What is Color Grading? A Guide to Stylizing Your Corporate Videos

Aug 22, 2023

Do you want to create corporate videos that stand out and effectively communicate your brand's message? One way to achieve this is through color grading. 

What is Color Grading?

Color grading is a powerful tool for manipulating the colors and tones in your footage to create a specific visual style or mood. By adjusting the brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue of different parts of the footage, you can create a visually appealing and consistent look that aligns with your brand's message and image. 

Grading has 2 basic steps. Step 1 is color correction where the brightness and contrast are adjusted. Step 2 is color grading which gives a specific look and feels to the visual. Software like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve offers tools for adjusting exposure and white balance, and they allow you to apply a range of color-grading techniques to your footage.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through how cinematic color-grading corporate videos help brands define the mood of their videos and communicate better with their audience and why it is important.

Define the Mood of your Video

Color grading is not only important for correcting and enhancing the visual quality of your footage, but it can also be used to define the mood and tone of your video. The right color grading can evoke a specific emotion or feeling in the viewer, making your video more engaging and memorable. By understanding the emotional impact of color grading, you can choose the right color grading techniques and adjustments to create the desired mood for your video.

For example, if you are creating a corporate video that needs to feel professional and polished, you may choose to use a more subtle color grading approach with cooler tones and desaturated colors. Cool tones generally are for emotional storytelling.

On the other hand, if you are creating a music video or a promotional video for a fun and lively event, you may choose to use brighter and warmer colors to create a sense of joy and happiness.

  1. Warm vs Cool Tones

Colors with warm tones, such as red, orange, and yellow, can evoke a sense of energy, excitement, and warmth. In contrast, cool colors like blue, green, and purple can create a more relaxed, calm, and introspective mood. Humans pursue colors differently. It depends on different factors like geographic location, tradition, and culture. Keeping the target audience and their demographics in mind is essential when it comes to selecting the tone of the video.

For example,

Apple is known for its sleek and modern product design, and its advertisements often reflect this aesthetic. They often use a warm color grading to convey a sense of sophistication and high-tech innovation.

The cinematic video employs a desaturated blue color scheme with a warm overall tone and utilizes the sun glare effect to amplify the sense of warmth and comfort portrayed in the film. This approach effectively communicates the message that Apple values its customers' happiness and satisfaction.

  1. Brightness and Contrast

Adjusting the brightness and contrast of colors can also impact the mood of the video. High contrast and bright colors can create a dynamic and exciting mood, while low contrast and muted colors can create a more subdued and melancholic mood. Contrast can also be created with colors using color theory and color palettes.

For example,

Nike's brand is all about energy and motivation, and its advertisements reflect this. They often use a bright, high-contrast color grading to create a sense of excitement and movement. This cinematic color grading technique helps to convey the message that Nike is all about pushing yourself to be your best.

  1. Hue and Saturation

Changing the hue and saturation of colors can also affect the mood of the video. Colors that are highly saturated can evoke a sense of vibrancy and intensity, while desaturated colors can create a more subtle and sophisticated mood. By adjusting the hue, colorists can alter the color palette of a scene, making it warmer or cooler, more vibrant or muted, or even shift it to entirely different color schemes to achieve the desired look and feel.

The hue of a color determines its position on the color wheel and influences its visual characteristics, such as perceived warmth or coolness. 

For example,

Myntra is one of India's largest online fashion retailers. In their advertisements, they often use a high-contrast and highly-saturated style to create a modern and bold mood. Their ads use bright, neon colors and bold graphics to convey a sense of energy and excitement. 

Color grading videos pop the product on the screen to attract audience attention which is followed by most fashion brands depending on their aesthetics. 

  1. Color Grading Styles

The style of color grading can also impact the mood of the video. For example, a vintage or retro style can create a nostalgic and sentimental mood, while a high-contrast and highly-saturated style can create a more modern and bold mood.

By manipulating color through grading techniques, you can control the mood and emotional response of your video, creating an atmosphere that aligns with your message and the goals of the video.

For example,

Coca-Cola has a long history of using vintage/retro styles in its advertisements. Their "Share a Coke" campaign featured advertisements that had a nostalgic and sentimental feel, with vintage-inspired fonts and pastel colors that was adopted back to the 1950s and 60s.

Is Color Grading a Worthy Addition to Your Post-Processing Efforts?

  • Enhances Visual Appeal: Color grading can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your video. It can make your footage look more polished, professional, and engaging by enhancing the colors, contrast, and brightness.
  • Sets the Mood and Tone: As I mentioned earlier, color grading can affect the mood and emotional response of your video. By manipulating the colors, you can set the tone and create an atmosphere that aligns with your message and the goals of the video.
  • Establishes Brand Identity: Consistent use of color grading techniques can help establish your brand identity. By using specific color grading styles or color palettes in your videos, you can create a recognizable cinematic video look and feel that sets you apart from your competitors.
  • Adds Artistic Expression: Color grading is a creative process that allows you to express your artistic vision and style. By experimenting with different color grading techniques, you can create unique and visually stunning videos that captivate your audience. When done right, colors can be used to advantage and narrate a story efficiently.

Think of color grading like putting a filter on your Instagram pics - it can totally change the look and feel of the image.

And if you're not sure how to do it yourself, a video production company can help you out. They've got the skills and expertise to make your videos look fantastic, and you can sit back and relax knowing that your videos are in good hands.

Leave it to the Experts

Color grading is a complex and intricate process that requires a great deal of skill and experience to master. While there are many online resources available for those interested in learning, it's usually best to leave it to the professionals if you're just starting out.

It's always better to plan the look and feel of your video in the pre-production stage. A professional video production agency can help you understand the tone that would resonate the most with your brand and ensure that your video looks its best and appeals to your target audience.

Professional color grading can help to elevate the mood and tone of your video, making it more engaging and memorable for viewers, especially in post-production. It can also help to highlight specific elements of your video, such as product features or key messaging.

Don't let a lack of color grading expertise hold you back from creating great video content. Trust the experts and see how color grading can transform your video content. Contact us today and let’s get started.

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