I love this time of year when we make plans for the coming 12 months. There is something exciting about the start of a new year that makes you think anything is possible. Perhaps that’s why, as the world looks like a blank canvas begging for some creative input, organisations try and shape our plans by telling us what’s on trend this year.
Pantone 18-3838, or to give it its slightly more memorable name, Ultra Violet, has just been announced as the Pantone® Colour of the Year 2018. Fact.
‘A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.’ – Pantone.com
Mysterious shades of purple have always symbolised experimentation, emotion and creativity and been a colour associated with power, royalty and spirituality. It’s also the colour of a certain chocolate manufacturer brand who tried to trademark the iconic colour Pantone 2865c in a court battle with a rival chocolatier. They lost but it just goes to show the importance of colour commercially.
Colours can convey messages, evoke emotions and add excitement to everyday things. All of us are invariably drawn to objects of colour whether we realise it or not and as it’s so subjective it is often the defining element of a brand’s identity.
Whether coming up with a new visual identity or refreshing an existing brand, colour is key and it’s often why I choose to leave it out when presenting initial ideas to clients. I may know exactly how I want the end identity to look and feel but it’s wise to not cloud a design with colour until you’ve explained your choice to the client simply because of the emotions attached.
How big brands use colour
Whether you are planning to start a new business, promote a new product or decorate your new offices, give some consideration to the attributes of your brand. What do you stand for? What message do you want to get across? Where do you want to position yourself in the market?
Marketing is one of the key expenses for any successful business, so if you are planning to grow in 2018 think seriously about colour. It can be used subliminally in marketing messages or in a bold way, just look at how the colour red is used for sales.
Introduce a little colour
Introducing colour can help revitalise your brand and is especially useful to highlight core services or attributes.
Colour is also incredibly important in web design and can signpost services and help people move around, all improving the user experience and encouraging visitors to linger longer on your site.
So what exactly do those colours mean? Here’s a quick guide to some specific colours used in marketing that may help you for the year ahead.
Yellow – Optimism, warmth and creativity
Orange – Friendly, cheerful and affordable
Red – Excitement, youthful and bold
Blue – Trust, dependable and secure
Green – Growth, peace and health
Grey – Balance, neutral and calm
Pink – Fun and romance
Black – Luxury and business
White - Transparency and cleanliness
When we set up our creative marketing agency we were drawn to two specific colours red and yellow not only for being the colours of the splicing tape used by the industry when we both trained but for many of the attributes they signified. We needed a strong neutral colour and grey gave us the accent we needed way before it was so fashionable.
Red and yellow are now without doubt my favourite colours and I can rarely resist a product in these colours, I’m just glad we have an office large enough to cope with my colour addiction.