Digital Marketing

Branding Needs To Be Eyecatching

Using colors to maximise advertising and branding.


Bottom line : the publishing industry has the most pervasive use of Pantone, which is available in more than 5,000 colors (with more being created all the time). Other industries are catching up quickly.


What does your company have planned for 2022? New packaging designs? Printing on new substrates? If you’re in any way involved in marketing or product development, then color is probably something that’s been on your mind recently. With the proliferation of digital coloring tools and growing awareness of their benefits, marketing departments are taking notice of color by using it across design disciplines to help drive sales.


But not all companies are starting from scratch when it comes to incorporating color into their marketing mix—a lot of product manufacturers have established relationships with color houses and printing companies, but the efforts are still nascent. They’re experimenting with Pantone’s new Super Black or working on visual identity systems that can be extended across multiple platforms (i.e., physical products, eCommerce sites, mobile apps) while maintaining brand integrity.


As more companies come onboard with color management systems, new challenges arise in measuring and communicating colors accurately across different devices. That’s why some brands are taking an open-source approach to achieve accurate conversions between sRGB and AdobeRGB—by developing tools for their creative teams to use so they can test out how their designs will look before sending them over for production. This enables marketing teams to engage customers through compelling design work while avoiding costly delays during production due to color inaccuracy.

Color is undergoing a revolution, which has the potential to get messy if brands don’t get on board—but it also presents marketing departments with unique opportunities to attract new customers with consistent color branding that spans online and retail channels.

As of 2020, there are at least 3,700 colors that can be described using Pantone’s system of coding which includes 15 base colors (or “true” colors) and hundreds of variations mixed from them. These are used for commercial printing of magazines, newspapers, books and other products on paper or cardboard stock. Companies who specialize in offset lithography services work directly with the Pantone Matching System to meet their clients’ needs for color accuracy on. This enables publishing companies to offer licensed Pantone products through their commercial printing business.


The system works by identifying the colors to be reproduced and then matching them to electrode signals that can control ink application during colour reproduction. This enables companies who work in this industry, like commercial printers, to measure the final color of printed matter more precisely than standard RGB devices (by calibrating with an instrument called a densitometer).


There are over 5,000 different colours available in the Pantone Matching System so organizations could easily get overwhelmed by trying to use all of them. Therefore, they usually pick specific colors for each product line while keeping other colors on file depending on the need (for example: annual reports often feature special colors that highlight key numbers or company logos). Of course, another option is to only use the 15 Pantone base colors and then add a spot colour when necessary.


Many industries that aren’t involved with publishing or commercial printing still find value in matching their materials to Pantone’s system of coding—think fashion brands who need specific hues for their designs or beauty companies looking to use color branding across product lines. So it becomes clear why this has become such an essential tool for marketers who want to create consistent design work across different platforms (printing, merchandising, etc.). And while many large enterprises have built robust color management systems around Pantone swatches (so they can match colors precisely), others are experimenting with using AdobeRGBto produce higher images than sRGB because of its larger color gamut—which could lead to valuable insights for using RGB even more broadly across the marketing spectrum.


However, once these RGB colors are reproduced in print form or on a screen there is no guarantee that they will look exactly the same as their original color due to variations between screens and other types of output devices used by printers. For example, there might be differences in how an image displays if it was originally designed on a tablet computer versus when it’s printed on paper because dark tones are often harder to reproduce consistently across different systems. Even something as simple as adjusting brightness or contrast can impact how colors are displayed which is why some brands choose not to use RGB images at all unless they were specifically created for printing (and even then they are often printed on a CMYK press which has its own color profile).


Pantone color profiles are typically used to help control how colors are reproduced through print media, but marketers can use them in the same way to match colors across different digital channels. For example, some larger brands have created their own product pages with custom colors that coordinate with their print catalogs or websites. Companies like Nike and Crate & Barrel use this tactic for matching clothes displayed online to items shown in stores—and vice versa—so customers can buy either version of an item without worrying about differences between them. Therefore, it becomes easier for shoppers who’ve chosen certain clothes or accessories because they’ve seen them available on more than one platform (whether that’s newspaper, mobile device, or in-store).


Additionally, businesses that do this kind of outsourcing can make it harder for competing brands to replicate their colors and styles which could lead to higher profits. However, Pantone does not permit the use of its system outside of its own printing processes which means marketers must develop their own color matching system if they want to work with this brand’s hues instead. For some companies, that might be worth it but others would rather stick with using RGB because it is cheaper and more accessible (and lets them keep control over what gets printed exactly how they like it).  




Jeffrey Rabinowitz