Branding Series Pt. 2: Applying Colors with Intent

From the days of crayon scribbles to picking out paint palettes for the living room, color influences every aspect of our lives. Would your living room feel warm and cozy in tan or ivory? Or should there be an accent wall of burnt red to complement your furniture?

Now that we have broken down the components of a good logo, let’s explore the other side of the rainbow to see how color influences your brand. Would movie night be as exciting if the splash screen was missing the red in the Netflix logo? Or would the blue Visa logo still feel trustworthy and dependable in green? Whether it’s considering color associations, understanding your surroundings, and connecting colors to your brand, selecting the right color to represent your business is another important element in establishing your brand.

Color Associations

Typically speaking, blues are calm and cooling while red is passionate and sometimes a little angry. Studies have taken this a step further to classify consumer behavior by color, which can arguably be more restrictive than helpful. You may have been presented with a similar graphic below:

The problem with this kind of classification is that it pressures people to make their color decisions within these rigid boundaries, whether it is a new logo design or a redesign of an existing one. Because color is so dependent on personal experiences, it is difficult for palettes to fall so close in line with these classifications. If you use orange in your logo, are you guaranteed to be more friendly and cheerful than someone who uses a peaceful green? What about logos like Google who use all four of their colors in their products? Take another look at the graphic above and see if your experience with these brands match the emotion of the color.

Understanding Your Surroundings

If you are having trouble deciding on a color palette, consider starting with your surroundings to see what colors match your environment and the culture. If you are on the coast, beachy tones can be a little overdone. Maybe you try colors from other natural elements instead of just the water and sand; consider looking at the colors of plant life that is native to the area or pull earthtones from the rocks along the edge. Finding unique palettes of the same theme allows your brand to stand out from those who may already be using the typical color scheme.

What colors do people associate with your city? Is there a sports team that everyone loves? Or is there a natural landmark nearby that tourists frequently visit? Creating these colorful connections in conjunction with the rest of the logo can help your brand integrate with your community and create more brand recognition.

Connecting Colors and Branding

When choosing a color palette, first take a step back to look at the characteristics of your brand. The type of product, the quality of the service, and your target audience are some of the factors to consider to help select your colors. It is more important for your colors to support your brand and personality that you want to portray instead of aligning with stereotypical color associations. Imagine if any of your favorite brands would have the same characteristics if they used different colors, or even different fonts. Whether it is the iconic red of Netflix or the blues of Visa, neither would be possible without a splash of color.

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Ready to add a splash of color to your brand? Take a look at how we used color on our logos and websites or contact a consultant today for a free demo!

Written by Michael Dea, Designer at ViziSites
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