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From a history of colour on shelf, to the tribes in which colours can be categorised, executive director at Schawk, Steve Jackson, shares why colour is one on the most valuable assets for a brand.

Colour can give brands an everlasting title – think Coca-Cola red, Tiffany blue, Cadbury purple. Its power has the possibility to define a brand over time, engaging consumers to purchase over and over again, or turning them away.

Steve Jackson, executive director at brand production and deployment company Schawk, recently addressed attendees at the Print21 + PKN LIVE forum with his aptly titled presentation, ‘For the Love of Colour’. Jackson spoke on the importance of colour, the accuracy of colour and the impact it can have on a brand’s success.

Jackson opened his presentation with a tale about how at 13 years of age, he had a summer job at a screen-printing company. He learned the hard way about the importance of colour accuracy when he picked the wrong colour for their key client at the time, Boots Chemists.

“From then on I grew a passion for colour, and that passion shaped my career,” he says. “When we look back and think about how 100 years ago we'd go to the supermarket, everything was wrapped in brown paper, paper bags and string. It was about convenience. As emerging brands came in, they started to bring more colour on the shelves and the fast growing brands really determined the product or category colour. These brands started to own colour.”

Jackson says there are a number of tactics and strategies around how a company decides on the colour it will use. It is quite complex as to how brands choose their colour, he says, as “brands will either look at the market leader or will aim to be disruptive,” dependent on market research and where they want to sit in the market.

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