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From Color to Brand

By: Jeff Falk, with contributions from Brian Budzynski and Kim Jednachowski
Posted: December 7, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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ColorWorks molds bottle samples in a modified Boston round shape. Its simple, concentric design virtually eliminates color variations related to the bottle shape and allows brand owners to concentrate on color, effects, opacity, etc., without getting hung up on aspects such as shape.

“The customer sees color in the mind’s eye, but what we want to do is define color by its characteristics and then bring those characteristics into chemistry that works in each layer of the structure,” says Kulka.

It is also, then, important for the color experts to understand and be able to explain what happens to color (or the perception of that color) as it translates from the mind’s eye—or pair of shoes, in this case—to the bottle. And when the first Timeless Radiance shampoo bottle comes off the mold, customer Jednachowski is not thrilled. The color matches the Pantone sample and the shoes, but it doesn’t translate to the bottle. The luster and gloss of the shoes, something the customer took for granted as an element of the color, wasn’t there in the first bottle iteration. This was the first lesson: expressing details, desires that influenced the attraction to the color but wasn’t necessarily the “color.”

“It’s a physical manifestation of color. One of the most difficult things we do is interpret an idea of a color. Your interpretation of the color and my interpretation of the color are clearly different,” says Philip Ksiazek, color development specialist. This, too, was a good jumping off point to talk about materials, layers of a bottle, balance of color and the impact on the overall color.

Materials, particularly PCR, can impact the visual aspects of a package in a negative way. Yet, when included as a component of the “background” in the layer structure of the bottle, these same materials contribute to the overall color creativity, and can be used to help control the brightness or darkness of the color contrast in a container.