The Power of Colour

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013
The Power of Colour

Recently, I recalled a presentation where my client asked me to rationalise why we had selected a design and why, at the time, we were so adamant our proposed was the right way forward.

They were a young brand, without the budget for research or testing and we were a young consultancy. Up until that point, I was full of bravado, but when posed with this question, I fumbled to find a strong, rational answer.

We would get back to them in the next days I said, after they had the time to review and digest our work. A few days later I returned to articulate my thoughts in both rational and emotional terms, but I just felt that it was the right thing for their brand.

I explained that I based my decision on over 15 years of experience and research that showed how important colours were for brands. This was confirmed for me later in my career, after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. I understood that my decision, although arrived at quickly, was made with the knowledge and insight gained through 17 years of experience in design and marketing.

The brand was Pukara Estate and their distinctive packaging and labels still draw positive comments from their customers, foodies and retailers across Australia as well as new, international markets. Through this experience and now better equipped to articulate my rationale, I advocate that clients not just create a distinctive and differentiated brand, but own a colour.  Science and emotion both play a part in this.

For Pukara Estate, I wanted them to own black. Strong, premium and in their packaging, monolithic. It also makes you feel like there is more in the bottle than the competitors. As the Pukara brand developed, we introduced different accent colours and elements. To this day, their brand and packaging continues as one of their strongest assets.

This article from Brand Strategy Insider, by Thomson Dawson explains it well. There’s also an interesting post from DesignTaxi by Dorothy Tan where famous brands swap their colours. Both worth a read.

Colour your weekend.

Johnnie G.