Is Your Brand Cool or Warm?

Most social media platforms give users the options to apply filters to their photos upon uploading, but with so many filters now, it can be hard to decide which to use, if any.

Each photo can have a different feeling that you want to capture, and that affects how to treat the photo. There are aspects of a brand that should also influence the decision, especially when it comes to the temperature of a photo. The temperature refers to how much yellow (warmth) or blue (coolness) is present in a photo, and is a part of what is called white balance, which controls which colors are present in white areas. The temperature of a photo has one of the greatest impacts on an image and can greatly affect someone's impression of the picture. Warmer photos generally feel more inviting, cozy, and happy, while cooler photos feel clean and moody. When combined with other factors of white balance, photographers can create a lot of different effects, but for non-photographers experimenting, warmth and coolness is the best place to start.

Here is the same photo with different color temperature white balance. The circles below the photo shows what "white" actually is within the photo. You can see that small changes in the temperature can affect the photo's impression while still looking great.

Here is the same photo with different color temperature white balance. The circles below the photo shows what "white" actually is within the photo. You can see that small changes in the temperature can affect the photo's impression while still looking great.

The best way to work with photos is to start with a color corrected photo and then adjust the temperature or apply filters afterward. The reason for that is because a lot of digital cameras, phones included, don't necessarily adapt well to various lighting situations, so the out-of-camera photo might be too yellow or blue. If you apply a filter to a photo that hasn't been corrected, the effect might be too strong and over-do the color. You don't necessarily have to align every photo filter applied to your brand voice, but it is certainly something to keep in mind if your social channel uses a lot of photos. This thought process can also be applied to any photos on your website or in any marketing channel.

If you want your brand to be inviting, friendly, or anything in that vein, then using warmer photo filters is a good choice. If your brand is more emotional or modern, using cooler photos might be for you. For brands that are described as straight forward, honest, or clean, color accurate photos would be your best bet. As I mentioned before, when you utilize other colors you can get other feels such as vintage or fun. Read our previous post on some other filter styles and how to achieve them in the VSCO app! 5 VSCO Presets To Up Your Social Style 

Here is an even wider range of color temperature than the previous set. They all look great but all have a different vibe associated with each ranging from wintery all the way to opulent golden.

Here is an even wider range of color temperature than the previous set. They all look great but all have a different vibe associated with each ranging from wintery all the way to opulent golden.

If a photo is good, it doesn't always need a filter, but having a good photo also means that you can play with it more without worrying about going too far. Go have fun with your photos!