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Derailing Brand Colors & Graphic Design: Bridging the Great Color Divide

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

Where Marketing Brand Guides & Graphic Design Collide The Great Color Divide

There is a great divide between the graphic arts and the printing industry. The same great divide exists between the discipline of marketing and printing. In today’s current marketing and graphic arts education, no one is being taught how to output their files so that they print and display color correctly, much less, practice G7 methodologies.

As an Adjunct professor, former Adobe application instructor I can attest to the fact that virtually no bachelor of arts or graphic degree teaches how to output the colors chosen during the design process much less file preparation and creation. As a Master of Science in Marketing I can guarantee you even at the Masters or Ph.D. level this is not covered. The classes are not even offered! This lack of practical knowledge costs the designers the ability to output their creative designs, corporate marketing from creating brand guides that can be followed, and printers from outputting files without hours of aggravation and costly rework.

Waste Not, Want Everything

Printers are spending thousands of dollars reworking files sent from corporate design departments and design firms. I recently had an opportunity to work with a printer whose corporate customer paid over $500,000 to have a marketing brand guide created. They used focus groups and marketing research to settle on the brand color that appealed to their customers the most. To my dismay, the marketing company specified a CMYK build as the only color to use and it must be on a special paper. Why is this important? A CMYK build prints and displays a different color on every printer, printing press, paper type, and display screen. So, this company spent $500,000+ only to get a report that was useless in practical terms.

This is not the only account. At another client, one of their customers hired a new marketing director. When the first advertising design comes over they were told they could only use one specific ink color. The customer however wanted the color to print on different paper types. When the printer tried to explain to the marketing director that they would need to mix custom inks to get the same color appearance the marketing director told them they were crazy and canceled the order. This again due to the lack of practical education in marketing.

Color Issues Stealing your Quality of Life?

For the reasons above four years ago I created a specialized course that teaches marketing departments, design departments, and ad agencies how to set up their color workflow so that what they design they can output regardless of printer, press, or substrate. In two days, yes, ONLY TWO DAYS of practical education we have helped hundreds of designers and prepress professionals lose this great divide. No longer do the corporate designers, art, and marketing directors point fingers at their printers, and likewise, the printers no longer have to point their finger at their clients.

A Two Day Investment in Your Business and Work-Life Balance

How much time do you spend in aggravation and file rework due to this great divide? How much would you save on just one project without it? Probably about the amount it costs to have us come on-site and hold these two days of dynamic practical education.

Working nights and weekends? Paying overtime? How much time would you gain back for use on other projects, or cut overtime, or to just be able to enjoy your nights and weekends off? Again, a two-day investment in yourself or your business will enable this for you.


Brent Sucher and his wife Stephany owned a successful advertising and video production company in the Dominican Republic before moving to the Orlando, FL area. Brent was so impressed with what he learned as we consulted with him, he decided to come to work for us and is now our Creative Director. Stephany now manages a team of social media experts providing marketing services for Disney productions.

“This past weekend I was working overtime to get a customer’s project completed. I had already given myself the whole pep talk of, ‘it's going to come together, you are going to make this deadline.’ I settled into my home office for what was going to be a very long Saturday of 14 hours straight of editing. I had promised my daughter I would spend Sunday with her so I had to finish Saturday. In reality, there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to make this deadline or my commitment to my daughter.

I took a step back and thought to myself, "I must be missing something here." I thought for a while about some of the G7 and color methodologies I'd been learning from Greg Buschman. Specifically, about the differences in color management for print output and monitor screen display matching. I simply changed my approach using his advanced color correction techniques instead of layer masking. I crossed my fingers and tested the first image. "Boom!" I yelled out loud as I realized that not only did it work, but it looked so much more natural than the results I could have ever gotten with standard methods.

With some simple tweaking, I cut my editing time from an estimated 14-15 hours down to 3 hours! I literally got my weekend back thanks to the G7 and color management techniques I learned from Strategic Account Marketing.”

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