Do you know your brand colours and how to use them?

  • By Clair Melville-Brown
  • 21 Jun, 2017

CMYK, RGB & Hex values, what does it all mean?

In today's business world where many people are "doing it for themselves" I'm seeing more and more inconsistent branding going out on social media and websites and I wonder if they really know what damage they're doing to their business without realising it.

Do you know your brand colours?  Do you know what CMYK value to give your printer so they can print every piece of marketing the same colour every time?  Do you know the matching RGB and HEX values for your website designer to use on your social media?  If you have no idea what I'm talking about read on.  I aim to explain the difference between the 3 and how you should use them.  

Print and Onscreen, what's the difference?

There are two categories for colour, print and onscreen.   It’s important to understand that the digital and print mediums render colour very differently from one another. You don’t use CMYK colours on a website just like you don’t use RGB colours on a printing press and here's why.  There's another format for print as well which is PMS (Pantone® Matching System) but I'm not going to cover that today.

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black . This is a print process whereby certain amounts of each of the 4 colours are used as tiny dots in the print process to create a range of colours.  It's the mode to use for brochures, flyers, leaflets, posters and business cards.

RGB stand for Red, Green and (you guessed it) Blue .  This is the most common mode of colour for screens.  Used in online applications, TV, mobile devices and games.

Hex # (Hexadecimal colour) is another on screen colour mode used by web designers.  It's also useful when searching for images that contain a particular colour or for creating adverts for online.  A hex colour is made up of 6 digits. It's like a code for RGB value.  

What happens if I use the wrong colour mode for my logo or images?

Believe it or not the two images above have come from the same file. One has been saved in CMYK mode and the other in RGB colour mode.  So when you receive your logo files and images from your designer, they should be labelling them up as such.  CMYK mode is for print use only, if you upload CMYK images to the web the web tries it's best to convert it to RGB for you but doesn't always do a great job, so if any images on your website are looking a bit odd, this could be the reason, it won't be immediately obvious, you'll need to look into the meta data for the file to find out which mode it's in or speak to your designer.
CMB Designs is a full-service print and digital design company.  Contact us  for a free consultation on your next project.

Is your branding losing you clients?

By Clair Melville-Brown 21 Jun, 2017
In today's business world where many people are "doing it for themselves" I'm seeing more and more inconsistent branding going out on social media and websites and I wonder if they really know what damage they're doing to their business without realising it.

Do you know your brand colours?  Do you know what CMYK value to give your printer so they can print every piece of marketing the same colour every time?  Do you know the matching RGB and HEX values for your website designer to use on your social media?  If you have no idea what I'm talking about read on.  I aim to explain the difference between the 3 and how you should use them.  
By Clair Melville-Brown 10 Mar, 2017

In September 2016 Addison Lee rebranded for the first time in 40 years.   They wanted their rebrand to assist their plans for global expansion and set itself apart from new competitors like Uber.

Addison Lee’s previous branding was monochrome black and white not much to play with there, especially when it comes to digital applications and also very masculine so they have decided to ditch that for a yellow, black and slate colour scheme and totally new logo.

By Clair Melville-Brown 10 Feb, 2017

So many people don't understand the importance of colour in a brand. When you made your business logo did you just pick the colours that you like or did you think about what your clients might be attracted to? There's a lot to write about colour but let me just touch on an example I've come across recently. Colour plays a massive part in the connection your potential clients will have with your brand and the wrong colour could be turning your potential clients away without you even realising it.

When working on a branding project for a client I always send a questionnaire to the them before I start work to get them to really think about their business, what they want to achieve, who they are targeting, what their aspirations are. I'm pretty sure the clients read them and just think they're a bunch of made up pointless questions but the answers can really tell me a lot.

For instance I met up with a client and they already had some collateral they had produced for their business and a colour palette that they liked:

By Clair Melville-Brown 12 Aug, 2016

As a graphic designer I quite often get approached by start-up companies to design a logo and just that. It’s one of the first things anyone thinks of when launching a business but is it really the most important? Put simply, NO! Whilst I completely understand that for start-ups budgets are small or even non-existent I often wonder if they’ve seriously thought about what their logo will really mean to their company in the long term.

So, what is branding?    

Branding a company encapsulates everything about what your company means and stands for from the colours, to the logo, to the language you use to describe it and the images you use to represent it; even down to the media channels you choose to promote it. From a graphic design perspective branding helps to create a clear and consistent visual identity for your business. Logo design is just one part of this process.

How do I begin branding my business?

There are so many great free resources out there for this and there are also a number of fantastic courses and workshops you can do to help you drill down to the key messages you want to portray.     Before you come to a Graphic Designer to design your logo I highly recommend you attend any course or workshop that helps you identify your ideal client and your brand identity. This way your Graphic Designer can then create a visual identity for you that will last you and your business for years to come. Think of graphic design as the last destination on the journey.

I really can’t afford it, I just want a logo!

If your budget is really tight, before you head off to 99designs or fiverr (those sites make me shudder and there will be more on that later), consider using a local or recommended graphic design company that can work collaboratively with you on the process.

At CMB Designs, we offer a start-up business logo package and because we think it’s so important that you at least understand a bit about branding, we’ll do a bit of research into your company and its identity. This aims to give you an insight into your brand before we design the logo you desire. It all starts with a Brand Identity Questionnaire which you can download for FREE here  http://www.cmbdesigns.co.uk/documents . Then we meet up for coffee and a chat and discuss it further. This is not something you can do over the internet, hint hint

Share by: