Just as typography is fundamental for the design of the logo and other graphic elements of a brand, just as important is the use of color.
Colors produce different emotions and decisively influence our perception of reality. Primary and secondary colors, in their infinite combinations with each other and with a certain type of letter, have the power to convey a specific message or emotion, as well as define the personality of the company completely. Therefore, it is not advisable to ignore or underestimate the decision of a designer to use a specific color when creating the corporate identity and image of a brand.
There are studies about the psychology of color, that is, how colors communicate and transmit emotions to the viewer or client. For example, the artist Josef Albers, who in 1963 showed in The Interaction of Color that our eye never perceives a color as it really is. This is a fact to take into account, since a color can be perceived differently depending on the color with which it makes contrast. It is therefore important to carry out different color studies, to try out different combinations to find the one that really works.
The colors preferred by the designers
Other research has deepened in which emotions are tied to each color, and which are the most appreciated and used by designers (Eva Heller, Psychology of color). The findings state that the preferred colors are blue, green, red, yellow and black, compared to brown, pink, gray, violet and orange, which are less prized.
The blue color is the most used by companies. It evokes depth, seriousness, confidence and solemnity. It has been used by brands like Pepsi, HP, and social networks like Skype, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. According to studies of marketing professionals, it is an ideal color for cleaning products, airlines and airports, because it represents water and sky. In fact, NASA also uses this color in its emblem.
Green is a calm and peaceful color, and represents aspects such as hope, health, and peace. It has been used by big brands like Starbucks, XBOX, Whole Foods, Tropicana, Spotify, and Android.
Red is a passionate color, intense, exciting, somewhat aggressive, and reflects values such as vitality and strength. Some famous brands that have used this color are Coca Cola, Ferrari and Levi’s.
Yellow is a bright and warm color, and reflects qualities such as optimism and clarity. National Geographic, Nikon, SubWay, IKEA and McDonald’s are just a few entities that opted to include it in their logo as the main color.
The orange is dynamic and radiant, and conveys a friendly, confidential feeling. Some examples of its use are the logos of Nickelodeon (television network of children’s programming, to which this color provides that friendly and close touch), VLC, Fanta, Amazon, and Blogger, among others.
Purple is a color that reflects creativity in its pure state, as well as imagination and wisdom. It is the main color of companies like Yahoo, SyFy, Hallmark, and Taco Bell.
The gray establishes the balance between white and black, giving an appearance of solemnity, neutrality and calm. Apple, after several changes in its logo, used this color for its latest (and final?) design. Other brands that make use of gray are Wikipedia, and Honda.
- Blanck and white
Black and white are often used together, conveying a sense of seriousness similar to gray. They are the colors used by companies like Cartoon Network, Puma, Nike, and Herald Tribune.
As we see, color plays a decisive role in the way we perceive reality. In graphic design its importance resides fundamentally in the way in which the customer perceives the mark at first sight. The different combinations of colors and their play with the typography can result in a great variety of designs with different interpretations in turn. It is the designer’s job, in collaboration with the company, to find the perfect connection of letter, shape and color, resulting in the image and message that the brand intends to convey.