Why You Must Use Conservative Colors in Your Brochures
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Why You Must Use Conservative Colors in Your Brochures

By Mainak Biswas January 24, 2014 - 2,353 views

The last time you visited a website and decided it was either good or bad, the predominant colors with which it was designed probably had a lot to do with how you felt about the website as a whole. The Gestalt principle states that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and when we look at a website for the first time, we look at its colors as “whole”.

Thus, colors are extremely crucial in ensuring the success of a website. Of course, what goes into the website, like content, products, services and others are important too but for a web designer, it is very important to understand that colors play a dominant role in how a website is perceived. Like websites, brochures depend heavily on design, format and colors. It is no surprise then that while we design a brochure we must bear in mind that colors are very important in the way it is judged, lauded or dismissed.

Whenever you spend money on designing, one must assume that money is a constraint. No company can afford to spend a lot of money on things like brochures that are designed badly. One just cannot take that risk. In these times of financial difficulties, one may benefit from sticking to the more conservative colors when it comes to brochures, online or offline. In this article, we shall discuss why using conservative corporate colors are very important in ensuring the success of e-brochures and printed brochures.

There is nothing more important than stability within an organization in order to attract clients and consumers. If you are a B2B organization, the first and foremost message you would want to give is that you are stable, secure and indeed trustworthy. There are a number of colors that signify stability. Some of they are grey, little bit of black, white, shades of blue, teal and even a little bit of green. It is a good idea to stick to grey, blue and white though they sound and look boring. Unless you are a start-up whose target audience is teenagers or the creative types, you should not be trying too many colors. That can send a wrong signal. For instance, imagine having a brochure printed in pink and yellow. It not only looks ‘un-corporate’ but also plain silly.

When you want people to look up to you and understand that their information is always safe with you, you need a color that does the talk. A color that reveals that you are a trustworthy organization is more important than showing people that you are willing to experiment. Trustworthy colors are blue, white, grey and cream. These are also very corporate colors that do not distract the readers’ or viewers’ mind into trivialities. These colors help them to stay focused on content and the services and products that you sell. If you want to show that you are not all that stuffy and boring, you can incorporate a little bit of color with the help of multimedia, small design quirks and certain changes made within the format. However, nothing should be too unorthodox, unless you are willing to risk questioning glances.

Premium quality:
Any company that wants to earn money through a large money will have to sell its products and services at a high margin. An example is Apple. Apple sells products at a high margin, which is one of the reasons why it makes more money per-device than Samsung or other cellphone manufacturers. However, Apple is also very conservative and has built upon an image that exudes confidence, premium quality and luxury. While their recent iPhone 5C is all about colors, they have largely refrained from using anything except black, white and grey. These are also the colors that say “premium”, with a capital P. Likewise, if you would like to make sure that consumers think of you as a company that sells quality products and services, you might want to use black, white and grey liberally. Black is one of the most stylish colors and is a classic choice for most brochure designers. However, when one uses black, it is important to ensure there is a lot of white space available in order to make it easy on the eyes. Anything with a black and white combination and a little bit of purple or red even, if you want to be more colorful, will work well when it comes to exuding luxury and premium sensibilities.

As a small or medium sized business, or even as a large business, one needs to showcase one’s power over competitors. This power can be exuded with the help of colors. Colors have a subliminal quality to them and when a person looks at some colors, they are overpowered by a sense of power, strength and authority. These colors include royal colors such as purple, luxury colors such as black and brown and also, white to an extent. It is important to note that there is nothing more important than using the right color combination. One may use only black and white while designing a brochure. However, it may still end up looking awkward if the percentage of white and black spaces is not easy on the eyes.

Other than trust, one also needs to show that a company has been around for a long time or if it is new, that it will be around for some time. This sense of timelessness is very important in the world of corporate economics because a sense of insecurity will only drive away people from your organization. Colors that exude timelessness are black, white, grey, teal, blue, and sometimes green. Choose your colors appropriately so that it looks good and not awkward. There are a number of ways one can look awkward and that is by using awkward percentages of the right colors.

With that in mind, here are 5 of the most conservative colors that one could use in corporate brochures, whether online or offline:

• Black:
This color always exudes sensuousness, mystery and premium quality. Most luxury products and services tend to use black because the color is different from the usual greys. If you have a luxury product or service, feel free to use black.

• Grey:
If your product or service isn’t very premium or luxury-based, and is more B2B, grey and various shades of grey are good choices. Just ensure that there is enough white space and some color contrast in order to make it look clear and appealing.

• Blue:
Blue is the quintessential corporate color. It speaks a lot about trust, stability, officialdom and dignity. It is also a stable and classic color that never goes out of fashion. It is important to choose the right shades of blue as there are many that may make you look crass.

• White:
The pure and sophisticated, white always conjures images of trust, purity, kindness, peace and stability. It is a very formal color and a little bit of blue, grey and white make the perfect corporate color combination. Try to incorporate as much of white space as possible so that you are not left with a brochure that is hard on the eyes.

• Cream:
While it is not used as often as the other four, cream or beige is a good option too. It makes you look like an older company that is reliable, not willing to be very experimental. And that is not a bad sign. Many companies that are in the financial and IT management sectors fare well with extremely conservative colors because data management and security is very important. If you are a security vendor, ensure that you use some of the most conservative colors possible.

Colors should always be chosen very carefully and a lot of thought must go behind making such decisions. When one chooses colors haphazardly or makes a brochure look ‘colorful’ all hell can break loose. It is important to stay conservative if one is in financial, IT and security sectors. Whether you are a big or small companies, if you need business trust, ensure that you use the most conservative colors possible. It isn’t shameful or ‘boring’ to not use flashy colors. Instead, it just shows the level of maturity your company really has as an organization. Last but not the least; ensure that you use the right color combinations along with proportions.

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