending on topography, season and the amount of rainfall.
Regional differences are actually valued by the Black Hat sub-discipline of Feng Shui, the traditional Chinese philosophy for maximizing the harmonious use of space. Unlike the United States, which finds "greenbacks" and the color green to represent monetary value, China associates the color red with financial and general prosperity. Envelopes containing money, [red packets] are traditionally distributed at weddings, New Year celebrations, and as employee appreciation gifts. You can explore the Internet about the significance of color through time and culture. Additional discussion of color's impact is included on our Wearing Your Brand page. Examples of applications of color palettes may be seen on our Display & Staging page..
The following samples show how a color palette can be used within a cohesive branding program. To help you see how graphic art treatment impacts design, the lettering I have used is presented in the Peignot font. Please note that while shades of silver usually blend, the variety of tone and shade in gold often clash. Copper and bronze colors vary so much I avoid using them. When working with your professional printing service, be specific about the quality and impact of shade and tone you seek--if not the precise identifying number of specific colors you want [you will need to remember that there is a difference in color formulations used for print projects vs. those used on the Web]. You should be offered an opportunity to preview layouts prior to hardcopy printing.
Have you had your color today?
Put a bouquet of flowers on your desk,
or wear a colorful scarf or tie!
Is it time for a change in your corporate or even your personal branding? Sometimes all that is needed is a tweaking of the colors, shapes and fonts with which you are already working. In other instances, it is time for a complete renovation. The following sample color palettes are offered to help you explore directions that may be appropriate to your brick-and-mortar and Internet premises, as well as your basic branding and marketing programs. We'll save consideration of your message and the text used to deliver it for another time...
SAMPLE BLUE PALETTES
~ BASIC BLUE PALETTE, web safe colors: Midnight Blue, DkGoldenrod, Silver
on Midnightblue, Aliceblue
~ TEAL BLUE PALETTE, with swirled teal, bands of gold, brushed silver accents,
and silver and cranberry
~ SWIRLED BLUE BACKGROUND, with multi-colored and silver bands and lettering
SAMPLE RED PALETTES
~ BASIC RED PALETTE, web safe colors: Maroon, Goldenrod and Black on Floral White
~ UMBER PALETTE, on crackle background; accents of black, gold and purple
~ CRANBERRY PALETTE, on crackle background; with black, gold, and silver on pale gray
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SAMPLE GREEN PALETTES
~ BASIC GREEN PALETTE, web safe colors: Dkseagreen, Seagreen, Saddle Brown, Goldenrod
~ MUTED GREEN PALETTE, shades of slate, celadon, gray, and silver
~ SOFT TEAL GREEN PALETTE, accents of blue, purple, plum and gold on mottled green