Monthly Archives: December 2011

Branding a Color. I Think Periwinkle’s Available.


Did you know Aggie Maroon is actually an official PMS (no, that stands for Pantone Matching System – a printing ink color standard) color? It is. A few days ago I was suggesting to a client that we use the color orange for something or other. He smiled and reminded me that half of all Texans would be offended.

If I hadn’t encountered this before, I would have been truly puzzled. But I did indeed know exactly what he meant. You can divide Texas into two camps: burnt orange and maroon. Maroon for those who go or went to Texas A&M, and burnt orange of the University of Texas. And somehow it’s all tied into football. But that a topic for another post.

Once I prepared a series of campaign postcards for an attorney who was running for local bar association president. She insisted that we use maroon as the main color on one and orange on the other. We didn’t want to leave anyone out.

While I suspect this may be a bigger deal in Texas than anywhere else, I can think of another two-color division that’s gone a bit more viral. Red states and blue states. Thanks to CNN’s election result charts from a few years back, states are now divided into either of two colors. Never before have states been so easily distinguished from one another.

If this red/blue thing had gone away after that election, then fine, it would have been just a way that a news network chose to illustrate election results on-air. But it went viral before the word viral went viral. It had legs. Viral legs. Red and blue are now part of the official vernacular of political analysts, campaign workers, reporters, bloggers, and ordinary wonks everywhere.

Who knew? And what about colored ribbons? I see pink, I think of breast cancer victims, not little girls’ dresses. Yellow ribbons are tied around old oak trees and have been since the 1940s. Ferrari has its own red. Chase bank has been trying to brand a blue by airing commercials that are black and white except for the blue chase card. More and more companies are using this trick now that they decided it’s cool. Target stores has tried to brand the color red.

Some people want their presence on earth to be immortalized in the name of a newly discovered star, planet, or moon in a far-away galaxy.

Not me. I want a color, a particular shade of something or other. I like orange and use it on my Morninglight Marketing web site. (It’s not burnt orange). But I don’t want orange as my personal brand color.

Hmmm. Maybe something akin to periwinkle blue. I like periwinkle because it’s an odd color. periwinkle is to blue what salmon is to pink – just a bit off-center. I have a friend who had a “salmon” sofa once. He’s a bit off-center, too (meant in a very good way). So if there were a color called “Peter,” what would it be. Ferrari red, A&M maroon, periwinkle peter. Works for me.