Many business owners imagine that color variation in their digital and print campaigns don’t carry as much weight as the actual service or product quality. It’s just color. Right?
Wrong. Your branding colors are the cornerstone of success when it comes to recognition and your company’s associated reputation.
Don’t Dilute Your Brand with Color Variation
Consistency is king for holding a competitive edge and speaking at any length to your market. Maintain a visual language that’s consistent across platforms and media in color and style.
People will remember your brand and are more likely to associate the message and feel you want with your company and its products. Your brain processes an image 60,000 times more quickly than text.
What’s the purpose of your logo? It’s to build recognition via repetition. Let’s face it: humans are inundated by tons of information daily. The brain processes 400 billion bits of information daily, and humans are only aware of 2,000 bits.
Being unique, authentic, and consistent are the ways to your consumers’ hearts and pockets. Diluting your logo and other brand materials with color variation tires and confuses the consumer.
Variables in Color Variation That Harm Your Branding
The difference in color between design and final reproduction remains one of the toughest challenges in commercial printing. Advancing technology helps make getting the colors “just right” a little easier, but many variables influence color reproduction since you are reproducing the color.
Variables such as digital vs. print, monitor calibration, and paper choice all affect how color appears to your consumer. You can fix much of the color variation that you come across with a few simple adjustments.
1. Computer Monitors
If they like it, then they will click and buy it. Right?
Social media is a great way to get your brand’s name out there. However, what’s on your screen won’t translate directly to the page. Your computer uses an RGB (red, green, and blue) color scheme while print utilizes a CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) color scheme, and those are different visual “languages,” so to speak.
CMYK is how colors are then separated for commercial printing, and it won’t look the same when saved as RGB. Always choose colors and scan your images as CMYK when designing. You can also select a Pantone color for a universal option. With color variation, don’t change it every year when a new “Pantone Color of the Year” comes out.
You know how monitors can make colors look different from one monitor to the next. That means that someone’s monitor is not calibrated, and monitor calibration also helps you accurately judge color reproduction on the printed page. A color that appears dark on the monitor may print out more brightly, or vice versa. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to calibrate your monitor, and contact them with any questions as they will know their product the best.
2. Desktop Test Printing vs. Commercial Printing
The printing technology inside your desktop printer is different than that of commercial printing processes. Desktop printers are not typically calibrated to use specific color standards.
So, what you print out as a “test run” can look vastly different than what commercial printing produces. That leads to color variations that lead to you wasting more time and money to get your colors as close to perfect as possible.
If you shrug your shoulders and go ahead with the campaign, your customers won’t think you have it together as a business. That poor impression over a little color variation can impact your sales.
3. Paper Choice Affects Color
Yes, the surface you print the job on affects how color appears to the consumer. Uncoated paper is more absorbent than a coated paper, so colors appear lighter when printed. On the monitor, it would appear to be a stronger color. Glossy coated paper can also make darker, solid colors appear more saturated.
Always understand how your paper choice will impact your brand colors. It’s often overlooked and leads to less than favorable impressions when running a campaign.
Minimize the risk of color variation by avoiding these common pitfalls that impact color in commercial printing. Be conscious of the color scheme you’re using and wise in your paper selection. With a calibrated monitor, your digital proof will offer you a closer representation of how your printed job looks.
Consistency matters in branding and color choice. Your consumer will quickly pick up your logo in a sea of branding, build trust, and boost your company’s reputation.