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The Impact of Color in Design

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Everywhere we go, color is there. There is no escaping it. And, honestly, why would you want to? In fact, there are emotional and psychological impacts caused by colors. Whether it’s for your website design, logo, brochure, or even your business card, choosing a primary color or color combination is essential for your brand and brand’s message. That said, let’s explore the different varieties and the impact of color in design.

The Psychology of Color

According to Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, executive director of the Carlstadt, NJ-based Pantone Color Institute, and author of the Pantone Guide to Communicating With Color and Colors for Your Every Mood, colors have an impact on us on many levels. Color raises our blood pressure, increases our breathing and pulse rate, gives us a shot of adrenaline, and even goosebumps. Pretty neat, huh?

From a graphic design perspective, color influences every brand logo, website, and frankly, all branded materials. That’s why designers are hell-bent on selecting the perfect color palette for any brand.

What Do I Do If I Am Not Sure About My Brand Colors?

Not sure the colors associated with your brand match up? No biggie. Give us a call at 323-848-4465 or send us a message online and we’ll help color coordinate your logo design, website, and more! But if you need a little more convincing first, you can see how we work with color by checking us out on Instagram!

What’s The Difference Between RGB, CMYK, and Pantone?

Utilizing the right colors, and color modes, in graphic design is so important because of how color can affect a message and output. Consider this, not only do colors enforce a brand, but they also affect how people perceive its message. For example, colors display differently on screens and printed materials. And because of this, one of the tasks all graphic designers face when creating collateral for web and print is how to adjust for these differences. Enter RGB, CMYK, and Pantone. Graphic designers commonly use these three distinct varieties of colors, and here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you choose the right one for your project:

1. RGB

RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. Computers, TVs, and digital cameras use this color mode. For example, a computer monitor is black, and light is incorporated to create color. Same goes for your TV.


CMYK stands for Cyan (light blue), Magenta (pink-red), Yellow, and Black. It is applied in printing color. This four-color printing process uses only these 4 colors to mix all the colors in a design.


PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. It’s a color matching system in which inks are created in a wide spectrum of individual shades of colors. You’ll often find a book of PMS swatches in a designer’s office. These swatch books contain pages of PMS colors printed side by side and allow a designer to find the tone that best matches a CYMK color. Since PMS colors are not created by 4 other colors like in CMYK printing, PMS printing (or spot-color printing) promises higher accuracy in recreating the same exact shade with every print.

Over The Rainbow

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the classic “The Wizard Of Oz” and its dramatic shift from black and white in the Kansas scenes to the full color Oz scenes. Let’s be honest, the film is without a doubt a classic. However, do you think the film would have had the same impact without the shift to color?

That said, it’s wise to consider the color palette of your brand, its logo design, website, and everything else in between to make an impact and evoke the right emotions. Choosing the best color path will help your brand attain a more colorful marketing strategy, for sure. Need some help? Give us a call at 323-848-4465 or send us a message online and we can help you explore a rainbow of colorful options.

About the Author of This Post

Christopher Dalbey is an actor and screenwriter who likes to hear the funny side of the story first. You can follow his odd-yssey on Instagram, and see full clips of his work on


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