I bet there’s color in your logo. Are you using those colors in your social media graphics, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, advertisements, Word documents, etc? You should be. And it’s easy to do.

Being consistent with your colors increases trust in your brand. Sounds silly, but it’s true.

Look at my logo. The main color is Orange. Two of my clients also have Orange as a main color in their logos. Yet, our color schemes look nothing alike.

Colors are actually quite complicated. I’m going to simplify it for you.

First, an overview of different color models. Think of these as different color languages.

  1. RGB: Your computer screen is comprised of pixels of light colored as RGB (red, green, blue). It’s programmed to mix these colors together to arrive at the particular shade you see on the screen. You’ll see RGB colors as 3 separate 1-3-digit numbers, for example “R:254 G:80 B:0.”
  2. Hex: Hex stands for hexadecimal number and is widely used by web developers. Hex colors are a six-digit combination of letters and numbers, such as “FE5000.” Hex colors are similar to RBG in that they are only used for viewing on screens (never printed) and are a combination of red, green, and blue. You can convert a hex to an RGB color and get an exact match (just Google it). Hex and RGB are two ways to say the same thing.
  3. CMYK: Your office printer likely uses CMYK colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). You’ve probably noticed these colors when you change your printer ink. CMYK is displayed as 4 numbers (corresponding to the level of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, or Black to be used). For example, “0 74 100 0”
  4. Pantone/PMS: Pantone colors are like CMYK plus lots of caffeine. Pantone is color perfected. It’s more vibrant and requires specialized equipment to print. There are many more choices in pantone colors. Pantone colors are used by large corporations to get the perfect color. Some pantone colors are even trademarked by large corporations, such as the Target Red.

So how on earth do you find these codes? The easiest way is to ask your graphic designer. I hear you groaning. Probably 50% of the people reading this are not in communication with their original graphic designer, or never had one to begin with (perhaps you selected a font and a color and just went with it 20 years ago without ever looking at a color code). No worries. I got you.

Try this. Open a blank PowerPoint slide. Paste your logo. Below your logo, write a word. Any word. Now click on text color and select the eyedropper (see below).

Hover over the color you want to find. Let’s assume I want to change the “I love small businesses” color to match the green in my leaf. Hover over the leaf and the RGB color code pops up.

Thank you, Microsoft. I can see that the RGB color is 56, 138, 59.

Now that you know your RGB, you can use this code in Mailchimp, Canva, Word, Excel, etc. These programs allow you to customize your colors by plugging in the RGB codes.

What about all those other color models? When you print, your office printer converts the RGB color to CMYK. It’s not exact, but it’s close enough for 99% of small business needs. When you print your business cards or advertisements using a professional printing studio, they will likely get more specific with your colors. Let them be the experts. They will guide you. Finding your RGB code will solve almost every color need you have for your small business.

Now that you know how to find your brand color, make sure you use it on anything representing your company! Happy Marketing!

4 Oranges is committed to bringing you weekly tips in the form of To-Do List items that you can complete in an hour or less. These tips were generated from reviewing best practices from the hundreds of businesses I’ve worked with over the past 15 years. I expect you’re already doing some (but not all) of them. Improve your business by making quick fixes that have long-lasting results.

© 2019 4 Oranges