When a Color is Not just a Color

Everyone knows that the colours involved in a marketing campaign are of immense importance. Imagine a Coca-Cola or Marlboro ad that lacked the colour red! Sometimes, however, it’s not only the COLOUR that matters, it’s the exact shade or hue that a company depends on for a consistent campaign.

If your company uses a special “blue” that separates itself from the menagerie of garden variety “blues” in the marketplace, then this can present an immense challenge when working through a sophisticated marketing campaign. While this isn’t news for companies that are seasoned in working with their branding properties, it can become a major obstacle for newly unveiled marketing initiatives. There’s a simple solution which might not get mentioned by your ad company – but it matters for your exhibit company!

When asking for images for an exhibit’s graphics, most exhibitors will provide CMYK information for their branding content. For an exhibitor that needs an specific colour matched, we will ask for a Pantone colour. A specific colour, taken from a uniform wheel of colours, allows us to match the colour regardless of print substrate. Whether your graphics are being printed onto fabric, white laminate panels, or sintra, colours will match regardless of medium. Keep in mind that the same colour on my monitor might not match that colour on your monitor – digital graphics can be the most subjective of colour.

Other factors to consider are the age of your properties – colour fades over time, not just when exposed to UV rays. Gradients that work well in computer generated images often produce different effects when printed on a physical substrate. The important thing is having an open discussion with the graphics department of your exhibitor. The project management aspect for ensuring a marketing message’s success is an indispensable aspect of the exhibit production process.

How important are the colours of your exhibit? A marketing director told me a story about a study indicating a strong correlation between lab subjects “seeing the colour red,” and having a strong desire to smoke a cigarette. Marlboro has done it’s job – it seems their marketing has been addictive as their product! Corporate colours are often just as important as the words and images that delineate a company’s message.