Why most Brand Manuals fail when it comes to defining Brand Colors - and how to determine acceptable Color Deviations for specific Brand Colors

From top class Universities and governmental organizations to high-end global brands and well-known local brands, a surprising consistency of inattentiveness has been published in these compa-nies’ prestigious Brand Manuals and Brand Guides. When it comes to providing technical guidance, defining and describing their Brand Colors, they all fail. By examining and analyzing more than 300 different Brand Colors from 156 Brand Manuals by reputable local and global Brands including 28 of the 100 Best Global Brands (see Appendix) and by numerous of visits and interviews with responsible professionals from both sides throughout the years it is obvious that there is an alarming lack of communication between technical experts and design experts. 91 % of the Brand Manuals specifies their Brand Colors as either PANTONE or PANTONE C. 90.4 % of the Brand Manuals also specifies their Brand Colors with supplementary CMYK-values even though only 45.8 % of those Brand Colors are achievable by using the process colors CMYK. This will result in unpredicted color differences of up to 35 ΔEab or 8.3 ΔE2000 when some of those Brand Colors are reproduced. Nevertheless, none of the Brand Manuals has neither any remarks, comments or warnings of color deviations nor indications of acceptable color tolerances. Only 1.3 % of the Brand Manuals also define their Brand Colors with device independent CIELAB-values. It appears that when designers and Brand Owners select and specifies Brand Colors they tend to choose colors which cannot be reproduced by using CMYK process colors and therefore the Brand Color cannot be shown in e.g. magazine ads, newspaper ads, digital print and other print media. They are bound to be disappointed. This Paper will present a practical approach to specifying and communication Brand Colors and to determine acceptable color deviation for specific Brand Colors
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TitelAdvances in printing and media technology
ForlagInternational Association of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industries
Publikationsdatoaug. 2016
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-9870704-6-4
Peer reviewJa
Begivenhed43rd International IARIGAI Conference - Toronto, Canada
Varighed: 24 aug. 201627 aug. 2016


NavnAdvances in Print and Media Technology
ForlagIARIGAI The International Assocoation of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industries
ISSN (Elektronisk)0209-4021


  • IARIGAI: The International Association of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industries
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