Seven million colors and I have to pick one?

By: Steve Baldwin, Senior Art Director

It’s been said that the human eye is able to perceive more than seven million colors. With so many options, you wouldn’t think finding a color to represent your product, service or company would be so difficult, right? However, picking the one or two dominant colors to get you noticed may be just as important as the name you choose. There are numerous considerations before adopting “that” color. For example:

•      What colors are your competitors using? Typically you’ll want to avoid colors used by your competition to prevent confusion in the marketplace. Alternatively, you may want to emulate your competition if you’re looking to have some of their good reputation rub off on your brand. But be careful. Some companies own the rights to certain colors in their respective product/service category. For example, Owens Corning® would never let you get away with selling pink insulation.

•      What colors are expected? Consider the colors your customers may be looking for, even if only subconsciously, when searching for what you offer. If it’s a low-fat, healthy food product, consumers look for green packaging. If it’s anti-bacterial, yellow. Environmental? Neutrals. Soothing? Blue. You get the idea.

•      What colors work best across multiple media? The color you choose needs to be viewed well in every application. The logo on your letterhead should be consistent with the color that’s on your company car, which should be the same color that’s on your Web site, etc. And it’s always important to remember that in our technology-driven society, the color you choose today requires some future considerations. Already companies are having to contend with their color being viewed on PDAs and phone screens.

The right color choices can help catapult your business. Pick the wrong color, and you’ll be lost in the sea of products and services already out there. Your best bet is to rely on the expertise of an advertising or marketing agency with the experience and resources to tackle the many issues of color.




Penny Ohlmann Neimann

The Ohlmann Group has a rich history that began in Dayton, Ohio in 1949, where the agency was founded as Penny and Penny by Bob Penny and his wife Jean. In 1964, Walter Ohlmann joined the firm. Ralph Neiman came on in 1969 and the firm became Penny/Ohlmann/Neiman. In 2011, P/O/N was renamed The Ohlmann Group to better reflect the agency's ongoing evolution and collaborative nature.

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