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Branding with Color by Tanya Salcido

industry for nearly 10 years, I finally fol- lowed my artistic instincts and formed my own company, Design Action Studios ( I knew that color and design played a leading role in how a product or service was received, and I wanted to share that idea with busi- ness owners trying to get their products or services out there in the public eye. Se- lecting the appropriate color combination helps brands stand apart from competi- tors.

C “Branding” your company or product ing

is crucial for gaining the trust and confi- dence of your consumers. Most business owners focus more in verbal marketing and representations, not realizing the im- portance of a visual representation. Modern psychologists have found that people clearly associate things with the use of colors. This is why as a business owner, you need to make a clear choice about what colors will represent your brand. It’s a crucial choice, as it means properly allowing your brand to commu- nicate and extend itself to all forms of brand ambassadors. Many companies truly understand brand building and color association— one of the best is the two merging arches that make the McDonald’s company logo. The logo itself is simple and uncompli- cated, yet it represents a brand on its own with the use of curved lines and the color yellow. Red and yellow are the colors most associated with the brand, since they have been using the logo for years. Color association is best used for creat- your

marketing materials. Logos,

websites, print ads, and even business cards should have the same color ele- ments as that of your chosen “emotion.” Colors really do allow you to heighten emotions in your consumers. Following are explanations of the different ways that color can build brand emotion.

Neutral Colors Black and white have their own asso-

ciations. Black shades have always in- voked power. Black also implies sophisti- cation

and elegance. White clearly

portrays cleanliness and purity. Gray col- ors, while admittedly dull, conjure images of security and reliability, because con- sumers associate grays with rock and stone. Soil colors, browns, can reflect sta-


olor and design have always been my passion. After working in the design

Red Spectrum

Red signifies warmth and passion. All the colors in its spectrum signify motiva- tion, passion, action, and energy. Red can be used to create movement and excite- ment. Lighter shades, such as pink, por- tray romanticism and give the notion of a caring attitude toward the consumer. Used moderately, orange gives the aura of warmth and assurance and is often used in the food business to stimulate the view- er’s appetite. Yellow can be mixed with other colors to convey brightness and op- timism. Yellow actually makes objects ap- pear larger than they are. Most of the col- ors of the red spectrum are great for combinations but should never be over- used as they tend to stress the eyes of the readers. Appropriate applications include motivational

websites, business-related sites.

Blue Spectrum The colors of the blue spectrum send a message of coolness and harmony. They soothe the mind and soul. Other colors of the spectrum, such as green, can be point to money and growth, but can also be at- tributed to harmony and healing. Soothing shades of blue, such as sky blue, cause the body to produce calming hormones. In other applications, blue is associated with steadfastness, dependability, wisdom, and loyalty. Purple is considered a high-class shade associated with royalty and rich- ness; softer shades of purple, such as lav- ender, can be associated with romance. Applications might include inspirational websites, tourism, and employment firms.

marketing, and

Tanya Salcido, President, Design Action Studios

bility because the shade is so closely as- sociated with nature. Black and white shades can be combined with other colors and shades to instill a certain firmness to those colors. Applications for this combi- nation include sites featuring electronics, banks, or other computer-related services. Using a single spectrum may be ap-

pealing, but it is always a good idea to mix and match several color spectrums to create the emotion you’re aiming for. Us- ing white backgrounds with black text will help readers easily read your text; lighter shades of the colors mentioned above (except for particularly bright ones, such as pink and yellow) are also easy on the eyes. Avoid overuse of harsh colors, such as red, which can be tiring to read. The key to choosing a color set is assess- ing your audience. When you pick a color, put yourself in the audience’s shoes and try to imagine which colors will provoke the emotion you’re going for in your audi- ence.

Let color work for you as you send your branding message out to the world. There’s a rainbow of colors out there. Which one will your business be?



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