In order to establish an immediate message, color combinations should contain visual color cues that trigger specific responses—those that best express the intention and/or purpose of the product or service. As a general rule of thumb, there should be a rank order of dominant color, subordinate color and color accents. Word association studies show that the dominant colors in the following list will generally elicit the responses listed. Note that for most colors, the positive aspects are far more prevalent than those that might be thought of as negative.
The Selection Process:
• Define the message: Is it serene, sensual or spiritual?
• Should it suggest sweet tastes or scents, cleanliness or class?
• Select the dominant colors that conveys the message.
• Fine tune choices for appropriateness to target audience.
• Check competitors’ colors for similarities.
• Utilize preexisting color combinations.
~PANTONE Guide to Communicate with Color