Volume 3 No. 3 –Color: The New Universal Language

By David Callif, President of BCM INKS

Why should you care about color? Color and appearance are two of the key drivers that influence customer preference in buying a retail product. Color makes the deepest, most lasting impression on a consumer, more so than does shape, texture, or words.

In my opinion, the proliferation of retail products has made color more important than ever. The “right” look and/or color helps a product stand out in the retail environment.

Today, the retail environment requires a new communication approach. A new way to connect to your global customers. One way is through the use of the right color and/or colors – the new universal language. This e-newsletter will examine color trends and how you can use these trends to build your business and your customer’s.

Color Trends

Some people call color trends “color cycles”.  According to Benjamin Moore & Co., color cycles or the shift in a color’s popularity last 7 years or less. Not all colors have the same color cycle:  Bright strong colors have shorter cycles than classics such as black, white, and navy blue which can be timeless.

One color trend that is showing a marked increase in consumer preference is any product or item that has a metallic finish.  Tinted silvers appear to be a particular winner.  Why?  Because they give an appearance that shouts “quality” and “different”.  PCI Magazine states “There is an opportunity for color differentiation that customers will pay for”.  Silver tints are one such opportunity.

Another way to identify color trends is to subscribe to The Pantone Color Institute. They forecast the hot new colors every year.  However, if you don’t subscribe to their service, how can you stay ahead of the color trends?  The answer is FOLLOW FASHION.  The hot colors in fashion will eventually follow their way into packaging and POP.  According to the Institute, some of the hot colors for 2005/2006 will be Moroccan Blue, Burnt Olive and Orange, Ruby Wine, and American Beauty Red.

Finally, Green is “in” as a color trend and an environmental movement.  Moss and burnt olive will be big this fall and winter.  The environmental portion of the green movement took hold in Europe more than 50 years ago.  Now it is a world wide movement.  Various consumer products companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Coca Cola, Sony, etc. have adopted stringent environmental color and material standards to insure a better environment. 

Business Building Ideas

The right color can make or break a product and determine its success or failure.  Some ideas we’d like to suggest to help you and your customers capitalize on the color trends are as follows:

1.     Present metallic colors.  This will enable your customers to achieve product differentiation at retail.  Metallic colors are different from standard colors in their ability to demonstrate the “flop” effect.  This effect results from a change in color perception with the angle of viewing.

2.     Present colors that will make the consumer react favorably to the package or POP.  For example, bright, bold, strong yellow is associated with “Value for the Money” while bright red encourages touch.

3.     Present colors that are ahead of the color cycle.  Study European fashion then incorporate these colors in a product mock-up.  Show the possibilities of fashion forward packaging or POP.

4.     Present colors that help your customers target specific markets.

If you want to move your business and your customer’s business forward, now is the time to learn the new universal language of color.  We can help.  Please call or email me for more information.

Ph: 513-469-0400

E-mail: Dave@bcminks.com


David Callif