Devil in the Detail: Why Color Management is so Important for Brand Identity

by Mike Malz

Have you ever felt that your product wasn’t getting enough attention? That clients are choosing a similar product over yours? Often this choice comes down to the smallest of details. Some of these details are as simple as the shade of blue you are using.
Color is essential to all companies. From pharmaceutical firms to those within the food and beverage industry, many companies use color to uniquely define themselves to customers. They must ensure their products are consistent in color and remain memorable to clients scanning the shelves.

 

What is Color Management?

The goal is to make sure there is a good match between what is designed on a screen and what comes out in print. Confirming that your color is correct might mean scanning your proof and comparing it to the approved file. This can lead to another potential issue: what happens if the colors are not the same? Most companies, even the most well-known, do not have the tools necessary to inspect color on their packaging properly.

 

How Color Management Affects Trademarks

There has been marketing research done on the link between color and sales. For example, some clients may recognize a chocolate bar from the color of the packaging. This is the case for products like Cadbury and their classic purple wrapper. However, there are other brands that are having a difficult time getting color trademarked.
According to Adweek, General Mills was rejected by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board trying to trademark the yellow on their boxes of Cheerios. To some consumers, Cheerios have been a favorite for many years. However, what about those shopping around for a new cereal? This news does not work well in their favor. Buyers may have to look a little closer to find Cheerios amongst the other yellow cereal boxes.
This is why color management is so important. Color impacts the effectiveness and the brands of these products. Systems need to be put in place to carefully inspect packaging once finished. Relying on proofreading can be problematic. Firstly, it can take hours to review a single product. Also, manual inspection of colors are nearly impossible to differentiate when they may only be slightly different. This is especially true when comparing a physical print to an on-screen color.

 

The GlobalVision Graphics Inspection Tool

Automation presents one solution to these challenges. Globalvision compares large artwork files in seconds as opposed to hours. Not only does it find color differences between a sample and master, it can also proofread more accurately than the naked eye. Few people are effective at this. Platforms like Globalvision are.
If you truly value your trademark, a little investment to ensure the strength of your brand and credibility is a smart decision. A little time too, in the sense that an automated system takes significantly less time than manual checks. It can also help prevent a possible loss of brand equity. This is why having a trademarked color is vital for products. No one wants to be in hot water like Cheerios, or should I say hot milk.
With all the latest technology, there is no reason why companies should suffer from inconsistent color management. Tracking the same shade of color across your workflow is a difficult but essential task. Color is the first thing to which potential buyers are attracted. They want products that they recognize. Automating color inspections can help your brand become recognized simply by its consistent shade of color, and ultimately the buyer’s first choice.