Color Schemes for TV News Graphics Packages

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Television news graphics packages come in a varietal rainbow of colors, each with its own advantages, disadvantages and effects on viewers.

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Spanning the spectrum TV news graphics packages come in just about every color of the rainbow, and the color you pick not only has implications on your station’s brand awareness and image with viewers but also has a key effect on the mode and tone of your newscasts. When considering a color scheme to use, consider these points: Blue: Popular and complementary Blue is one of the most common color schemes used. It’s a solid choice since blue is a relatively neutral color, is complementary to human skin tones and doesn’t have any strong emotional charge associated with it. Don’t worry if your competitors already use blue and it’s something you’re interested in too. Just like many other colors, there is a wide variety of shades and tones of blue to use, each with a unique look and tone. For example, darker blues are more sophisticated and elegant, while brighter blues convey more urgency and vibrancy. Red: Bold and active Red is another common base used in news graphics. Red is an active, vibrant color that is a great way to convey a sense of action or urgency. Stations looking to emphasize breaking news or fast-paced coverage may find red to be a good fit, though, if used correctly, red doesn’t necessarily have to convey that meaning all the time. One word of caution with red is that it tends to skew pink easily, especially when other lighter colors or light bursts are layered over it. While there isn’t anything wrong with this, it’s something to consider. Of course, any color is subject to variation when blended with another, but it’s worth mentioning because pink can be a particularly difficult color to work with if it begins sneaking its way in to your graphics. Orange: Bold but approachable Like red, orange also has an energetic feel, but can be a bit more approachable and friendly since it doesn’t have quite as harsh of a tone. However, it’s still a great fit for action-packed news branding if red isn’t an option. Oranges mixed with yellow and golds are often a great choice for morning news graphics since they are reminiscent of sunrises and give the graphcis an upbeat, cheerful mood. Purple: Sophisticated and elegant Purple and violets are a unique choice for TV news graphics packages that show up less frequently but still tend to look great on screen. Rich, bold hues of violet are a great alternative to blue and still lend a sense of sophistication and elegance. Combining purples with splashes of golds and reds is often very effective. Green: Tricky but unique Green isn’t seen often as a dominant element of news graphics, though it’s not unheard of. Because of this uniqueness, it can be a good option if your station needs to stand out in a crowded market. However, this color does need to be used with care. In general, darker, richer tones work better since they are less harsh. However, a lighter, mint green is also worth considering and may be especially effective for lifestyle or morning graphics. Greens are also a great choice for more rural markets, especially when combined with other earth tones such as browns and tans. Yellow: Use with caution Like green, yellow is also a tricky color to work with. Extremely bright shades can be a bit off-putting, but golds or pale shades may be a good option for a unique look. Yellow also has the natural ability to grab attention and may fit in especially when for morning or lifestyle graphics. It’s also important to keep in mind that, in the RGB color space used on televisions, yellow can quickly begin looking orange, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the two colors blend well together. The RGB color space also has a narrow selection of yellows to pick from, so it’s not always a great choice if you’re looking for a wide range of shades. White: Clean and simple White is becoming a more and more common color scheme in TV news graphcis. When combined with the right design elements, white creates a clean, modern look that can definitely be eye-catching. The brightness of the color, however, should be considered carefully and may need to be toned down with some subtle blending of other colors. Even adding some subtle shading or grays can be a great way to break up the brightness of the color. White also has the advantage of looking good with pretty much any other color. Black: Brooding and dark On the other end of the spectrum, black as a color base can also have the same effect, though with a more richness than white. Graphics packages that use blacks or dark grays as a base aren’t as common, but mixing in some subtle color washes, semi-transparent glass elements or shimmer effects could be an interesting concept if you’re looking for a unique look. Shades of color It’s important to remember that just because a competitor uses a particular shade of a color doesn’t mean you can’t use another. For example, blues can run from rich, royal tones to lighter tones or even teal. Reds can skew from rich, blood red to maroon or more toward the orange end of the spectrum. Combining colors When selecting a color scheme, it’s also important to keep in mind how colors interact with each other. For example, yellows and blues, a common combination, tend to become greenish or brownish when blended together in gradients, while reds and blues become violet when mixed. Look to your logo Another good strategy for selecting a color scheme is to look at your station or show’s logo for inspiration. Red logos look great against blue, while blue logos can be used with orange and yellows effectively. If your logo has more than one color, consider combining the two shades to arrive at the dominant color — for example, a yellow and red logo could use orange and a red and blue logo could use purplish blues.