Color Smart – Mimi Cooper

Color Smart: How to Use Color to Enhance Your Business and Personal Life
Mimi Cooper with Arlene Matthews

Color Smart is a good little resource for color in marketing. It is a simple and direct guide to keep the business owner or prom queen from making a color faux pas. It teaches you to pay attention to the signals that colors send about you and your business, as well as how to impress others by appealing to their color preferences.

Cooper states that people come in three varieties or color profiles

  • Color-Forward: Those who embrace the newest colors of every season and dare to be the first to use them.
  • Color-Prudent: Those who are more cautious to try new colors, but use them in small amounts to add excitement to their life.
  • Color-Loyal: Those who stick with their colors and almost never try new ones.

To relate to others at their level, you’ve got to utilize colors that are at their same color profile. If you want to make yourself look fun, exciting and creative, use colors that are one profile level higher. To seem down to earth and reliable, use one profile lower.

Besides the color profiles of different people, you should also be aware of the signals that colors send. Red draws attention to itself and stirs strong emotions. Oranges imply spiciness and also that something is inexpensive, though it should be used in small amounts. Yellow is best used as an accent color, conveys happiness, and is the easiest color to spot (hence yellow school zone signs, etc.). Greens have the widest variety of signals, which are mostly influenced by their content of yellow or blue. Blue, the most popular color, is calming and soothing, but can be seen as boring. Purple should be used sparingly, but is great for children’s products. Neutrals, grays, blacks and browns are often used as accents, but can be used alone or in combination with themselves.

There are other features that teach you how to do what the pros do in using color. The professionals use these colors to attract our attention, help us recognize products, and reposition their businesses in the marketplace. Cooper also points out that different countries use color in different ways. When marketing to foreign lands you know ahead of time how to best cater to their styles.

So far I’ve used the advice and information in this book to design this blog and plan on using it to with all of our visual marketing techniques. With this book you can learn how to market your business using color. Which signals do you want to send? And how do you want others to see you?

For a great example of the true power of color in marketing see why Ace is not Tide!

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