The Power of Colourways

The Power of Colour

Design, layout and print is one thing but deciding on the best colour palette for your marketing collateral, or corporate identity as a whole, is another extremely important design task which should bear very careful consideration. Like design, colour is a very subjective thing, however whatever colour palette you use in your design, it will have a striking affect on the whole feel of the piece in question. Colour can lift the spirit, or subdue it. It can excite, or relax the onlooker; it can literally change the mood. It can also shout … or whisper your marketing message.

Changing the Mood

By far the most overriding sensations passed on by the combination of colours in any design are those of feel and mood. For example, a printed piece can instil a fresh, ‘clean air’ kind of feeling, or it can impart a fiery ‘glow’; it can suggest a frosty coolness or even subconsciously a feeling of spring or summer to the onlooker. This kind of power is, of course, a very useful tool to the graphic designer and marketer. The same, single design and layout can thereby be used with different effects and outcomes, depending on which set of ‘colourways’ are used in the overall colour palette.

Colour moods

Pantone Swatches

Pantone colour swatch bookOne of the best colour tools available to the professional graphic designer is the tried and tested Pantone swatch book. There are various types available, and we won’t get into the differences here, however like with paint charts for home DIY, they allow the designer to pick out colours, compare them to each other side by side and, crucially in the case of Pantone swatches, to specify the final choice of ink colours in their artwork in such a way that they will reproduce reliably and exactly as originally envisaged on the final printed piece.

Online Colour Resources

Another favourite colour tool for many designers is the website ‘Colour Lovers‘. Here the creative community at large shares colour palettes and even colour trends online and these can be seen by anyone visiting the site, without a login. The colour palette section is particularly useful as reference for any design or marketing piece and the palettes can be sorted by newness, most liked, most favourites, and so on. The colour Trends section is also very useful to the designer or marketer as it will show, at a glance, what’s hot … and what’s not. Lastly there are also some interactive colour tools (some free) for you to play with to gather your preferred palette of colourways together. These even include the ability to pull colours from areas of a photograph, rather like you can do with the eye-dropper tool in Adobe Photoshop. It should be noted, however, that colours for printing will need to be converted from RGB (for screen) to ‘process colours’ (CMYK) or spot Pantone Colours if they are destined for litho printing (N.B. CMYK only for digital printing) and that’s where the trusty Pantone book and/or Photoshop can once again become very useful as colour reference during the colour conversion process.

Our in-house graphic designers and printers would be delighted to assist you should you have any design and colour queries — or design and printing projects which you’d like us to undertake for you or your organisation. We have branches in 3 London locations; London Bridge SE1, Victoria SW1 and Clerkenwell EC1 and we would be happy to provide a free quotation, without obligation. We also keep many examples of previous print jobs on file should you like to pop in to see some for visual reference or inspiration.