Colors of Branding

Part 1 of 2

by Rebecca Kowalewicz, VP Digital

Color speaks without words. It’s a language we use every day, a universal tongue we all speak without opening our mouths but our eyes. We all attach value to different images, shapes and colors. And so, the importance of color in branding is evident: It’s a transformative tool for saying a lot without saying a word.

The colors a brand employs in a logo communicate a value to consumers. This is something we take into deep consideration when creating logos or design work for clients. Colors share a lot about the character of a brand, its intentions and its worth. Meditating on color can reveal your truth. And your truth is where your brand is. So, how do find “your color”? First, it’s important to understand perception. That’s where we start in part one of this two-part series.

Color Association: In the world of design, color alone has the power to cultivate a strong and true emotional connection with an audience. The visceral, emotional connotations attached to colors and their various shades are far-reaching and never the same. From one person to the next, one shade can have a million meanings unique to each individual.

When you see the color red without context, for example, a few things come to mind. Someone sees passion, desire or romance; someone else sees anger, defiance or danger. It’s an expressive color that holds attention captive. It’s not shy or subtle. So, it isn’t surprising that many brands utilize this color to underscore urgency.

Consider the color associations and connotations you want consumers to have of your brand. What do you want them to feel when they see your logo? What impression do you wish to make with the colors you choose? Maybe you want to convey trust, professionalism or loyalty. Perhaps your brand aims to be playful, energetic or bold. Let your brand’s intention decide on the colors you choose. You don’t want to send a mixed message to consumers with a logo that subliminally negates your brand’s motive.

Remember, color is not just revolutionary; it’s evolutionary—a kaleidoscope of cultural connotations constantly turning in an ever-changing zeitgeist of perception and trends. So, it’s important to choose wisely.

Expounding The Trend: In recent years, we’ve witnessed radical simplification in modern design. From icons and app tiles to logo overhauls of our most trusted brands, we’ve entered an all-new aesthetic era where complex design is a crime, and the minimalists are elite. And with this trend erupting around the globe, brands must follow suit or risk being antiquated.

If your logo isn’t reflective of consumers’ expectations or desires, what could be at stake? Trust and credibility come to mind—the kind that don’t take into consideration your product or service, but instead, where you stand in a landscape of what’s contemporary or informed by the world around you. In short, sometimes a logo needs to catch up to the brand. And sometimes a logo needs to catch up to its consumer.

In the next edition of Clearbridge Digital Digest, the importance of your brand colors will be further explored, cultivating hues and messaging, to ensure that your logo has the right brand positioning.

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

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