Colour in Advertising: Why The Colours In Your Retail Display Matter

Effective retail merchandising relies on a number of factors, not the least of which is colour. We all know that colour can affect people’s general mood. This is no different for colour in advertising. Picking the right colours for your advertising can have an impact on the mood of your audience - which can have a positive impact on sales.

Research conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 found that over 84 percent of people think that colour is more important than many other factors when choosing a product to purchase. Similarly, the Institute for Color Research found that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of seeing it and that between 62 to 90 percent of their assessment is based on colour alone.

Colour in Advertising: Choosing Colour Vs. Black & White

Research has shown that colour ads are read up to 42 percent more than similar ads in black and white. Black and white pictures hold people’s interest for less than two-thirds of a second, but a coloured image may hold attention for more than two seconds.

Colours inspire emotions that might otherwise be absent from merchandising pieces. For example, yellow is perceived as a friendly colour, blue makes people feel calm and relaxed and green is perceived as environmentally friendly.

“The colour black is often associated with luxury or premium products,” notes Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. He points to the President’s Choice Black Label Collection of fine foods as an example.

“The colour black is often associated with luxury or premium products,” notes Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. He points to the President’s Choice Black Label Collection of fine foods as an example (See feature image on this page). Black combined with a primary colour creates a contrast that creates a strong presence on store shelves.

The right colour in advertising can improve the odds that your marketing collateral catches your target audience’s attention. In a well-known marketing experiment, Heinz changed the colour of their ketchup from red to green and sold over 10 million bottles in the first seven months -  the highest sales increase in the brand’s history.

Colour in Advertising: How Age and Gender Matter

Favourite colours vary by age and gender. In one survey, many women and men picked blue as their preferred colour, but more men (57 percent) than women (35 percent) picked blue overall. No men chose purple, while 23 percent of women selected it as their favourite. The preference for blue increases with age. As people mature, they develop a greater liking for hues of shorter wave length (blue, green and purple) than for hues of longer wave length (red, orange and yellow). Overall, orange, brown and yellow were found to be people’s least favourite colours.

While the colour in advertising is most often dictated by company branding, we offer printing options that can increase the impact of your colour choices. Have a look at our Middleton Group portfolio to see how we work with our clients to enhance their retail merchandising displays.

Our Design Process – How We Bring Your Vision to Life

Our people make the difference. At Middleton Group, our design process allows our expert team to work closely with clients to ensure that their retail merchandising displays are exactly as they envisioned them to be. Maybe better.

Our team of resourceful designers has created top-notch displays for a diverse range of clients, from financial institutions to fashion and beauty companies. Here’s a quick look at how we bring our clients’ visions to life.

What Do We Need From You?

All of the retail display design that we create is brand-driven. To begin the design process, our team requires the client’s marketing collateral - company logos, product packaging, graphics and anything else you think is important. We partner with the client to ensure we know all we need to know about their brand. Without these assets, our team relies on the web and in-store research.

“We consult closely with our clients from the beginning of the design process,” says Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. “We often meet at our facility so we can show examples of projects we have already done and the variety of materials available. We also often meet right at the retail store to review options and issues that will affect the display.”

Of course, before we can begin, we need to know where the display is going to be placed. Display programs are typically driven by the retailer and the specific area of the store where the display will end up. Generally, the four key areas for retail displays are:

  • End cap (the end of the aisle)
  • On shelf/on wall (in the aisle)
  • Floor display (free standing display)
  • On counter (typically for smaller products such as cosmetics)

“Where the display will be placed determines the scale,” notes Spagnolo. “Some retailers have very strict guidelines on the scale of in-store displays.”

What You Can Expect From Us

When our initial research is complete, our design team develops basic sketches for internal use. We then turn to 3D modelling software to provide nearly photorealistic renderings. These images Western union money order give the client an accurate representation of what the display will look like once it’s built.

Together, our design team and our clients go through revisions (sometimes many of them) until the 3D renderings match the client’s vision and budget. Once our client is satisfied, we build an initial prototype. When the prototype is approved, we begin to engineer the unit for full production.

Budget Considerations

We know that budget is always an important factor. Your budget determines what kind of materials we can use in the display and just how much of an impact it will make. The quantity of displays you wish to produce also affects budget.

“The quantity is important because it affects the economy of scale, meaning the more displays you buy, the better the unit cost,” points out Spagnolo. “The quantity also affects the manufacturing method. When the volume of displays is higher, it allows for more efficient production methods, such as thermoforming (vacuum forming), injection molding and die-cutting.”


The amount of time we can dedicate to a project is another key factor that influences the end design. If your timeline is extremely tight, we suggest that you provide us with as much information as possible at the start of the process. With appropriate directions and marketing collateral, we can minimize our research and get started quicker.

“Although this seems like a long process, often we are dealing with extremely aggressive timelines,” says Spagnolo. “This entire design process can range from a few hours to a few weeks.”

What Our Design Process Entails

With this great design process, our dedicated team has developed many stunning designs for all types of retail merchandising products, including point-of-purchase displays and permanent, semi-permanent or temporary promotional displays or retail fixtures.

Call us today to discuss how we can bring your core values, culture and goals to life with powerful designs that are sure to connect with your target audience.

Middleton Group – Your New Printing Partner

With 60 years of experience Middleton Group has been the printing partner to many of today’s top companies, advertising agencies and marketing firms. With various printing techniques available, Middleton Group can provide you the best printing services for your next project.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is an ideal choice for clients looking for very high quality bold colour,” says Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. “It’s the perfect application for one- or multi-colour signs and provides true consistent colour.

Middleton Group often uses screen printing for various signage such as the wayfinding signs you see in big box and grocery stores.

Digital Printing

“If you are looking for speed, cost savings and convenience, digital is the way to go,” says Spagnolo. In fact, digital offers excellent quality at high speeds, ensuring that you meet those pressing deadlines.

Middleton Group performs revolutionary high-speed digital printing using “the king of the printing jungle,” the :M-Press Tiger high-speed flatbed inkjet press produces up to 170 sheets per hour, including loading and unloading times.

The Tiger M-Press prints on a wide variety of rigid and flexible printing surfaces. Read more about the Tiger.

We can help you decide which of our printing techniques will give you the best results at the best price. Contact us to find out more.

Failure To Launch – What Happened To Blackberry’s In-Store Display Program?

Just over a month after the launch of the new Blackberry smartphone, and with sales figures lower than expected, the question still remains; Will the new Z10 and Q10 save Blackberry? The product itself has been getting great reviews from users but will this be enough to get consumers to drop their Android and iPhone devices?

The marketing impact has been poor, and the only thing that could have saved the poorly-executed 4 million dollar Superbowl spot would be if the phone could in fact change a semi-truck into a bunch of rubber ducks.

What Blackberry Did

With marketing in mind, I set out to see what In-store impact that Blackberry had implemented. I expected to see an aggressive in-store display program, with a strong focus to get the new device into as many hands as possible.

My review began at Toronto’s Yorkdale mall, with multiple cell carrier locations and kiosks, along with a newly open Apple Store and the only Microsoft Store in Canada, I thought this would be an ideal location where the new Blackberry Z10 could be showcased.

What I discovered was the exact opposite. I toured through Rogers, Bell and Telus locations as well as a Best Western union money order Buy mobile store and other than a few videos in the window and some simple card inserts, there was no brand impact whatsoever. Furthermore, not one of the devices was operational. If you wanted to test it out you had to wait for an associate to help you.

For a company claiming to have the best mobile operating system available, the impact at store level was minimal if not non-existent.

What Blackberry Should Have Done

Perhaps Blackberry still has this planned when the Q10 is released, but a multi-level in-store/retail display program could have built brand awareness for the new product. Granted, carrier locations are making it more difficult to insert custom display programs.

But it still is possible.

In this case, a custom display program should have been a planned part of the product launch. It’s my opinion that this program should have implemented multiple formats including full-floor displays with integrated digital signage showcasing the technology, counter displays for retail kiosks and complete dedicated experience centers for mall locations all with multiple operational devices and with one intention – to get as many consumers touching, feeling and using the device.

It’s not too late…

With no release date confirmed for the Z10 and Q10 in the US, there is still an opportunity for a high impact in-store program, especially in the very important US market. At this point it is just a waiting game to see how successful the new Blackberry’s will be, and if we will ever see a Z11.

Tony Spagnolo
Creative Director
Middleton Group