Winning Color Combos for Marketing & Advertising

In a recent PearTree Design blog article, “What Color Is Your Brand?”, we explored how strategic use of select colors can have a significant influence on the mood and actions of the viewing consumer audience. A powerful and effective marketing and advertising strategy simply cannot reach its full potential without close consideration of this critical branding factor.

With this in mind, let’s delve a little deeper with a closer look at not just colors, but winning color combinations for branded materials such as print advertisements, direct mail campaigns, business brochures and company logos, among other marketing media.

Marketing & Advertising With Powerful Color Schemes

For starters, you can get our free downloadable color chart for reference as we discuss various color palettes. Once you have your chart handy, consider the following color schemes and see how they may be applicable to your company’s marketing & advertising materials. With this useful tool on hand, you’ll be ready with specific Pantone color number references when it’s time to hire a designer for your company branding.

Next, let’s take a look at some representative color combinations, and what effect they have on your marketing & advertising message. Here are some general color guidelines for overall consideration:

  • Be mindful not to use too many colors, which ultimately creates a confusing energy and limits graphic flexibility
  • A splash of color used sparingly in contrast with your main color will command attention and magnify emphasis.
  • Brighter colors jump to the foreground of your materials, while cooler, lighter colors tend to fade into the background. Combine the two color types to create depth in your branding, and to make certain elements “pop”, such as your company name.
  • Darker colors tend to be noticed first and more powerfully. A larger area of a lighter color is necessary to balance the visual weight.
  • Highly saturated colors are considered dynamic and attention-getting. But be careful; too many saturated colors can create a far too-busy design.

Here are some specific color schemes that have proven powerful for marketing & advertising purposes:

  • Blue + Green
    This is a soothing, calming color combination that conveys trust, loyalty and professionalism. It is well suited for businesses such as banking institutions and medical-related companies.
  • Orange + Blue
    This is one of the most oft-used color combinations in marketing, due to its powerful eye-catching effect. Highly contrasting, bold colors instantly command the attention of passing consumers.
  • Green + Red
    This is another frequently used color combination, both for its attention-grabbing benefits and its uses in specific markets, such as Italian branding or environmentally-focused media.
  • Black + Yellow / Orange
    This is another effective, high-contrast magnet to command the consideration of your target market – no consumer can fail to notice such a powerful color scheme, (just make sure that the colors are used in a way that isn’t overly ‘loud’ or obnoxious!)
  • Purple + Yellow
    This color combination creates a sense of discerning elegance and importance, and also stands out against other marketing materials due to its highly contrasting properties.

We hope this helps give you an idea of what to look for when it’s time to hire your marketing & advertising designer and choose the colors that will most powerfully represent your company brand.

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