Consistent color is your first step to communicate your brand. As I started my day in Evernote (my favorite productivity app), I followed a link to their Marketplace. There they have an assortment of beautifully designed goodies which frankly are a bit rich for my taste. But when I saw they have a shirt in the distinctive Evernote green I paused. And then, avid/rabid Evernote user that I am, I bought it.
But this is not a post about how my favorite color is green (which, okay, it is). This is a post about the importance of choosing a reproducible color for your brand.
Green is green, right?
The Evernote logo and UI prominently feature a very particular shade of green, and the marketplace features products that use that exact same shade. As a big Evernote user, any time I encounter that color (which doesn’t happen too often — it’s a very specific shade of green), the first thing I think of is Evernote. Good marketers on that team!
By now you’re probably reading this and saying, “Well, Duh! Use color as part of your brand. Tell me something I don’t know. ”
Yeah, but the thing is: green isn’t just green. It is a specific RGB or hex value online, which corresponds to a specific CMYK value in print, and a specific PMS value for merchandise. There are as many shades of green in the world as there are… I don’t know. Let’s just say there are six hellalillion shades of green. What the Evernote people did was choose a shade which is not only distinctive, but which they can reproduce electronically on the web and in their apps, and in real world print pieces and in merchandise. This is because whether it is expressed in RGB, CMYK, or PMS — it appears to be the same shade of green. And because of their great marketing, I’ll forever think of it as Evernote Green.
[EDIT: When I went to grab screenshots for this article I realized they didn’t do their color-matching as exactly perfectly as I say in this post: they use some other shades of green here and there. But let’s let that slide, okay?]
Color communicates your brand
When you choose a color for your brand, making it a color that is very exact and unique is a good thing; but not at the expense of being able to match it perfectly all the time.
For you do-it-yourselfers: Jump into Affinity Photo or Gimp or whatever graphics software you use, and start a new doc. Draw a square and fill it with the color you want to use for your brand. Next go to the color chooser, select your color, change between color models (CMYK, RGB, hex, PMS, etc.), and record the closest matches. You could also look on the HTML color-safe palette and find the closest match (I like Visibone for referencing anything having to do with web stuff — they sell STUNNING reference cards, but rout around a bit and you’ll find a download of the palette). Not finding close matches? Shift the hue a tiny bit and try again.
The image below shows the result of examining the green from the Evernote logo. The key thing is that there is a PMS value that is very close to their chosen color.
In the end you might find that specifying a color for your brand that is reproducible in all the color models means having to shift the shade a few values from your first choice. But the next time you go to embroider your logo on a bag and are told you must specify your thread color in PMS, you’ll be glad you compromised, because your merchandising projects will better communicate your brand by hitting the exact shade of your brand’s color. Yes, it matters.
Moral of the story
In order to for your color to really communicate your brand, the way the Evernote green does, you must consistently use it everywhere. Choose a color for your brand that is meaningful to you and that you love, but take the extra step to choose the most easily reproducible shade of that color that you can.
And as an extra note: the three colors for which this is the most difficult are purple, gray, and teal.
Click a tag for related posts:agencies audiences Basecamp blog brand business community computers customer support editing email estimates fonts freelance gadgets graphics iPad job hunting logos mac marketing messaging Outlook packaging planning PowerPoint presentations productivity product review professionalism project management projects recommendations resume reviews self publishing social media stock photography Technology tradeshows virtual meetings web design windows Word writing
- Virtual Meeting Tip: Sound
- Can we reduce travel to business meetings?
- A Blog Post about Blogging
- Serious Layout in MS Word
- A Supercomputing vocabulary primer
- Planning categories and tags for an organized blog
- Improving Your Presentations
- 1-minute Photo Improvement
- Why Do You Blog?
- Batch Processing with Affinity Photo
- The Entrepreneur’s 10-Step Condensed Business Plan
- iPad: How Old is Too Old?
- Do I Have Enough to Quit My Day Job?
- Leave Localization to the Pros
- Make Your Calendars Play Nice Together
- Free Graphics Sources
- Mirrored Margins in MS Word
- A Tale of Three Headsets
- Time to Move On
- The Event Plan: a Tradeshow Primer
- GoToWebinar Basics
- Outlook for Mac: So Close!
- From Windows to Mac
- Evernote is Awesome
- Set Up a DocBook Toolchain
- Your Professional Resume
- Stock Photography Tips
- Tricking Your Customers is Disrespectful
- Deadline Management
- Manage To-dos With Basecamp
- The Brydge+ iPad Keyboard
- LinkedIn for Job Seekers
- Week Numbers in Outlook
- Hidden Impacts of Project Schedule Delays
- Getting Started in Self-publishing
- 13 Tips for Your Blog or Newsletter
- Do Religion and Marketing Mix?
- Consistent Color = Brand Power
- Outlook Automation with “Quick Steps”
- Comment Spam: I Give Up
- Good Design Housekeeping
- File Naming Sanity
- PowerPoint Graphics Tips
- Comment Karma
- Comparing Two iPad Keyboards: ZAGG and Logitech
- Outlook Rules 101
- Consolidated Outlook Inbox
- Five Steps to Plan a Website
- Choosing a Domain
- Outlook Productivity: Tagged Searching
- Considering a Switch from Windows to Mac?
- Tradeshow Giveaways & Promotional Gifts
- Why Rush Jobs Are Evil
- Online Printing: Customer Service is King
- Estimate Etiquette
- Getting Organized With Outlook PSTs
- WordPress vs. Weebly
- Comparing 5 Online PM Tools
- Choosing your Next Non-Mac Computer
- Is it Really a Blog?
- Your Laptop’s Video Connectors
- Know Your Graphics – or Look Like You Do
- Add a Keyboard to Your iPad
- Letterhead in an Email World
- Use Simple URLs
- Keep in Touch with Your Customers With Email
- Rolling Up the Feedback
- Keep Agency Project Costs Down
- Merchandising and Your Brand
- Your Email Address and Your Brand
- B2B Social Media: Are you overlooking StumbleUpon?
- Email Marketing vs. Spam
- The Long-copy Sales Page in 5 Steps
- You Need a Writing Style Guide
- Why Reference Cards?
- Lose the Hyphen!
- The Minimalist Marketing Plan
- Your Business Name and Domain
- Trade Downloads For User Data
- Monitor Social Media For Product Feedback
- Take Every Branding Opportunity
- Messaging 101
- Creative Use of Your Customer Service Stories
- Don’t Stop With a Call To Action
- Creating a Text-based Logo
- The Reluctant Social Media Networker
- Save Money With an Effective RFQ
- User Communities and Exclusivity
- Recommendations and Your Reputation
- The iPad As Business Tool