Use Color to Freshen Up Your Business Materials

4 ways to use color to your company's advantage.

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to freshen up your company’s marketing materials with splashes of color. Research shows that colorful visuals increase people’s willingness to read information by 80% and communicate brand identity better than words alone.


A few smart moves can help you use color effectively to attract positive attention and make a lasting impression. Use these ideas to get started.


Presentations and reports

Successful business presentations and reports engage an audience from start to finish. Use background colors, borders and colorful images to keep your audience attentive and interested. Apply low-wavelength colors like green and blue to boost concentration and focus. Draw attention to critical information with vibrant shades of yellow and red.


Be sure to choose hues that contrast strongly with the background color on your slides or pages. This will make them easier to see. For example, use deep greens or burgundy on a light beige background and bold white on a navy background. Avoid patterned backgrounds to keep your layouts crisp and readable.


Employee materials

Workers are asked to consume a huge amount of information — strategy documents, product briefs, employee manuals and more. Keep your team tuned in by using spot colors for headers and pull quotes and adding vibrant graphics, charts and images. You can also use colored paper to grab and hold attention. 


Choose complementary colors, which appear opposite each other on a color wheel, to add energy and give your pieces a balanced feel. For example, blue and orange are complementary colors that can also boost attention and comprehension, with blue hues increasing focus and orange shades stimulating brain activity.


Posters and flyers

Studies show that using colors and images in marketing materials can increase message recall and brand recognition. This is a great reason to add bold accents and graphics to announcements about monthly specials, new products and other information.


For instance, add touches of color to fonts and borders, and include vibrant images to grab attention and pique readers’ interest. Make sure to strengthen your brand recognition by using colorful design elements consistently on all your layouts and putting your logo in the same place on every poster or flyer.


Corporate identity kit

Use color strategically in your company’s identity kit, from letterhead to appointment cards. For a fresh, modern look, rely on lots of white space with touches of color. Or, underscore your brand’s high-end feel by adding a dab of color to a black background. Brighten existing layouts by adding a pop of color with a vivid border or backdrop.


Remember to keep an eye trained on your culture and brand when you’re adding color to your materials. Don’t alter the colors in your logo, of course, or stray too far from the colors typically used to communicate important messages.


Get a jumpstart on your 2020 materials with help from your print and marketing partners at Staples