Colors of Branding

Part 2 of 2

by Rebecca Kowalewicz, VP Digital

Colors in a company’s logo help to communicate what the company sells and, in some ways, stands for in the marketplace. In part one of this topic, brands discovered how color association plays an important role in how consumers not only respond to a brand, but also how they react (and interact) with it. From red creating a sense of passion or even danger, to blue eliciting a calming and tranquil effect on people, the colors of your brand have a subliminal yet strong correlation on a company’s perception by consumers.

Expounding the Trend Continued: The use of gradients in ads and logo design has become another big hitter in emerging design and color trends. Brands like Hulu and Amazon have employed color gradation in their logos and ads to captivate viewers in a new way.

But where should a brand draw the line on what’s trendy over timeless? Should a brand introduce gradients because the big players are using them well? Should a brand bind the feet of its logo and go sans serif like Burberry?

Finding your footing aesthetically as a brand should play into what’s happening around you, but it shouldn’t copycat a current climate in design just because it’s trendy. If a design or color trend makes sense for your brand, have at it. But if you’re compromising your brand to fit in or be fashionable for 15 minutes, you should instead be looking at your brand’s identity as a north star and compass.

The Right Hue: There are often three colors you should concern yourself with for a scheme—a base, an accent and a neutral. Your base should reflect your brand’s most dominant trait. Your accent is the accessory and will be used second-most, after the base. Your neutral is mostly used as a background color for your logo (you may even have more than one neutral for different creative).

Once you’ve selected your three, produce your logo in different color schemes, and have them printed. Tack them all to the wall and take a step back. Observe where your eyes go. Dissect each one. Consider your product and the consumer you’re selling to. What makes sense and isn’t just a pretty color? Guaranteed, there will be at least one you immediately nix. Through the process of careful elimination, you may arrive at just the right one.

Arriving at just the right color scheme for your brand is a puzzle. Thinking critically about your brand, business, product, message and consumer should govern the trajectory of your style and aesthetic. Finding the perfect shade or the most favorable accent color for your logo should be informed first by your brand’s intention and the consumer you serve.

When we produce logo or packaging designs for a client, we present some designs with nuance and others with clear distinction in color that makes sense for the brand. We consider their industry and the solution their product or service provides—and we always consider their consumer. Think of all these things and close your eyes. What do you see? That’s your scheme.

As originally published on Forbes.com. Clearbridge Branding Agency is a digital marketing agency located in Glassboro. Visit ClearBridgeMedia.com.

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