Colour in Marketing

As an Image Consultant, a lot of what I do can be summed up as ‘teaching men how to better market themselves’. I do other things as well, but lets stick with this explanation for this article. Essentially, there is little difference between marketing yourself, and marketing your business or brand; so while I can’t claim to be an advertising expert, I do know how to sell myself. So, while there numerous aspects to marketing, I’m going to talk about one that I know pretty well: Colour.

Colour Psychology is an interesting topic of study; the idea each colour subconsciously affects your thoughts and your mood is fascinating, and something that every Image Consultant needs to have an understanding of.

So, let me go through the positive and negative emotions associated with the colours, and a bit about how they are used.

Red: 

Pro: Represents courage, strength, energy, masculinity, and excitement

Con: Represents aggression, strain, defiance, and anger.

Red is the most powerful color, and it is used to get a persons attention. For marketing purposes, it if often used in ‘SALE’ signs, or flashing banners on websites; things that try to draw your attention. In the real world, it is used in traffic signs and stoplights. Red is used to get people excited; too much red on a page can be overpowering, but used in moderation, it is an excellent tool for drawing attention to a particular object.

Orange:

Pro: Warmth, security, passion, fun, abundance

Con: Frustration, frivolity, immaturity

Orange is a softer, more friendly alternative to red. Halfway between red and yellow, it combines the attention getting aspect of red, with the friendliness of yellow. A ‘fun’ colour, it is best used in small amounts, and should be mostly avoided on websites for professional services (accountants, lawyers, banking, etc). It is often used on products marketed towards children.

Yellow:

Pro: Optimistic, confidence, self-esteem, friendliness, creativity

Con: Irrational, anxiety, emotional fragility, sickness

Yellow is a very emotional colour; used in the right tone, yellow can be used to lift your spirits and self-esteem; too much yellow, or the wrong tone, can cause lowered self-esteem, and increased anxiety. Certain dull shades of yellow can create a feeling of sickness. Used correctly, yellow is a bright, vibrant, and fun colour, but one best used in small amounts, and not for professional services. Yellow, like orange, is often (and best) used on products marketed towards children (think Big Bird).

Green:

Pro: the colour or rest, reassurance, peace, and harmony, stability, endurance

Con: boredom, stagnation, blandness, jealousy

Green, for most people, is the easiest colour for the eye to perceive; this means that it puts absolutely no stress on the person seeing it, and creates a relaxing feeling. Light green can be used to represent nature, and the feeling of being outdoors. Darker greens can represent (especially in the U.S) money and greed. Green is often used to represent environmentally friendly products; some financial companies (H&R Block, for example) also use green in their marketing.

Blue:

Pro:Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, logic, calm, reflection, youth.

Con: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness, immature

Blue, being the colour of knowledge and communication, is a common choice for social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, etc). Blue is a softer colour, and is not commonly used to aggressively grab attention; rather, it is supposed quietly attract attention, and fade into the background. Studies have shown that people tend to be more productive in blue rooms, and that athletes perform better with blue surroundings. Lighter blues are often used in marketing towards children.

Purple:

Pro: Luxury, truth, quality, spirituality

Con: Introversion, decadence, suppression, childish

Purple is the colour of royalty; associated with wealth, prosperity, and sophistication. Purple is often used to represent spirituality. Depending on the shade, purple can often be considered childish, or feminine; not as common as blue or red, purple is often used in marketing towards children (think Barney the Dinosaur, Teletubbies).

Pink:

Pro: Tranquil, nurturing, warm, femininity, love, sexuality

Con: Inhibition, emasculation, physical weakness, immaturity

Pink is softer tint of red; as such is creates softer emotions. Pink is associated with love, and femininity, and is most often used in marketing products towards women. Because it is also negatively associated with feelings of immaturity, weakness, and emasculation, it is best avoided when marketing products towards men, or for professional business websites.

Brown:

Pro: Seriousness, warmth, nature, reliability, support

Con: Lack of humour, heaviness, lack of sophistication

Brown, like green, is associated with nature, and reliability, but lacks the same calming and relaxing properties. It is used most often in marketing natural food products (coffee, chocolate, etc). Brown is a good colour for showing hard working reliability. Despite these positive qualities, the colour brown is often associated with a lack of sophistication, and with dirt; It is more common in a country setting, rather than in the city.

Grey:

Pro: Neutrality, timelessness, practical, professional, mature

Con: Empty, depression, lack of energy, boring, lifeless

Grey is a middle-of-the-road colour; it is practical, timeless, and neutral. Used in darker shades, it reflects the formality and sophistication of black, while being not as severe. The lighter the grey, the less formal it becomes. Grey is used to show security; it fades into the background and doesn’t try to grab your attention, it’s just there.

Black:

Pro: Authority, power, control, formal, sophisticated, mysterious, elegance

Con: Depressing, secretive, withholding, negative

Black is the colour of authority and power, formality and elegance. Black isn’t flashy, and like grey, isn’t typically used to grab your attention. It is a no-nonsense colour, and is typically used to help draw your attention to something else (e.g, a white text box on a black background, white text on black background, etc).

White:

Pro: Pure, clean, simple, neat, open

Con: sterile, empty, isolated, boring

White is used in a similar way to black; in that it is typically used to help bring attention to something else. White is best used in website backgrounds, as it allows most other colours to stand out better. Using white in the empty spaces of a web page make it look cleaner, and more open. Because white stands for purity, and cleanliness, it is often used in the marketing of kitchen appliances (White Goods, etc), and health related products.

Recommended Reading

I have included some links to some recommended reading, some of which I used to help write this article, and some of which is simply helpful

http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/

http://precisionintermedia.com/color

http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours

50 Shades of Marketing by BluLeadz

The Color Wheel and Men’s Clothing by Real Men Real Style

A Man’s Introduction to Color by Real Men Real Style

Taking up a pair of Jeans

I get vanity sizing; saying that a 40″ waist is a 38″ is something that I understand (I don’t approve, but I understand), but saying that the inseam in 32″ when it’s actually 35″ makes no sense to me. So despite being very happy with my new jeans, there is a lot of excess for me to take up; being as awesome as I am, not only am I incredibly stylish, my skill set is also incredibly versatile, and I am quite capable of doing all my own alterations (it saves a lot of money on tailoring). Now that I am finished tooting my own horn, this is my guide to altering jeans. This is the way that I learnt, which allows you to keep the original hem without needing special thread or a better sewing machine than the one that I have.

Step 1: Measure

I have a pair of the same jeans already hemmed, so I can use those to measure the correct length. If you don’t have a pair to compare them to, put the jeans on, and fold them up until they are the length that you want (just above the floor when standing is my usual length), and have a friend mark them. Now measure the current hem, and double it. That measurement is how far above the first mark that the bottom of the hem will be folded to; refer to the pictures for a guide.

CAM00129

Step 2: Fold and pin

Divide the length in half from the top line, and fold the jeans along this new line. Ensure that the seams line up properly, iron the fold flat, and pin or baste the jeans into place (basting is loose hand stitches designed to temporarily hold the fabric together).

CAM00132

Folded, Ironed, and Basted into place

The seams don’t quite line up in the picture, but I mostly fixed that when sewing it.

Step 3: Sew

You want to sew as close to the current hem as possible, so remove the regular foot from the sewing machine, and attach the zipper foot. Sew around the jeans, keeping the foot against the hem, and take care when going over the thick seams.

CAM00139

Zipper Foot

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CAM00148

The bottom one looks darker because it’s wet

CAM00141 CAM00144

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Once you have sewn the hem, turn it inside the jeans and iron it flat. Next use a blind hem stitch to attach the excess to the inside of the jeans. Click here for a quick video guide to a blind hem stitch, if you need it.

 

Alternate Method

If you have a decent sewing machine, with the right needle and thread, you can take up the jeans the proper way; that is, measure the final length, and add twice the length of the new hem. Fold up the end of the jeans by the length of the hem, and then once again. Sew around the hem, and you’re done. If you use the right thread, the hem should look like the original.

My method is easier for me, but use the one that you prefer.

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A Guide to Shoes and Boots: Part 2

Part 2 of my Guide to Shoes and Boots, covering dress boots, and casual dress boots.

Dress Boots

By their very nature, boots are more casual than regular shoes, so while some dress boots can be worn with suits, none of them are suitable for truly formal events; for work however, a good pair of dress boots are a perfectly acceptable. However, boots are best left to the colder, wetter months, where they provide more warmth and protection than regular shoes.

Oxford Boot

Oxford Boot

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The most formal dress boot, this is basically the boot version of the Oxford shoe. Better left for colder weather, the Oxford Boots are still acceptable for everyday business wear, including with business suits; they are, however, still a bit too formal for casual wear.

Like the regular Oxford Shoe, the boot comes with a cap toe, closed lacing,  and with varying degrees of broguing.

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allenedmonds_shoes_mcadam_black-calf_l

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Derby Boot

Loake-Loake Burford-Black Calf-3417-1150-1

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Slightly less formal than the regular Derby Shoe, the Derby Boot is best worn with business casual attire. At its most formal (Black, Cap Toe, no broguing), the boot is good enough to be worn with a business suit, and at its most casual (light tan, wing tip) it can be worn with jeans.

Alfred Sargent-Alfred Sargent Howard-Acorn Calf-6912-3669-1

Herring-Herring Stratford-Chestnut Calf-2867-1522-1

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Casual Dress Boots

The next few boots straddle the line between casual and dressy, depending mostly on the material of the shoe, and the style in general. Leather is more formal than suede, and laces are more formal than elastic or straps.

Chukka Boot

Cheaney-Cheaney Boughton-Dark Leaf-6925-3681-1

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The Chukka Boot is typically distinguished by the following characteristics:

  • they only have two or three lacing eyelets
  • they are traditionally made from suede
  • they have a rounded toe box, and open lacing
  • they have a leather sole

A casual dress boot, they are best worn with jeans or chinos. Although it is traditionally made from suede, they can be found in plain leather as well; if you are planning on wearing them with a suit, these are the ones to chose. The Chukka Boot is somewhat synonymous with the Desert Boot, which is technically the more casual version; typically made from suede with a rubber sole. The two names are often used interchangeably, but the Desert Boot is best worn with more casual attire, like jeans.

Church-Church Ryder Crepe-Brown Suede-1084-625-1 (1) Church-Church Sahara Crepe III-Sand suede-3277-1516-1

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Chelsea Boot

Herring-Herring Wilson-Black Calf-2731-1464-1

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The Chelsea Boot is an ankle-high boot that is easily distinguished by its elastic side opening and rounded toe box. The Chelsea boot is incredibly versatile, and can be worn with a variety of outfits. In a high quality polished leather, the Chelsea boot can be worn with a suit (but again, not for formal occasions), or with more casual outfits when made from suede, or with broguing. The Chelsea Boot is a wardrobe staple.

Herring-Herring Dundee-Cognac-6509-3391-1 Herring-Herring Wilson-Dark Leaf Calf-2732-1465-1

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Jodhpur boot

Herring-Herring George-Black Calf-3774-2078-1

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The Jodhpur boot is an ankle length boot that, like the Monk Strap, is designed to be fastened with a buckle, instead of laces or elastic. A casual boot whose origins lay in horseback riding, the Jodhpur is a stylish alternative to the Chelsea boot, and can be worn in the much same way; that is, with jeans, chinos, or a casual suit. The boot can be found with a relatively short strap, like the one pictured above, or with longer straps the wrap around the boot multiple times, like the one pictured below.

Double-Strap-Jodhpur-boot-by-Zonkey-Boots-600x400 Herring-Herring George-Brown Waxy-7482-4018-1 (1)

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Recommended Reading

Because boots are such a fascinating topic, and because it is sometimes difficult to find a good deal of information on them, I have included some articles for you to peruse.

The Chukka Boot by Gentleman’s Gazette

The Chelsea Boot by Gentleman’s Gazette

The Jodhpur Boot by Gentleman’s Gazette

Coming Soon

The next article in the series will be on casual shoes and boots, and the one after that will be on work/exercise shoes and boots.