Thursday, November 12, 2009

What are you colored blind?

When working with clients, especially when it comes to brand and branding, we emphasis the importance of color (quick lesson: if 80% of all purchase decisions are emotional and 60% of emotion is created by color then. . .). Yet color is often a great source of frustration for both the designer and the client. This is especially true when the client wants you to match a color from some printed material (they do not have the color code (PMS, CMYK, RGB, etc.) and are judging if you have isolated the correct print color by viewing it from their lab top. Or they are trying to view using their in-house, free ink-jet printer of 4 years ago and are thinking that you are just stupid because it does not look green to them – it looks grey. You think that they are crazy and must be color blind.

It does not work. Stop right there. The two parties will never agree and if you do wait until you print. It will look even worst (did not even mention coated or uncoated.)

Designer – color is important. Take time to instruct your client on the science of color, Explain what the various color codes are, and why at times there is not a direct match between PMS CMYK and RGB. Explain what are web safe colors and their benefits. Warn them to never do final approval for print via a monitor.

Clients – Color is important. If you selected a professional studio/agency they know what they are talking about. Invest time in learning color management. Trust them. If not, you are just causing problems for the professional you hired and for yourself. Remember the most effective color probably is not your favorite color. We are trying to sell not select a color swatch for painting your house.

One final note: more than 15% of the population has some type of color blindness, but that is not the type of color blindness I am talking about. Color is important to the sales and marketing process. Take time and learn about color and color management – do not be blind to color.

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