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Oct 23, 2019

Branding & Corporate Identity: Using Correct Colors

Watermark Coffee Mug
by Watermark Team
People are habitual creatures and will gravitate more times than not to something they have an established connection with, rather than take a risk on something unknown.
Because of this, creating and defining a brand is a necessity for any corporation’s success. It’s common knowledge that having a logo is a non-negotiable must for every company. So why is it that so many businesses are on point with needing a logo, but miss the mark on having associated color(s) in their brand identity?
Because creating and defining a  branches out far beyond just having a good logo design. Creating a logo is critical, but just having a logo is not how you create and define a corporate identity. There are other elements that come into play when developing an all-around “brand.”
More often than not, colors are sidestepped and underestimated in their use, and impact, with a brand, and it is critical to keep your brand color palette as consistent as possible across all the different channels your logo and brand image is displayed. 


Pantone is the “gold standard” of color matching systems used by graphic designers and printers. When used, Pantone colors ensure that your brand colors match and stay consistent throughout any printed collateral. The logo that was printed on your flyer last month is going to look exactly the same on the postcard you print this month, if the printer is given the Pantone number (numeric “codes” are assigned to each and every color within the Pantone spectrum—which is vast!) to match from the last printed piece.
(Note: the type of paper (or substrate) and the printing technique (four-color process vs. screen printing, etc.) will affect how the color appears on the final product, but if the vendor has a Pantone number to refer to, they can come pretty darn close!)
The use of Pantone as part of your brand standards guide will allow your brand to stay seamlessly consistent throughout your marketing materials. Uniformity in color isn’t only visually appealing, it also speaks to the quality of your company and product.  colors in brands subconsciously comfort and reassure consumers into knowing the product or service they're getting is the same as the last time they had it, simply because it looks the same.
Take a moment to think about some major brands – Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Pepsi, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, name a few. They all have very strict standards for consistent corporate colors to help define their brand. For example, from a distance it’s easy to recognize a Coca-Cola product because of their associated red color in their logo. Coca-Cola fans would immediately notice a difference (and probably get concerned about the reliability of the company and/or product) if that red color was not consistent across everything Coke.
If you haven’t used Pantone colors in your overall brand standards, why?