Color is one of the few elements in design that contains both the arts and sciences simultaneously, while incorporating emotional, psychological, and scientific aspects of the arts. Color can be broken down into a color wheel with an exact science, and yet when it comes to designing, you have to approach color from a human esthetic point of view as well. Color can affect us emotionally thru our past personal experiences, but this is not the goal that we are working towards. Instead we want our corporate branding to be “less personal” and more in the realm of universal language of meaning in your respective industry, for example, restaurants are generally in the red/orange warm spectrum of the color wheel. Here are the colors broken down in how colors psychologically affect us universally.
Yellow: Stimulates mental processes, the nervous system, activates memory, and encourages communication.
Green: Soothes, Relaxes mentally, as well as physically, Helps alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety.
Blue: Calms and sedates, cools, aids intuition.
Purple: Uplifts, Calms the mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality, and encourages creativity.
Pink: Bright pinks, like the color red, stimulate energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. Can also encourage action and confidence.
Red: Increases enthusiasm, Stimulates our psychologically, Encourages action, provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety.
Orange: Stimulates activity, appetite, and encourages socialization.
Black is not typically considered a color in the visual arts because it represents void of light, thus without light there is no color. White on the other hand theoretically is considered of all colors combined in ultraviolet light.
When picking your branding colors, it’s more advantageous to start your approach of the problem from an industry perspective rather than personal one. For example, red is a high energy alerting color, so more than likely you would not want to use it for your funeral home brand, even though your car is in your favorite color red. This is where you should separate your personal pallet with your businesses brand.
With that being said, this does not mean you can’t use colors you like, but just be cognitive that they are not counterproductive to your industry standard or your desired messaging. While considering your industries pallet standards you still can find your companies uniqueness through variations of your chosen color(s). For example your blue, red, or yellow primary colors can be variants of the hues, by selecting your tints, tones, and shades of the colors themselves. Also your secondary color that you pick can also aid you in achieving your branding design uniqueness by choosing an accent color of your choice, or you can simply chose a safe complementary color from the color wheel.
When designing logos, the finished product should have four logos variations as follows: One and two colors logos, one black and one white logo for b/w print advertising (magazines, newspapers, etc.).
While stating all of this, rules are not unbreakable, but in general a starting point to guide us through the complicated considerations when selecting branding colors for your designs. In general your layout designs should mirror the branding pallet you finally decide on.
Hopefully this is a help to you in breaking down the designing and branding problems to a more manageable task for you. If not, give us a call, we like to help.