Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Branding Step Two

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! This week is all about branding yourself with a logo, design, color scheme, name, and look and feel. As promised yesterday, I'm going into color schemes today. Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going, eh?

You're probably most familiar with RGB (that's Red Green Blue). These colors are created with light. What you're looking at on your monitor is not what you'll see in print when using a CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) printer. Why? Because these colors are created with ink.

It's a long, drawn-out process so I'm not going into all that. What I'm going to do is break it down and explain why you only want two colors plus black in any print job you send to a traditional printer. I'm also going to tell you a little about spot colors (PMS colors).

Now, your printer at home likely uses RGB (unless you're using one with individual cartridges for each color). This means your colors will be close to what you see on your monitor (if it's calibrated).

Big printing houses don't use RGB printers. They do a print run and lay down each color individually with each run. So, if you have a three color print job, that's three runs through the press. It costs you money for each run of your print job through the printer. More colors = more runs = more money out of your pocket.

It may be okay if you're only having fifty business cards printed. But what about when you have two thousand done? What if you want to have fliers or postcards printed? Now you're talking a lot of money.

You see my color scheme in my logo on the top left of my website. It's Brown and blue. Leave off the peach because I can remove that and still be two colors. Notice the peach doesn't appear in my logo/mark.

Most companies have one PMS or spot color in their logo and nothing else but white (or the paper color it's printed on). When you use white, you're opening yourself up to a lot of color issues because paper comes in a lot of colors and white is the absence of ink. A PMS color is often the only way to get that brilliant red, blue, or orange when printing.

Ever design something bright and have it come back from the printer looking dulled out? RGB to CMYK conversion does it every time. If you're designing for print, you should be working in a CMYK color space always.

Home Depot is an orange color. Coca~Cola is a special red (has a copyright, even). UPS-brown. You see where I'm going here, right? One color is sometimes all you need.

But, sticking with my original guidelines, check out these identity packages I've created:
The first uses only one color. Black could be added at a nominal cost. The second is two colors plus black. I know the leaves on the trees look like they're three colors, but they're just tints of the original color (a lighter version). By the way, black is CHEAP! You should see the brand standard book for the second identity package, it's huge.

So, what should you take away from this? That your logo should be harmonious and encompass no more than two colors plus black. Ever. Period.

I hope you got some useful information from this post. Tomorrow, we'll go into design and what it says about you. Many logos and marks have hidden meanings! Yours could, too!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


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