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Colour is King

It is a common occurrence for a client to walk into our studios with not only a preconceived idea about a logo-style but also about what colours we should use. Colour choice is critical, and believe it or not, can greatly help towards the understanding and ultimately the success of your brand. It can place your product within the market and even define its relevance within it.

The theory of colour is a combination of industry, psychology and social experience, all of which can be culturally lead, differing per country. You should bear this in mind when you think about the markets of your company and/or its product or service.

Colour stimulates senses and memory communicating instantly. Your dominant colour choice should appear on all your branding, marketing and packaging making it extremely important... but don't forget you also want to stand out. There are millions of variations of hues and saturations of colour but looking at the basic colours in general studies have shown the following:

It is a common occurrence for a client to walk into our studios with not only a preconceived idea about a logo-style but also about what colours we should use. Colour choice is critical, and believe it or not, can greatly help towards the understanding and ultimately the success of your brand. It can place your product within the market and even define its relevance within it.

The theory of colour is a combination of industry, psychology and social experience, all of which can be culturally lead, differing per country. You should bear this in mind when you think about the markets of your company and/or its product or service.

Colour stimulates senses and memory communicating instantly. Your dominant colour choice should appear on all your branding, marketing and packaging making it extremely important... but don't forget you also want to stand out. There are millions of variations of hues and saturations of colour but looking at the basic colours in general studies have shown the following:

Blue is calming and serene. It is perceived as trustworthy and stable and is used by many financial institutions, including the majority of banks, throughout the country. It is also shown to be the most productive colour when used within an office environment. It is also the most popular logo/branding colour in use in the UK and is often seen as safe and bland here.

Red has been shown to increase heart rates when viewed. It is fiery, energetic and passionate although can be seen as aggressive. It has an association of danger both through association with nature and our general use in the UK in warning signs. In the US red is associated with hospitals (as opposed to NHS blue here) and is also the most popular logo colour choice there. It has been shown to increase appetite which is why it's used in restaurant chains such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC. In Asia on the other hand, red is a lucky colour and represents money so is culturally embedded to provoke a different feeling. Think HSBC (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation).

Yellow communicates brightness, warmth and coveys optimism. Bright yellow is seen quickly by the eye so is good for point of sale, labels and shelf talkers. It has been shown to increase metabolism and give you energy. It is also the most likely to strain eyes and cause fatigue.

Purple. As a blend of passionate red and tranquil blue, purple depicts sophistication, wealth, success and royalty. Lavender can calm the nerves and create relaxation.

Orange provokes excitement, warmth, fun and vitality. It has associations with caution in the US where it's used to draw attention to signage. Long exposure to orange has been shown to cause anxiety and aggression. In point of sale it is shown to entice in impulse buyers. Orange stimulates the logic centre of the brain and promotes enthusiasm.

Green is the colour of tranquility, health and nature with literal relations to money although meanings vary greatly with differing shades. Studies have shown evidence that employees in green environments suffer from fewer stomachaches. I'm thinking a study of a blue office with green elements needs doing.

White evokes cleanliness and purity. It's simplicity, ground in from modernism interiors and art, provides the illusion of space and is associated with innocence and often used in baby items or even health items to show cleanliness. Our eyes are drawn to this bright colour which is why it's used on signage to attract our gaze so again great for point of sale (think white text on red for sale tickets or white text on orange (see orange description)).

Black is serious, powerful and classic in one, but it also has other associations such as mourning, death and evil. A 'slimming' colour in fashion so is always around us. It can make products look exprensive when used in packaging or product design and can also make them look heavy. It is often a very sophisticated colour and many brands use it within a palette of black, white, silver and gold for that top-end chic.

Think of colours in context in terms of their use, industry sector, product type, country, feelings, understanding and interpretation. The many differing shades, hues and tints of a colour can change this interpretation. Generally colours are warm or cold and this should be considered when thinking about your target market. And this is just step one. The full colour palette needs to be thoughts about - which colours go with which? - and hitting the right spot with this whole range. Check out colour theory for an understanding of which colours work together.

CREATEINN - Design, Web, Print
01777712610

Retford Office

Createinn Ltd.
Retford Enterprise Centre
Randall Way, Retford
North Notts, DN22 7GR

+44 (0)1777 712610
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Worksop Office

Createinn Ltd.
Worksop Turbine
Coach Close, Worksop
North Notts, S81 8AP

+44 (0)1909 512199
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