Does all your marketing material have a cohesive look? Or, do the pieces look inconsistent with different fonts, colors, and tone? I find that the marketing materials for small or startup nonprofits can be sorely inconsistent. Creating a guide that you can give to your vendors and staff lets them know the appropriate fonts, colors and logo files available for them to create a consistent identity across all media platforms. This month we’ll discuss color.
It’s not about you. You probably have at least one color in your logo, but if you’re starting out and only have black, remember it’s not about your likes and dislikes. Choose your colors wisely and make sure they reflect the tone of the organization, so your colors will be very different if your mission is helping animals versus bringing funding to culture and arts programming. There are dozens of articles on the psychology of color online. A good book is Color – Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource by Leatrice Eiseman. If you’re going it alone, keep it simple, two or three colors max.
Your orange is my tangerine. Once your palette is chosen you’ll find printers and designers asking about what your PMS color is or the color breakdown. PMS 151 at left is a solid ink mix by Pantone. It’s the industry standard for color. Having a Pantone or “PMS” chip help your vendors know what color you are going for. You would be surprised how different a color can appear depending on what device or paper you view it on. Which leads us to the breakdown of colors. Your Pantone color will convert to CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) for four-color process printing and RGB or HEX on digital devices such as phones, tablets, and computers. They will not match exactly but be close. Bottom line, consistency in color across all your marketing pieces is important. Ask your service provider the color conversions so you have them on file. At left gives the orange breakdown I use in my palette for the assorted color spaces.