How do I make colour work for my printing project?

You’re just starting out on your new venture and have got to that exciting stage where you’re about to order your business cards and stationery for printing.

Before you dive in, spare a thought for some of the basic rules around colour. While colour choices are often a very personal thing, knowing a little about colour branding guidelines could make a big difference to the image you portray.

Check out our guide to making colour work for your printing project. We’ll take a look at colour theory and the messages that individual colours send out to help you plan all the colour printing you need to make your business printing a success for your business.

Colour theory: the low down

One of the best places to start on this topic is the colour wheel. The colour wheel found online nowadays is based on the one invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.

A colour wheel is a circular shape usually divided into 12 sections, each one displaying a different colour. There may be shades of each individual colour depicted in the inner segments of the wheel.

The wheel shows the relationship between the colours and allows you to find colours that complement each other, which are situated at opposite sides of the circle. For example, you’ll see that orange and blue sit directly opposite each other and look great together.

You can also work out which are the warm colours (working clockwise, those from red through to yellow-green) and the cooler colours, which are represented on the other half.

More about colour schemes

As we’ve seen, colours that sit directly opposite each other are complementary and look great for the design element of your printing, but you should avoid them for text.

An analogous colour scheme uses colours that sit next to each other on the wheel. These combinations often represent colours found in nature and can be very soothing to the eye.

Or for a fresh look to your colour printing, try a split-complementary colour scheme. Pick one primary colour and two colours that are next to the first colour’s complement. So you could choose yellow, dark blue and bright pink for a striking scheme.

Colours and their individual impact

Know that every colour conveys its own impression, so use this to your advantage when planning your colour printing project.

vintage porsche 911 car

Famous brands like Ferrari have used red to their advantage because it represents dynamic energy and is eye-catching and impactful. If your brand is fierce and passionate, red is the right choice.

Yellow is the colour of happiness and positivity. Use it for playful brands aimed at a young market or to convey your product’s fun side…just like Lego and Ikea!

Blue is the colour we turn to when we want to appear calm and trustworthy. That’s why it’s used in many healthcare and financial brands. Visa and PayPal are two such examples.

sydney, australia 2020 11 19 sign board of woolworths supermarket. woolworths is an australian supermarket, retail and consumer services chain.
Woolworths supermarket branding uses lots of green

Green is another colour that conveys a feeling of tranquillity, safety and also freshness. It’s used by brands like Woolworths who want to convey the message that their products are wholesome and good to eat.

Orange is a colour that gives the feeling of warmth, energy and fun. It works brilliantly for brands such as Fanta and Dunkin’ Donuts.

hong kong august 14, 2017: yves saint laurent sign; yves saint laurent ysl is a french luxury fashion house founded in 1961.
hong kong august 14, 2017: yves saint laurent sign; yves saint laurent ysl is a french luxury fashion house founded in 1961.

Nothing says luxury and sophistication like black, so it’s no surprise that some of the world’s most iconic brands use it as their signature colour. Think Chanel, Jaguar and Yves Saint Laurent.

White signifies purity and simplicity and is the signature of instantly recognisable brands like Apple and Samsung.

Let us reveal your brand’s true colours

If you’re wondering, "where can I find business printing services near me," get in touch with the team at Baileys Print Co.

We have decades of business printing experience to offer, making us the natural choice for many colour printing projects, from business cardsbannerspull up and roll up banners to posters and flyers.

Together, let’s reveal your brand’s true colours for maximum impact!

Baileys Print Co.

Baileys Print Co. is a family run printing business based in Melbourne. We’ve been getting inky fingers for over 19 years.