Printing News South Africa

Bringing brand visions and stories to life through colour

Following Pantone's announcement of Classic Blue as its 'Color of the Year' for 2020, FedEx Office has collaborated with the institute to help businesses leverage colour through its colour matching and printing technologies, using the Pantone Matching System.

Pantone’s ‘Color of the Year’ has, for 21 years, influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries.

Colour plays a role in shaping industry trends, helping brands differentiate themselves and drive customer engagement and preference, explained Kim Dixon, executive vice president and chief operating officer at FedEx Office, in a press release sent to Bizcommunity. And the integrity and consistency of colour across printed mediums is critical for businesses to build a strong and highly recognisable brand.

It was noted in the release that according to their 2019 print services survey, quality (including colour matching) ranks number one for small businesses (78%) over cost and speed.

“Designers and brands should feel inspired to use colour to engage and connect with their audiences,” added Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, as she believes that colour helps you to visually express and affect ideas and emotions.

The way colour is brought to life is critically important to the integrity of the story that’s being told.
Here, Hugh O’Brien, senior business development manager at FedEx Office and Pressman discuss this in more detail, focusing on the role colour plays in communicating and connecting with key audiences and how it drives customer engagement…

Hugh O’Brien, senior business development manager at FedEx Office.
Hugh O’Brien, senior business development manager at FedEx Office.

Tell us more about FedEx Office's collaboration with Pantone.

O’Brien: As Pantone is the global authority on colour and we bring that colour to life every day in so many printed forms… it’s a natural alliance. Pantone is also a great validator for FedEx Office. They trust us to bring their ‘Color of the Year’ announcement to life in many different ways – from the custom branded boxes serving as media mailers to media around the globe to reveal the colour to an oversized experience wall that was installed at the December 2019 reveal event in New York.

How can businesses leverage colour to engage with their audiences in creative and meaningful ways?

O’Brien: Think of all the different avenues businesses can use to tell their story. From traditional marketing collateral (e.g. brochures, business cards and packaging) used daily to tradeshow signage and displays all the way to non-traditional settings, such as pop-ups, offsite summits and PR activations, calling for unique printed elements.

Brand visions and stories must be brought to life consistently and accurately every time to help a business foster an identity and build relationships with customers.
BizcommunityHow does colour do this?

O’Brien: Think about it. Colour is often where first impressions are formed by consumers, which is why it serves as a critical form of communication for businesses. Colour’s power to evoke emotion, create experiences and make a lasting impact can be harnessed to attract and retain customers when brought to life accurately. Conversely, when it’s not, a potential customer or even existing one can be confused and turned off, requiring extra time, effort and likely expense to win them back.

Comment on the power of colour in business terms.

O’Brien: Colour influences several facets of our daily lives, providing a real opportunity for small businesses to reach and engage with their target audiences. From restaurant and hotel décor to fashion runways and boutiques to wedding and party themes, all requiring various printed materials to create the experience, including invitations, seasonal menus, calendars, tent cards, event signage and product packaging.

When a particular colour resonates with consumers on a massive scale, we see a cascading effect where demand reaches multiple industries, calling for companies to incorporate the colour into their business to help capture the attention of their target audiences.

Bringing brand visions and stories to life through colour

How is the colour of the year selected? What factors influence this?

Pressman: The Pantone ‘Color of the Year’ highlights the relationship between trends in colour and what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s colour experts at the Pantone Colour Institute comb the world looking for new colour influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, travelling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

What’s in it for businesses?

O’Brien: Businesses can leverage our state-of-the-art colour matching technology easily, enabling them to incorporate the ‘Color of the Year’ into their business and projects and get in front of target audiences in an on-trend way. Our 2,100+ locations are digitally connected and corporate-owned, meaning customers receive a reliable experience regardless of where and when, including consistent pricing, same standards for materials and packing, a single point of contact for issues or changes and the ability to transfer supplies as needed between locations, critical for small business owners operating nationally.

And the general customer?

O’Brien: You can also print and design personal projects with FedEx Office, like canvas prints, photo posters and invitations online or in-store, and you can create and upload designs online or in-store and print on a wide array of non-traditional substrates – from smooth aluminium, to durable floor graphics, removable window clings, oversized signage, textured substrates and custom-branded boxes.

For more information about FedEx Office printing services, visit

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram
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