What color is your voice? A lesson in voiceover branding

Color Your life
Color Your life (Photo credit: Capture Queen ™)

“What color is my voice?” Are you kidding me? At first, it sounded like an absurd question. I mean, I don’t suffer from synesthesia, so how could I possibly–?

At least, that’s what I thought when a coach mentioned it some time ago during a discussion about business branding (she learned it from David Goldberg of Edge Studio). My coach insisted that, on the whole, people would come back with similar colors, and that I should just try it.

Though I was outwardly protesting, both my inner designer, and my inner educator, kind of liked the idea. It was a new way to explore how other people perceived me. And, I knew that my branding was in need of an overhaul. It didn’t seem to uniquely identify me in a memorable way. So, I thought I would give it a try.

So, I collected some of my demos into a playlist on Soundcloud and shared them with a bunch of friends. I tried to get a good cross-section of people including painters, writers, and musicians. Then, I expanded the list to include friends who were engineers, educators, and the like. As long as non-traditional, outside-the-box thinking seemed to be part of their norm, I invited them to comment.

I got an interesting array of responses…

“Terracotta-ish orange with a rasp of lilac for the first, and brown with a rasp of purple for the second.”

“Chocolate brown!”

“I’ve been seeing Terra-cotta or Sepia with tones of Green and Purple.”

“It is impressive how different the tone of your voice can be. In the first, it is warm & bright. I’d say orange (or terra cotta). In the second, it is more deep & loamy. Maybe, brown or eggplant (dark purple). In the third, it is rich and mellow like wine or plum. Those are my impressions.”

“It’s extraordinary – clearly your voice *is* in that colour palette! It’s very Mediterranean. http://erindertner.com/workszoom/1247923/terra-cotta-and-lavender

Usually, I defaulted to autumnal color schemes to represent myself — browns mostly usually with some sepia. So, chocolate and terracotta were within my usual spectrum. But these people were hearing colors that I never would have chosen: shades of purple.

My wife, the painter, helped me decide upon a basic shade of purple that fit within my larger palate. And then, I got to work. Changing colors meant choosing new fonts, designing a new logo, letterhead, business card, website, and social media presences. Over the last few months, regular visitors to my site will have seen the change happening live before their eyes.

I prefer designing on-the-fly to devising a whole new design and deploying it at once. By deploying a new look piece-meal, I get to have feedback along the way and tweak what I am doing based upon the response.

So, the next time that you stop to think about your branding, consider asking people about the color of your voice. And then, if you’d like to develop an entire campaign around it, feel free to get in touch.

4 Replies to “What color is your voice? A lesson in voiceover branding”

  1. This is very interesting. I consider my voice to be strong and vibrant, like a red or a gold, which makes it interesting that I chose those colors for my branding.

    1. Hi Sam, what I found most interesting is that other people heard colors that I did not. Definitely worth doing the survey in my opinion.

  2. Hi Steven
    Wow, this is fascinating!
    Amazing that people hit upon similar colour ‘notes’ for your voice.
    I’m about to create a new personal website and will definitely use this concept in the design.

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