How to put color to work for your marketing

Color wheel--public domain

Color wheel–public domain

When I’ve written for clients in the past, I’ve focused my communications skills on the writing portion of mailers, newsletters and other written communications. My strengths involve organizing information and writing clearly. But did you know communicating with design elements is just as important as the words used?

The starting point for your message is what your audience sees, not what they read. If you use visual elements that are distracting, a reader may miss your message altogether.

Marketers debate whether color is capable of evoking strong emotional reactions or whether it simply communicates mood at a basic level.

Either way, if you’re a financial planner responsible for managing large client portfolios, avoid using neon colors in communications with clients. Bright colors may be fun and daring, but they don’t communicate responsibility—as in, “I can be trusted to carefully manage your retirement savings and guide you to make wise choices.”

But if you’re running a business selling homemade cupcakes, you might choose from a whimsical color palette.

This is instinctive for most business owners and grass roots leaders that I know—their logos and websites tend to match the mood of their organization. But all other print communications should reinforce the mood of the brand also.

When creating print communications, I always use the logo as a starting point for color. And I pull in an accent color as needed.

Using color in marketing may seem simple. And it is, if you know several basic principles. But consider your colors carefully—they have the power to bolster your message, or weaken it.

Further reading

What marketing experts are saying about color psychology—

What does the color of your logo say about your business?

How men and women respond to color

Can you identify these seven brands by their color schemes?

Content marketing—color theory basics


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