Why is colour consistency so important?

17 Mar 2022
Colour-blog image

It is no secret that colour is a critical part of a brand’s identity. Getting colours perfectly accurate on all products, no matter what materials they might be packed in, is crucial for any brand. When all is said and done, in a crowded market, the need for pinpoint accuracy has never been greater. Think of the difference between the reds of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. The human eye has around 100 million individual photoreceptors – it’s almost superhuman in its precision and although it may only be slight, this subtle difference in hue is instantly, intuitively recognisable to any consumer.

Reproducing a brand’s colour across all branded materials is a high-stakes balancing act. Get it right, and you can spark an instant familiarity with that brand’s customers that can last a lifetime. Get it wrong, and the branding can get lost in the crowd of identikit reds, greens, and blues.

Expand your voice

Ironically, a visual concept such as colour allows a brand to find its voice, unlocking new possibilities for storytelling and connecting with an audience. One of the most famous TV adverts of all time, Cadbury’s Gorilla, made almost no mention of the brand at all, yet it was instantly identifiable thanks to the trademark purple backdrop that was seen throughout. The TV spot was complemented by a range of print marketing materials as well as Cadbury’s product packaging, successfully sparking conversations across the world and improving both sales and brand image. It is unsurprising that Cadbury’s has repeatedly (and expensively) tried to legally protect their use of Pantone 2685C purple over the years, such is its value.

This should serve as a demonstration of the power that brand colours can hold. It unifies a brand’s message across all marketing materials – including, most importantly, product packaging – and acts as a shorthand for the ideas you want your customers to internalise. For printers, being able to provide these results reliably across the repro process, from concept to shelf, is the single most vital way you can build trust, grow your reputation, and attract the biggest clients. If it’s of paramount importance to your clients, it should be to you, too.

Consistency in the global marketplace

Brand iconography is often a global issue, and not just for multinational brands such as Cadbury’s. Printed marketing materials and packaging are often produced on a massive range of substrates across the world, produced by countless printers with their own unique setup, competencies and resources.

If all those materials in all your markets are precisely in line with your brand’s colour, you can maximise your global reach and keep a consistent image and underpin essential brand equity. For commercial punch, this international consistency is often that elusive ‘x-factor’ that brands are seeking.  This means your print production needs reliable, consistent results from every single run, no matter what you print on.

Builds consumer trust

Perfect uniformity in colour and design lends any product an air of quality which can help products stand out, even when surrounded by its competitors on-shelf. In sectors where competition is particularly fierce, such as food, FMCG, and personal care, it can make all the difference. What makes one orange flavour snack stand out over another to a new customer? Vivid orange hues printed on premium packaging can be the deciding factor and with the right reprographics support in place, it can be made simple.

On the other side of the coin, inconsistent colours are guaranteed to give any product a cheap, off-brand feel. The human eye is very perceptive to slight differences in colour, especially in cases where the consumer may already be familiar with what a brand’s colour should be. An established brand colour is always more noticeable when it’s off-tone! This, of course, means a subpar print run can shatter the consumer’s hard-earned trust in a brand in an instant, undoing all the hard work you might have done to create a strong narrative around the product.

Every brand wants to build trust with their customer base. A printer will have to deal with the expectations of both clients and consumers and prove themselves to both. In the interest of keeping your presses running as efficiently as possible, it’s important that you refine your colour management process as much as you can in the prepress stage.

Do you know how a particular ink will behave on a new substrate? If you aren’t sure, turning to specialists in the field like Creation Reprographics can streamline this process for you. We understand the ever-evolving fields of inks and ink technology like no one else and are ready to apply what we’ve learned to your business to support you.

Waste reduction and sustainability

Perhaps a less obvious benefit of colour consistency is that it can help you meet your sustainability goals. How does it work? The key is in waste reduction.

Inconsistencies and errors in production mean more waste created overall. Every press stop or rerun does not just incur a cost in terms of materials, time, or human resources – they have a carbon cost associated, too.

At a time when sustainability is top of the global agenda, the importance of accurate colour conversion across substrates should not be overlooked.

A specialist digital solution

When it comes to delivering optimal results across all substrates at the rapid pace the modern market demands, the ideal solution is to use specialists such as Creation. With the expertise and market-leading technology that can create an agile digital solution to colour management, Creation offers you total brand consistency and absolute mastery of the precise pre-press and origination process.

We champion Extended Colour Gamut (ECG) printing to ensure the tightest possible deviation control for printing and converting. Our unrivalled team of experts can also guarantee superior, reliable results across any substrate, so your visual messaging will be unified across your range.

Being prepared to adjust – quickly

Inevitably, when working on such a broad range of converting, printing, and packaging jobs, there will be times when it is necessary to stray outside of repro industry standards like GRACoL or ISO. In these cases, you will need to make minute changes to your print data.

We use the most cutting-edge hardware and software in the industry to ensure we can make these changes rapidly, calculating precise profiles without the need to run a new proof. This guarantees quality and consistency without trial and error – and without delays.

Is Creation the ideal repro partner for your printing or converting business?

To learn more about our colour management services across all aspects of packaging production, click here to contact our team today.

Contact us on +44 (0) 1327 312444  or info@creation-repro.com
and we’ll be happy to help