People Incorporated Color Refresh

A color palette is an essential part of any brand’s identity. You can probably identify a famous brand’s main color off the top of your head: Coca-Cola – red. Mailchimp – yellow. UPS – brown. Hillhouse Creative – aqua (hey, fame is subjective).

Just like fonts, tone of voice, and taglines, a brand’s colors set it apart from competitors and give it a unique identity. The colors you choose for your brand’s palette will be used in all aspects of your marketing, including your logo, website, print pieces, promotional materials, social media, and more. Yep, colors are that important!

People Incorporated felt that their core and secondary palettes no longer reflected their brand. They came to us for recommendations on an updated color palette that would be flexible, vibrant, and better represent their friendly, helpful, community-oriented personality. We’re now incorporating the fresh palette into their marketing materials.

New leadership, new insights

People Incorporated, a Community Action Agency with offices in Northern and Southwest Virginia, recently experienced a change in leadership. The new executive director went on a listening tour, traveling to the agency’s various offices to gain insights into the agency’s culture and how the community perceives the brand.

The result? Tons of insightful information the organization could use for future planning as well as implement now. They discovered inconsistencies in visual branding were creating confusion. Residents perceived individual services, like Head Start, community development, or housing assistance, as separate agencies rather than part of People Incorporated as a whole.

And through further discussions with the leadership team, we determined that their existing colors were too muted and serious for the brand’s personality. People Incorporated could benefit from a more personable, upbeat palette.

Refreshing a brand without a total rebrand

New color palette to the rescue! Creating a refreshed palette, with colors that accurately reflect the brand both together and separately, was a big step toward achieving the goal of presenting People Incorporated as a single entity.

Choosing a palette, however, isn’t simply a matter of putting a few pretty colors together (although that’s part of it). It’s important to consider each hue’s innate characteristics. For example, blue hints at trustworthiness; red can express energy, passion, and action; and green implies eco-friendliness and growth. The colors need to work well as a whole and in a variety of combinations. It’s no easy task!

The refreshed color palette we created complements and supports People Incorporated’s core colors of maroon and gray. Because the organization wasn’t undergoing a full rebrand, we ensured that the revised color palette builds on the equity of the agency’s current visual identity. The new palette gives them the flexibility to present their brand in a range of moods or tones, from subdued and serious to vibrant and casual, as appropriate for specific communication needs.

We achieved our goal of creating a palette that’s as fun as a box of crayons without looking like a box of crayons. The new palette breathes life into People Incorporated’s marketing materials without the need for a major rebrand!

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