Your Logo Ever Look Blah?

Photo of a man working  in printing factory

Photo of a man working in printing factory

Your Logo Ever Look Blah?

As a marketing team, you excitedly put your heads together to create logos, corporate color guidelines and other elements to boost and reinforce your organization’s identity. But too often, you’re left scratching your head when those things appear differently on various printed and promotional materials.

Come on, this is almost 2018! Brand consistency problems should never happen. We can help you make sure they don’t.

Let’s say you’re a plant nursery (fun!) and your logo features a vibrant image of an evergreen tree. You understand the importance of maintaining brand consistency online and offline, so you want that logo to represent your company correctly no matter where it appears:

  • Business cards and stationery
  • Digitally printed postcards
  • Wall graphics printed on vinyl
  • Website
  • Email messages
  • 4-color brochures
  • Golf shirts and balloons for your next corporate event
  • Posters printed on recycled paper

Without the guidance of a seasoned print partner, different papers and materials (called “substrates”) and printing processes can make it difficult to achieve consistent color. Layering those substrates — for example, packaging a product using paper labels encased in shrink-wrapped film — intensifies the problem. And, scientifically speaking, the cost implications of inconsistent branding “suck.”

Consistency Across Departments

Brand consistency is critical to organizations of all sizes, not just huge corporations with golden arches or athletic swooshes. At Hotcards, we live to help clients “become known” — we believe your brand is essentially a promise to your audience.

But that promise can be affected by many hands, pieces of equipment and computer screens. What if your company’s brand color is specified in New York City, your design team works in Boston, prepress occurs on shop floors at plants in various cities, and each of your 200 franchisees is responsible for ordering printed items that follow specified guidelines?

What if one of those franchisees wants to include a design feature that would improve the impact of a marketing piece? How might that affect how the piece should be printed? How can you ensure that employees working in different departments and locations receive the same high-quality, properly branded materials?

 Let’s Look at the Culprits

 Without getting too technical, the colors of your printed pieces are either spot (ink or toner is mixed to achieve an exact color) or process (a color is created through a mix of the four process colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black, often referred to as “CMYK”).

Simply put, spot and process colors don’t appear exactly the same (although with newer digital print devices, it’s harder to discern the difference). This truth is just one factor that can affect the consistency of your brand colors. Here are others:

  • Print production method (digital printing, offset printing, screen printing, etc.)
  • Resolution (number of dots per inch)
  • Ink characteristics
  • Dyes or pigments
  • Viscosity
  • Coatings
  • Drying time
  • Substrate characteristics (color, thickness and material makeup of materials such as paper, cloth, vinyl, mesh, plastic, stretched canvas, etc.)
  • Humidity and temperature

Getting It Right

 Your brand communication is too important to be handled by an inexperienced marketing services provider. Your partner should employ a team of professionals who “wear the same color jersey” as your team. The company you work with should understand the value of consistent brand messaging, know how to ensure correct color and help you maximize the power of each marketing piece.

At Hotcards, we live and breathe this stuff. Together, let’s make your brand stand out, and then we’ll make sure it appears consistently wherever you unleash it.


Stay Hot,



Printing 12.12.2017

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