Guest Post by Jennifer Beatty, Pure Designs
As you may have seen in a couple of my blog posts, I take color quite seriously when I design. It’s why you’ll see me write about it a lot as I hope to educate upcoming and existing business owners on the value of color in your branding efforts. Color is a significant factor as you build you business’ identity. It has the power to evoke emotion and cause physical reactions in your target market, and on the general public for that matter. Color also has the ability to call people to action or soothe them and can be the difference in whether or not you stand out from your competition. By working with a professional designer to customize your color profile, you have the ability to set your business up for long-term success. It really works. Read on to find out how…
When paired with a solid Marketing strategy, having the right color can be pivotal as you venture out and work to build your business. Therefore, my goal for this post is two-fold. I’d like to:
- Break down the color profile process that I do and
- Walk you through a color profile that I built so that you can see how in-depth this is as well as how central to advertising color is. Also, after reading this post you will be able to start exploring different colors that appeal to you and that might be a good fit for your business, or your event. Just starting with one color can open up thousands of possibilities.
I’m going to take you through the color profile process for a Gem Supplier and Retailer that I developed. You’ll see the different elements that went into this effort as well as the process I underwent and the final result.
Let’s get started!
Color has meaning to each of us as well as to entire cultures. For example, in Western culture, white is seen as pure, black is sophisticated, yellow is happy; personally for me, I don’t like black very much as it looks horrible with my coloring. I don’t feel sophisticated, I feel dull and unattractive. I therefore don’t use it a lot in my life. It’s kind of a subconscious decision that I make- see how this is influencing my opinion?
Something that I’ve found that helps me get started in the process of color profiling is photos, either from my client or from me. I take and use a lot of photos in my mood boards. If I have a photo to reference that is meaningful to the client and that represents their business authentically, I can draw out a color scheme from the photo by breaking it down and tweaking the value (lightness or darkness) or saturation (intensity).
Again, all we need is one color to build from.
Photos from nature are great, which is fantastic because being a mobile military spouse means you are often located in more rural areas. Lots of possibilities! As a designer I invested in a good camera to help me along. When working with a client that has a physical location, I can take my camera and snap photos of the building they occupy as well as the interior of the space. I learn so much about a client, or anyone, through how they arrange their environment. For a look at more on structuring your environment, please feel free to read through a post I did on Feng Shui. Very interesting stuff on building the layout of your space and making it as comfortable and/or efficient as possible.
Also, check out my Pinterest Page for tons of boards on a variety of topics related to design and inspiration.
I also like to use works of art in color profiling. When chosen carefully, they are treasure troves of fantastic color combinations.
Below is the board that I did for this project. Again my client was a Gem Stone Supplier. Mood boards are fantastic in any design project. I use them for everything that I do.
As you can see, I started playing with color and also incorporated architecture so get this project started. I leaned towards the Art Deco art movement for this due to its elegance and clean lines. Sharp angles and brilliance were key words that I had in my notes for this client along with elegant, timeless, sophisticated and classic. Below are two color palettes that I presented to the client for us to go over.
As I developed the mood board and played more with color using the three palettes above, I started having more and more ideas. I’d sketch, photograph or do a search for photos, grab images of people, clothing and décor that sprung to mind. I ended up drawing a diamond ring on my computer that was inspired by my mood board that went into the final design. I just kept building from there. The process was much easier after we selected the colors.
We ended up selecting the second color palette for the project.
As I developed the designs and worked with the client, a final brand profile was established that includes:
- key words and tag lines
- design elements (symbols, logo, icons)
Below is an image of a final design piece for this client, a bus ad that I made from my research and consultation with the client (or “ad-wrap” in the design biz).
See how this ad, even on the side of a city bus, is elegant, sophisticated and authentic to the brand profile mentioned above? I also came up with the copy for this as the creativity was really flowing once we got started! Now, with this breakdown I hope that you can see how important color is to business and advertising. I encourage you to get out there and start exploring. It’s so much fun. I love the whole process, from beginning to end.
Thank you and happy color travels!
Pure Designs is a creative company that I launched in order to offer graphic design and web design services to small businesses and individuals. With over ten years of experience in Marketing and Design, I have a wealth of information and inspiration to share. I love what I do and look forward to each and every day that I can design. View my portfolio here, http://jenniferlbeatty.com, to get an idea of what I do. Comment on this post or use the contact form on my website to reach me with any questions or to book a consultation. Talk soon!