What the colour of your stationery says about your business

In business everything matters. When you’re making a first approach to a new customer or client, it may well be that your stationery is the first contact you have with them, so it’s important to get the colour right. And even before you come to the content of any message, the colours you use to brand your business, appearing on your business cards, letterheads, invoices and website will speak volumes, so it’s important to understand what the colour of your stationery says about your business.

Does colour really matter?

The psychology of colour is well established – certain colours make you feel certain emotions. This applies equally in the business arena as it does in any other aspect of life, so bear this in mind when selecting your business stationery colours, from invoice templates to business proposal templates and you can make a statement about your business without using words.

Which colour stationary should I choose for my business?

Lets look at some examples. Blue will give your business an air of honesty and trustworthiness. That’s not to say that if you avoid this colour, people will think you are dishonest, but if these are qualities that are particularly important in the area you work in, consider using blue tones in your stationery. Blue also gives the impression of being conservative, and can add to a sense of caring generated by your branding. Caring can also be conveyed using greens, colours that also demonstrate an environmentally friendly aspect of your business.

Use warmer colours to demonstrate edgier aspects to your business – red shows passion, orange is considered to demonstrate an element of risk taking, but also affordability. Yellow has playful connotations. If you operate – or would like to – at the high end of your market place, black and silver are indicative of elegance and sophistication, while luxury and high quality can also be imparted through golds and purples. To make a statement of power, use black.

Colour combinations matter

So far, so good, and you can see that in careful combination, colour can make a powerful statement about your business – but remember that as well as positive associations, colours can have negative associations too. While orange can inspire and create enthusiasm, stimulating appetite and conversation in addition to the qualities mentioned above, used excessively, or in too garish a shade, orange can be perceived as superficial and insincere. Also, while blue is probably the most universally favoured colour and therefore relatively ‘safe’, it could also be perceived as boring or even cold. Pink, essentially a feminine colour, suggests compassion, nurturing, love, and romance and is inspiring, warm and comforting. However, too much or too bright and you will convey a message of immaturity.

Essentially, much will depend on the nature of your business, so consider carefully the industry you’re in, the goods or services your business offers, and what you need to convey using the subconscious associations of colour in your invoice templates or business documents. Once this is clear, you’ll be able to choose the colour of your stationery with confidence, so that it will say exactly what you want it to!

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