One of the most beautiful things in the world is a rainbow. It signifies beauty, luck, hope, growth, and the irrepressible power of colour. It’s a symbol that brings joy across cultures, even though the colours themselves signify different things in different places.
For example, in the Western world, a woman in a red dress is a beacon of sensuality and desire. It connotes a woman who knows her way around and is experienced and confident in her feminine wiles. In many parts of Asia, the opposite is true, since pure, innocent, virginal brides wear red at their weddings to symbolise prosperity, fertility, and good fortune.
In the 14th century France, white was considered a funeral colour worn by widows until Princess Philippa, an English bride, wore it at her wedding to the Dauphin. In many other parts of the world, black is a mourning colour, though, in certain contexts, the seductive element of the Little Black Dress is beyond question.
Colour choice can, therefore, create subliminal messaging in the minds and pockets of your potential clients. You should consider this carefully as you choose your brand palette. Once you pick your company colour chart, you may well be stuck with it until or unless you undergo a rebrand, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and confusing.
Fortunately, there are other ways to use colour in positioning your brand. Your outdoor advertising doesn’t always have to stick to brand colours. In billboards and banners, you have a lot more leeway, and you can apply the colours of the season.
For example, regardless of what your brand guidelines say, it’s only natural to use red in Valentine’s campaigns, or pink in October for breast cancer awareness. For Christmas, brands use red as well, but also silver and green. Many brands use blue for Hanukkah.
As we venture into Spring, you can ramp up your banners and display ads with bright flowery colour choices that reflect sunshine and greenery. You can bring some light into your graphics by shooting models in open fields and cheerful settings, which will contextually incorporate the bright colours of Spring.
After a long a dreary winter, Aussies are busy celebrating the warmth and the sunshine, and what colour displays this better than orange? It’s the tone of both sunrise and sunset, which are – incidentally – great times of day for photography.
So if orange is too far divorced from your brand colour, try creating a display banner that features a beautiful dawn or soothing dusk. It can be a pack shot with clever wording or a cosy couple enjoying your product as they watch the sun go down.
Another idea is to use fresh fruits that are orange in colour like mangoes, peaches, apricots, pumpkins, squashes, and … oranges. Orange coloured flowers work too, and they are the perfect embodiment of spring. Many daisies turn orange after it rains, so given we’ve just gotten through the winter rain, a well-positioned daisy could make a great display ad.
Along with the colour orange, yellow works well too. It can signify the sunshine and new beginnings, so it’s a good colour for spring. Work with your designer to see how to best incorporate yellow in your banners, and how to put it together with your own brand tones.
Other ways to use these colours include adding them to your models’ wardrobes, either during the shot itself or in post-production. It could be as simple as having a model use your product while wearing a barrette with orange and yellow detail, or a male model giving a female model a peach rose, with some relevant copy about the services you provide.
Creativity and context are the keys to good advertising, so whichever elements or colours you choose to apply, keep them positive, relevant, and always make a clear connection between the banner’s concept and the purpose or function of your brand.