Color is one of the foundational elements of graphic design and visual marketing both in print or online. Pondering color choice in the brands that surround us and the possible reasons behind those choices can be enlightening – so over a few occasional blog posts we will take a quick look at the local Asheville area and check out who feels blue, wants you to see red, and so on. Now about blue…
Blue is a winner worldwide in the “what is your favorite color” category. And while colors can shift meanings across cultures (blue in America can mean sad, while in Germany, drunk and in Russia, gay), the color of the sky and the sea is so integral to life on earth that it’s popularity in logo design is no surprise. Generally speaking, dark blue can represent trust, authority, stability, intelligence – while lighter shades evoke feelings of peace, spirituality, infinity and calm.
Whose brand invests in blue on an international scale? Well the tech world certainly embraced this color: Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, Skype, LinkedIn, Google Earth, intel, IBM, HewlettPackard, Samsung… whew! The list goes on. AT&T, WalMart, Ford, and Boeing are also a few traditional powerhouses who have dressed in blue for many years.
As we discussed in our quick look at the color red in Part 1: the challenge for marketers is to choose appropriate colors to work within the context of the larger message they hope to create and the product or service that represents. It is never as simple as “blue = trust.” Blue doesn’t draw more customers then red to trust one company over another. But blue, when used in the appropriate context, can help successfully attach specific feelings and energy to the experience of a brand. (For a clearer, more thorough discussion on that, here’s a great article about the importance and complexity of color in marketing.)
All this can begin to sound like a lot of psychological hoo-ha (a technical term) except for the fact that as humans we react emotionally to color, and we recall a set of connoted meanings attached to that visual experience. Smart marketing uses this to advantage through consistent branding, establishing a positive connection and memory through color.
So who chose blue in the Asheville area to speak for their business or organization? A lot of successful folks rely on the cleanliness, coolness and dignity of beautiful blue:
It’s no secret that Asheville itself has been a desirable destination both for tourists and new residents, and the city itself is branded with blue. In print media, PMS 661 is Asheville’s color – a dark, rich blue that leans toward the royal side. Blue is an obvious fit for an area nicknamed “Land of the Sky” and located at the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Two things that definitely say “Asheville” are beer and Tourists’ baseball. Both brand with blue. The Asheville Brewers Alliance promotes craft beer and breweries in Western North Carolina, representing by my count 36 local breweries! The Asheville Tourists are the local minor league baseball team, a farm team of the Colorado Rockies. They’ve been a part of Asheville as far back as 1897.
Education in our local area thrives on the blues! The Bulldogs of UNC Asheville brand with PMS 654. But other shades are also used for the Asheville School, Montreat College, Warren Wilson in Swannanoa, Mars Hill in nearby Madison County and South College Asheville. Blue clearly must stand for fine education and a commitment to scholarship.
When blue is part of your name, it’s pretty obvious that blue stands a good chance of being in some, if not all, of your logo and branding. The Blue Ridge Mountains themselves lend both their name and color to local professional enterprises like Blue Ridge Orthodontics, Blue Ridge Bone & Joint, and many other medical and dental practices. Another example, the Blue Dream Curry House is a natural for blue. The downtown high-rise Hotel Indigo uses a whole palette of colors in their stylish branding, but with a name like Indigo, it includes a deep blue as well.
Blue works across the gamut of businesses in successful branding: from the popular eatery Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville to the pro bono legal experts at Pisgah Legal Services. Asheville Savings Bank, first chartered in 1936, uses trustworthy blue as well.
Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!
ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Personalization – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeap.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.