This post was written for 367 Addison Avenue by freelancer Tara Moore.
Today we see companies taking risks with their logos, office design and presentations, in everything from layouts to color palettes.
Color is what brings your printed materials to life – it’s your personal expression, or brand identity, according to HP.
“Color is a huge way for small businesses to differentiate,” says Melissa Zieger, a worldwide online influencer director at HP, who works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to find the right HP products. “How do you convey what your personality is in business? Are you a lawyer? You’re probably going to have a very different personality on your website and products as opposed to someone who makes toys, or cupcakes and things like that.”
What is the meaning behind certain colors and what emotion does it evoke? Use this chart as a starting point to your colorful education.
There’s an ongoing trend spanning all types of business, from fashion to artists and even publishers who favor both neutrals and brights, that color has more of an impact than black and white.
“Colors move,” says Chrissie Miller, creative director at fashion line Sophomore. “You’re trying to convey a certain mood.”
David Hershkovitz, publisher and editor of Paper magazine, remembers The Wizard of Oz when he thinks about color.
“When you add color it changes everything,” he explains. “With respect to HP and color printing, when you print something out and see the color, you get a totally different response.”
In Hershkovitz’s mind, color vibrates.
For Domestic Construction, a company specializing in fine art installation for commercial spaces and created by artists Maureen Walsh and Trish Andersen, color is its lifeblood.
“It’s a huge part of our business,” explains Anderson, who creates experiences and commercial environments for Domestic Construction’s clients.
“We think in color, we see in color, we use a ton of different materials and processes that I think are very intuitive on color and then group it all together. Whatever color it is, we create one palette.”
There’s a level of risk taking and long-term investment that new business owners must be willing to take to compete. Domestic Construction has been in business for five years and prides itself on its fearless attitude toward color.
“That’s definitely what defines us,” Trish explains. “We believe it works really well.”
The emotions evoked by color are not all subjective. Color affects customers and businesses in very interesting ways – one of which is message retention.
According to “The Power of Color” study by Dr. Morton Walker of the Avery Publishing Group, the use of color increases message retention by up to 75 percent. Want your customers to remember your logo? Use color. What’s more, HP found that customers are 87 percent more likely to notice colorful marketing over black and white.
It’s a science, really, and a personal expression. How you perceive yourself will dictate the direction of your business and the productivity of your staff. The color effect is not just in your printed materials; it is also in your approach to business meetings, emails and collaborative projects.
“Consistent use of color is an incredible branding tool that is often overlooked,” Zieger suggests. “So perhaps the most important thing that should be done in color is not a thing, but your execution of color. It should be consistent, memorable and thoughtful.”
What colors does your business use? Have you recently changed the way you’ve used color in the way you communicate with clients or employees? Please tell us about your experiences.
Tara Moore is a journalist who has contributed to Fortune, Fast Company, and Philadelphia Weekly.