Friday, April 13, 2007

Olive is Not Drab. No Really.

My organization’s graphic designer loaned me his copy of a wonderful reference book from Neenah Paper based on the Dewey Color System, dubbed the "world's first color validated color test."

Olive is Not Drab allows readers to pick the right color combinations to communicate "specific brand attributes" through ready-made color palettes that explain what those colors truly communicate about the brand and the company.

So, let's say your company wants to convey a message of high-energy (which the book said evokes an "attention-getting immediacy") then a color palette of indigo, red, gold and black would be in order. Wait, so you want to show the world that your brand/company offers a reserved point of view (known as composed)? Blue and red-orange would be your best bet.

I also love the authors’ quick color breakdown. Here is a sampling of the commentary:

  • Purple communicates out-of-the-box thinking. It appeals to the "impulsive, reactive and emotional consumers."

  • Red-orange is establishes a homelike, familiar feeling while signifying the "expression of composed and objective opinions."

  • Green indicates social and cultural diversity. Paired with yellow, green can help create "worry-free market acceptance of products and services."
So where does gut instinct and personal aesthetic fit in?