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Understanding the power of color in branding can be extremely beneficial to those devising marketing strategies for businesses both small and large. Color is primarily associated with aesthetics, and this on its own is already an important factor in branding. However, color impacts much more than cosmetics. It can also help brands establish their message, improve brand recognition, and even drive website conversions. In this post, we’ll focus on branding and go through some telling facts and figures related to the impact of color, its relevance regarding brand message and brand recognition.
Color matters and research focusing on its impact has unveiled that it actually matters quite a bit. Information compiled by Design Advisor highlights that a potential customer takes, on average, 90 seconds to assess a product; in that short time, color is said to account for between 62 and 90% of the decision to purchase or not.
In terms of specific products, the set of options available for purchase can heavily affect sales, as two-thirds of customers will not buy an appliance if it isn’t available in their preferred color. These figures give us an introductory picture of what’s at stake. Let’s move on to specific cases and explore different ways of using color.
Color and meaning
Color works as a metaphor and carries symbolic connotations. Think of all the times you’ve gone through color motifs in literature class or heard praise of a particular way in which a movie director constructed a color palette in their film.
Having said that, it’s worth noting that context matters. Different cultures think of certain colors in different ways, and individual memories and emotions also factor into interpretations. However, color psychology helps us understand the common ways in which color is interpreted and associated, as well as the type of feelings it can convey to the observer.
For instance, green is typically associated with nature and connotes feelings of growth and harmony. Notably, it is used by businesses that wish to establish an eco-friendly or ethical approach, and many food companies use it to help associate their product with healthy foods.
Black connotes elegance and authority, which is why brands such as Jaguar, Mont Blanc, and Yves Saint Laurent utilize it in their logos and general design strategies. Another common choice for businesses wishing to convey a sense of elegance and polish is white. White is more approachable, yet still associated with perfection, which helps brands such as Apple set themselves apart without alienating market segments.
It’s good to keep in mind that although differences in preference between genders are not stark, men tend to prefer bolder colors and shades, while women tend to prefer soft colors and tints. Still, sky blue and green are most liked by both women and men, which makes them good options for unisex brands, in the markets where this makes sense.
Brand recognition and storytelling
Up until now, we discussed color and its meaning, with examples drawn mainly from logo designs. However, there is much more to it than this. As mentioned earlier, color accounts for up to 80% of a business’s brand recognition.
Brands rely on specific colors to establish their identity and ensure quick recognition by potential customers. For example, Facebook is blue, Netflix is red, and McDonald’s plays with a combination of red and yellow. The repeated use of certain colors in a strategic way establishes a connection between the color and a brand. Think of it this way: wouldn’t Facebook’s page look odd if its interface was a different color?
Many up and coming brands are testing impact and recognition factors by alternating the color they use in their ads and choosing the most effective one. Research indicates that the effectiveness of color in branding depends on how appropriate it is for the product being sold; in other words, whether the color used in the branding thematically “fits” the brand. Thus, it is key to think of a brand’s story and overall message, before choosing a color scheme to represent it. Heinz, for example, decided to change their scheme from red to green and experienced the largest sales increase in their history.
When utilized correctly, colors can be a powerful profit driving tool. Consumers are more likely to choose an easily recognizable brand, which means that increasing and improving a business’s presence through strategies mentioned above can lead to gaining loyal customers.
In an increasingly competitive environment, businesses ranging from small corner shops to huge multinational corporations would be wise to dig deep into their chest of branding tools and use everything to their advantage. Color can act as one such successful tool for brands attempting to set themselves apart, increase the intensity of their brand message, or simply wishing to establish themselves as a recognized brand. Smart use of color is the way to go.
The only way to grow your business is to gain new customers. One cost-effective way to secure new leads is via social media. However, it's difficult to know where to concentrate your efforts for the best chance of success.
Social media continues to grow in numbers and frequency of use. Facebook has about 2.2 billion active users each month, and other social media sites are on an upward trend as well. However, just throwing stuff out there — whether on Facebook or another social media site — isn't the most effective use of your marketing time or dollars.
If you want to improve your social media presence, here are seven key steps you need to take as soon as possible.
"Know your audience" is good advice for nearly every type of marketing. It's the basis of figuring out where to have a social media presence and how to reach the specific demographic of people you most want to reach. There are many ways to improve your knowledge of your audience.
Start by studying your website analytics. Who visits your site? Where are they from, and what type of device do they use? Collect as much information as you can. Next, look at your audience on social media right now. You'll also want to study the audience of your competitors and poll your current customers. Collecting all this data and looking at it as a whole allows you to gain a pretty good picture of who your audience is.
Once you have an idea who your typical customer is, take the time to figure out how best to connect with the younger generations. Millennials are one of the largest generations in history, starting to surpass even the baby boomers. Gen Z is right behind them and coming into buying power of their own. If you want your business to remain healthy far into the future, you must connect with those who will be customers for many years to come.
The younger generations want a clean, uncluttered look on your website. They also want to be able to connect easily with your social media channels. Include links on your page so that they can like your social media with a single click or two.
It's important to choose a color scheme and stick to it across all your channels. If you use blue and white on your website, use the same blue on your social media channels. While you can change the look a bit, the page should still be immediately recognizable as your brand. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so choose wisely based on the emotions you're trying to inspire.
Shopify has a green shopping bag logo, and they use this same color bag and logo across all their online presences. Note the green logo used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their website. The minute you land on any of these pages, you instantly recognize that logo, which is highly relevant to the shopping cart services they offer.
About 56 percent of businesses use social media metrics to track likes, shares and comments and figure out which campaigns work. When you see which ads perform best and which target audiences respond the most, you can use the money you spend on social media ads more effectively. The more information you have, the better. Part of this strategy goes back to point one of knowing your audience, but you also have to see the ways that audience performs on the specific social media platforms you're on.
If you choose only one social media network on which to start, choose Facebook. The most commonly used social media platform is Facebook, boasting 79 percent of US-based people who are online. Even the rapidly growing Instagram is only a distant second place, at 32 percent of American internet users. While older generations do use Facebook more frequently than the younger generations, most individuals still maintain some presence on the social media giant to stay updated about family and friends.
When consumers have a positive experience with a brand on social media, they're 71 percent more likely to recommend that brand to others. Spend time training your social media managers in your customer service philosophy, how to handle complaints and engaging with people online. The more positive the experience, the more likely people are to share information about your brand with others and expand your social media reach.
Adobe has a page on Twitter devoted to customer service called Adobe Care. Note how they respond to a customer complaint above. They apologize for the problem, let the customer know what's being done and offer a temporary solution. They also respond quickly rather than leaving the customer hanging.
Even the most diligent social media manager gets busy with other campaigns and misses a post here and there. Fortunately, some tools allow you to schedule ahead of time so that you never miss another timely post again. Automate posts by using apps such as Missingltr, PromoRepublic and HubSpot to automatically generate campaigns based on blog posts and fill out your calendar.
Some tools are free, and some cost a monthly fee. Use what you can afford, and as your company grows, invest in better tools that automate more of your processes.
These seven tips generate a better social media presence for your brand. You can take several small steps on a daily basis that will improve your social media reach, such as adding vibrant photos, investing in video and finding your voice as a brand. With time, you'll gain more followers and drive more traffic to your site from your social media pages.
Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Are you the type of colorlover who enjoys watching 50 videos a day of people drawing and animating such cool stuff online? Do you consider starting your own journey through character and visual story creation? Just before setting your mind to start, here are some important points to remember.
Most people lose their motivation at a very early start when their work is not as glamorous and fabulous as they would expect. Looking at the astonishing work of these online artists makes you rethink your choice and lose the belief you will be good enough for your own criteria. Well, believe it or not, the road of every artist is full of countless sketches, many ridiculous drawings and failed attempts of creating something super duper. What takes for you to publish that amazing thing that appeared in your sketch book is hours and hours of practice, experiments and hands-on (or better yet pencil-on) learning from your drawings.
Also, don't be afraid to draw things you've never drew before. Draw the things you don't like as well. This is important for opening your experience and it contributes to your becoming a broader artist.
We all have our favorites. These awesome people who share their techniques, styles, step-by-step projects on the internet. Use this wide resource - watch tutorials and study all the time. It's free and you can discover so much by trying out things you like and experiencing these styles yourself.
There are some cool Youtube channels such as Draw With Jazza or Alan Becker Tutorials, where you can learn all kinds of tips regarding your future practice.
Sure, you can start a course, study for hours, watch as many tutorials as you can find, but nothing really matters unless you try it and do it yourself. Watching and understanding someone's drawing is far from taking a pen and drawing yourself. Nothing will happen unless you start doing and experiment with your own fingers. This is essential for developing your style, learning what you like most, what you're good at, dive into your sketch book and practice, practice, practice!
Using images for creating a drawing is not cheating! In fact, this is very important for developing your characters, looking for inspiration and drawing by a model is what can enrich your work and help you find the right colors and clothes for your animation. Just to be on the safe side, we have to mention that developing your own character and coping other characters are two essentially different things - use a model and don't just change the clothes and call it your character.
Just because it's yours, it doesn't mean that it's going to be spectacular. Not every work of yours is going to be mind blowing, and that is okay. As long as you keep on doing it and learn from your own lines, your visual story is getting built up and you are slowly getting to the amazing reality.
Our brains learn from repetition and practice. If you really want something, you have to find the time to do it. Be dedicated to your goal and don't be afraid to start. Stop looking for excuses, keep going and every time before you go to bed grab a pen and draw something.
Remember why you are doing it, what made you interested in the first place, what got you motivated to start. You are doing it for yourself and because you enjoy it, not because of money or fame or because someone else told you to.
Enjoy making content and making characters, enjoy giving them life and sharing them with the world. Every step of this journey is supposed to be fun and creative. Don't let yourself forget about it.
So, now that you are on the right track to draw an amazing piece of art, a brand new personality with a name and a fun story line, it is time to consider where to publish your character and how to grow an audience so as many people get to hear your story.
Obviously the most practical starting point for drawings and animations is Instagram. Instagram is super useful for the new era of visual thinkers, it's great for finding inspiration and getting in touch with all the artists you admire. If you are focused on visual storytelling and are developing videos - Youtube is still number one platform for reaching a wide audience. With these two being good places to start, in finding even more people who will fall in love with your work you can rely on Pinterest, which is super easy and these three should be enough to get you started.
For further development of your community, in more artistic circles, check out platforms such as Amino, DeviantArt, Behance, Dribble, 500PX.
Now, stop procrastinating and grab that sketch book! Good luck!
Author: Nina Petrov
In the never-ending seek for inspiration, new ideas that will blow our minds away, we've stumbled across these interesting tools that could offer you various ways of bringing something fresh in your design work. Whether you lack innovation or just want to play around with colors, these handy tools will take you on a trip trough time, space and internet to give you what you want.
Is your current design project asking to be a little more retro? Needs some funk and crispy taste of the past of mankind? We present you a platform called Color Leap, unique gallery of chosen artwork from over 4000 years of our past.
How is this online tool useful for you? The website stores over 180 palettes of artworks from all around the world. For every time period, you can find a selection of paintings or designs, check their palettes and copy their hex-codes right into your project. For every moment in time, you can also see additional palettes which relate to this epoch.
Whether you are looking for a vintage, 60's style design, or diving all the way back in the ancient civilizations, this unique timeline can provide you with fresh ideas and suggest palettes you might have not considered before.
...or what code should I use to present nature this time? Tired of having to try out all kinds of RGB shades every single time you get a new project? What if there was a tool which can just select the most suitable color for the terms your design relates to...?
Turns out, there is. The description found on their website is "Google, but for colors". And they basically are. Picular is a tool which uses Google Search and the result of Picular search is a selection of the most used shades which relate to your searched term.
What this app does is selects the prominent colors from top 20 images which Google Search locates under the search term. So, next time you are feeling playful, try out some interesting abstract terms, let the avangard inspire you, discover the color of loneliness, jungle and confidence, based on images of people from all around the world.
We hope you liked our new suggestions, and that these tools can help you unlock creativity, get inspired and overcome the routine in your work flow.
Have you tried Color Leap or Picular yet? Share your impressions and experience in the comment section bellow.
Author: Nina Petrov
The quality and design of your sales copy are just as important as your product or service. You may have the most outstanding product or service in the world, but if the design of your copy is not compelling, It may not move your audience to become loyal to your offering.
If you want your sales copy to convince and convert here are some of the things you need to keep in mind as you move from the basics of grammar, vocabulary and syntax.
The headline is the most critical part of your sales copy. Your headline should capture the attention of the visitors and suck them into the body of your sales copy.
Remember you have only ten seconds at most to capture the attention of your prospects or they will just click away. You can quickly achieve that by having the most significant benefit of your product in the headline of your sales copy.
Put simply, the headline should be benefit-driven, attention-grabbing and made to persuade the reader of your sales copy to keep reading.
Beyond the words used, you need to factor in colour and headline design. Colour, for example, has a significant impact when it comes to the users' response.
Facebook demonstrated this when they switched from blue notification icons to red ones.
To keep their branding recognisable, then initially used blue icons. But nobody clicked on them. When they changed to red icon notifications, everyone clicked on them almost immediately. The colour became irresistible.
So too with your headlines. If you want to capture the attention of your audience, who often do not read beyond the headline, you need to factor in branded and persuasive colour and typography into your sales copy titles.
You should use bullets to highlight the benefits of your product or service.
Bullet points are highly readable, and they tend to stop the reader in their tracks and enable them to absorb short, simple facts or suggestions.
As a matter of design, indenting those bullet points has a significant impact on readability and should be factored into your overall sales copy design.
Remember, most people will not read the sales copy but skim through it and bullets enable you to focus their attention on the benefits of your product.
We already know how important it is to focus on the benefits of using your product as opposed to the features of your product.
For example, the phrase “comfortable mattress” describes a feature but “Wake up relaxed and ready to face the day ahead” goes further to show the benefits of the feature.
But equally important is the layout and use of colour to distinguish between benefits and, features - both positive and negative.
The use of lookbook creators to highlight features and comparisons in fashion and clothing is a great way example of using colour and design to highlight a product's features.
Bolding and underlining emphasise essential points or phrases.
Highlighting those same points in yellow and adjusting the typography and position can make those points even more compelling and effective.
Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, or you will lose the intended purpose in the first place.
You should have an active call to action throughout your sales copy. For example, you can include such calls to action as “Click here to unlock your potential right now!” or “Click here to discover the secrets now!
You should also create a sense of urgency so that your prospects are motivated to take action right away.
Writing a good sales copy is one thing that you must invest your time to learn and practice if you are to make good money from your sales copy efforts.
Can the colors that you use on your website actually help to make or break its success? It seems far-fetched, but there is research to support the claim.
Color and Perception
In fact, psychologists have spent years studying how color affects human perception. They theorize that certain colors may make you feel hungry, excited, sad, curious or happy. Now, experienced website builders are taking note of these findings and using them to their advantage.
Color Sets the Mood
The reality is that colors affect how people feel. The eyes perceive a color, and this is communicated to the hypothalamus in the brain. This communication results in a variety of signals being sent to the pituitary gland, through the endocrine system and straight to the glands in the thyroid. The thyroid, of course, is responsible for releasing hormones into the human body. Those hormones can be powerful, influencing mood and behavior.
Color Influences Buying Decisions
People who study color psychology estimate that when people assess a product, color is the number-one, overriding factor in their consideration. Many consumers make a split-second, albeit perhaps subconscious, decision regarding whether or not they are going to buy something based almost solely on the color.
Color Use Drives Website Conversion
Whether webmasters realize it or not, color psychology also is at work on their websites. The colors that they choose for the main elements on the pages and the buttons that visitors use to make purchases really do make a difference. Choose the right color, and your conversions may skyrocket. Go with the wrong color, and you may find yourself dealing with a dismal conversion rate.
Color and Distinctive Branding Go Together
Big organizations put a great deal of time, money and effort into branding. This includes the company name and a distinctive logo, but these aren't the only considerations. Of primary importance is the color in which the logo and brand name are presented.
Accordingly, it makes sense to put some serious thought into the colors that you use on your website. The backgrounds, borders, hero graphics, popups and buttons all need to present a coordinated color strategy. Even more important than coordination is choosing colors that will have website visitors clicking on the "buy" button.
Colors Need to Match the Business
When it comes to using colors on websites, it feels a bit like the stars have to be in alignment. The colors have to be right for your brand and be appealing to your target audience.
We can see a great example of this use of colors with most VPN services. The organization is fairly conservative, and so is its clientele. Splashy oranges, yellows and greens are probably not the way to go. Instead, tones of white, black, silver and navy blue are preferable. These colors are classic and pleasing to the eye. Moreover, they may be suggestive of trustworthiness and reliability, characteristics that most people would value when it comes to protecting their personal data from cyber criminals.
Alternatively, consider the case of a party planning business. Fun and vibrant events are their specialties. They do everything from birthday gatherings for six-year-olds to retirement parties for business executives. This may call for some brighter, more energizing colors. Red, yellow and orange wouldn't be out of place. Plus, you might see some pinks and purples, depending upon the event. Whatever specific colors are chosen, they should evoke feelings of fun and excitement.
It also may be profitable to consider the gender of your typical customer. Research suggests that women gravitate toward blue, purple and green while they are repelled by orange, brown and gray. Men are different. Like women, they prefer blue and green, but black is a favorite too. Most of them dislike brown, orange and purple. The upshot is that if your business is primarily geared toward either women or men, then you should take these gender-based likes and dislikes into consideration when creating a color scheme for your website.
Colors for Call to Action Buttons
Many website gurus swear by using green on call to action buttons. Typically associated with all things natural and environmentally friendly, it seems that green also is an effective hue when it is used on website elements like "buy," "add to cart" and "submit" buttons. It is especially effective when it is the only green element on the page. Researchers say that this is because of something called the "isolation effect." When the conversion step on your website is the only green element, users can't help but be drawn to it.
Other colors also perform well when it comes to increasing conversions. Orange is a particular favorite of web designers as you can tell by this typical product recommendation layout. Note the recommended purchase choices are accompanied in each instance by a big orange button. Red and yellow convert well in this environment also.
Darker colors tend to exhibit low conversion rates. Either people don't see them or the dark colors are actually de-motivational. Overall, orange is not a favorite color of either men or women. Red can be the color of danger, and yellow is often used as a warning. If these colors are generally distasteful, why do they perform so well from a website conversion standpoint?
The answer may be that these oft-reviled colors can’t help but draw attention. Someone perusing a website can't keep their eyes from migrating toward those call to action buttons in colors like red, orange and yellow. This is why you may want to choose an overall color scheme for your website, but then use call to action buttons in contrasting colors like green, red, yellow or orange.
Of course, white space also can be a wonderful thing on a website. Don't neglect or banish this restful shade from your pages. It's what lets your visitors feel like they can relax and breathe while browsing. Plus, it will make the other colors that you choose pop off the page.
Whether you are creating a wedding stationery, a billboard ad, or a portfolio website, the one step that designers should almost always need to perfect is their choice of final design. After all, this is what clients pay you for and what will make your business more valuable in the eyes of your customers.
But before you can come up with the best final design for any kind of project, a certain level of introspection is required. As a lead designer of a project, you need to develop the necessary skills that will allow you to effectively choose a final design that matches the client’s brief.
And to help you with that, we have compiled the top 7 questions that any graphic artist should ask themselves before deciding on a final design. Read each question carefully and make sure to answer them as honestly as you can.
What is the design theme?
One of the first things to consider when creating any kind of project is its theme or motif. At the beginning stage of the design creation process, following a theme will help direct creators on the right path for that specific design.
But this is not where the importance of a project’s design theme ends. As the lead designer, you still need to make sure that your final design sticks to the original theme you have decided with at the beginning.
To illustrate, if you are creating a billboard design for a mid-range activewear clothing brand, the final billboard design should adhere to the active lifestyle and market demographic that the brand caters. Of course, your clients will still have to approve a specific design or not. What is important is that you (as the lead designer) would have already narrowed down the design choices so that your clients will no longer feel overwhelmed on what final design to choose and use for their respective projects.
Is it too trendy?
Before choosing a final design, the next question to ask yourself is whether or not a design is too trendy. There can be a few instances where trendy designs can work out well for brands. But if having a project design that can be used for multiple instances throughout the years is your goal, you may have to evaluate if a certain design is trendy or not.
As with any kind of design project, designers are given a project brief or a description of what the client wants to have or achieve for a specific project. And most often, clients will prefer a design that will withstand the test of time and something that can be incorporated well into other marketing and informational corporate publications. As the lead designer, you need to determine and choose a final design that will match the client’s desires and, at the same time, not be too stylish that everyone else in the industry is doing it.
Can the design be easily understood?
Most graphic design projects are meant to entice and make another person think by just looking at it. This is the reason why most clients demand the creation of simple yet impactful design suggestions.
It is then your job as the graphic designer to translate the client’s objective into something that can be easily understood by the public. In short, you are the storyteller. And you need to choose a final design that will best tell the brand’s story to your audience.
For instance, if you are tasked with the creation of a company logo of a family-owned restaurant, you need to choose a final design that will imbibe the spirit of a family cooperation, easy meals, and fun times all in one tiny logo. Achieving the perfect logo design that perfectly fits the bill can be difficult. However, if you begin with the company’s story—its beginnings and how it continues to provide hearty meals for families—you will have a story to tell and you can begin developing design mockups that match that narrative.
To determine if your design can easily be understood or not before submitting it your client for review, you may take inspiration from real-world examples of projects found on graphic design inspiration blogs Behance, Dribbble, Template.net, Canva, and colourlovers.com.
Are all included graphic design elements licensed and legally obtained?
In most cases, graphic design projects will involve the use of different kinds of graphic design elements. From flat icons to logo designs to certain typeface families, designers will need to, one way or another, source these key design elements from different people or sites.
This is why, if you are now on the penultimate stage of the design process, you would most likely need to make sure that all the graphic design elements incorporated in any of your final designs are all sourced legally.
For instance, this means that you need to ask yourself and verify if a certain font style was bought and downloaded legally. As the lead designer, you also need to recheck if these design components can be used for commercial purposes. One main reason for asking yourself these questions is to make sure that you (and your client) will not be sued for intellectual copyright infringement in the future.
Ask yourself this question before you choose a final design and you will save yourself (and your client) any potential legal headache in the future. And even if you do not get sued in the future, the negative publicity associated with using someone else’s design or a derivative thereof without their written permission may break your own and your client’s credibility.
How does the design measure up against its competitors?
One of the main purposes of creating impactful design is for marketing. Brands and businesses frequently need to come up with a creative and enticing way to present their services and their products to any potential client in order to continue their market leads or to break into a specific market.
And using creative designs on various advertising and marketing materials is one way to get the attention of their targeted audience base. This is the reason why, as the design head, you need to ask yourself if a certain design can measure hold up well against its competitors in the same industry or not. Your answer to this question will greatly help you determine how a client will react to being presented with a specific design mock-up or suggestion.
By keeping this question at the forefront of your mind before you choose a final design, you will already have gauged how your design can be compared with and measure up against the designs of other services or products in the market. Clients will certainly appreciate it when you have already taken out the competition comparison task out of their hands and they will only be left with a design that can do wonders for their own businesses.
Is the design too expensive or difficult to reproduce?
As we have mentioned earlier, creative designs can be used in and incorporated into different end products and for various purposes. For example, a company letterhead design may be used in official company letters or memos while the design itself can be used as the official seal or logo design.
However, in some cases, some graphic design projects may call for complicated configurations or the use of non-traditional art mediums. To illustrate, if you are tasked with the creation of a luxury fashion house’ corporate branding designs and you opted to incorporate 3D elements as the design base, the entire project can be costly to reproduce and make it work for different design mediums due to its complexity. Of course, high-end fashion houses can certainly pay for this kind of project. But this may not be the case for other businesses.
This is one reason why graphic designers and artists need to ask themselves if any of their design suggestions is cost-effective or easy to reproduce or not. It is the job of the designer to create designs that will fit the client’s budget. You need to choose a final design that can be used on different presentation mediums without affecting the design end quality.
Does the design bring you joy?
This last question may not sound too pragmatic but it is a good way to assess whether or not a specific design is worthy of being the final design for any kind of creative project. Before you decide on what final design to use and/or present to your client for approval, you first need to ask yourself and your team (if applicable) if a certain design suggestion brings you joy or not.
It’s a simple yet important question. As the creator, you first need to be satisfied and be happy with a certain design yourself before you can wholeheartedly suggest its use to a client. It also matters that you are comfortable with how a final design will be used by your client. You need to ask yourself if a design brings you joy because it is only after honestly answering this question can you facilitate the use of your design to bring joy to other people’s lives.
Are You Now Ready to Choose Your Final Design?
Graphic design plays an important role in business and in daily life. As a graphic designer, just like any person who has a passion for creative arts, you need to carefully balance creating for yourself and for an audience. With the use of the seven questions that we have listed above, we hope that you can more accurately choose the best final designs for whatever project you may be working on.
A trademark represents the distinctive sign through which a business presents itself on any given market and this is why is very important to convey the message of the brand to its customers. It can be said that the trademark is the most relevant asset of a business, as it will distinguish the company’s products or services from the ones of the competition.
A sign becomes a trademark once the company that owns it registers it on the market in which it will operate; more exactly, when it is available for commercial use. In order to create a distinctive trademark, there are several tips that could help increasing the visibility of the brand.
One of the main aspects to consider when registering a trademark in any given jurisdiction, such as Japan, Italy or Ireland, is to create a logo that respects the requirements of the local legislation (for example, certain words can’t be registered – such as offensive words). At the same time, it is necessary to avoid descriptive words – represented by words that offer a description of the product or service, due to the fact that these words do not refer specifically to the company’s products/services, as they may also be used by competitors.
In Ireland, the legislation states that the local authorities can’t register trademarks that are identical or even similar with other trademarks that have already been registered in this country. At the same time, it is necessary to decide on the colors of the trademark, as the sign chosen will be registered only for the respective colors and the company will not be entitled to promote its products or services by using other colors than the ones already chosen.
In other countries, such as Estonia, certain types of trademarks can’t be protected under the local legislation if they lack a distinctive character; for example, if the logo is created only from letters that do not have a stylized form, it can’t be registered with the local authorities.
As a general rule, words that do not truly exist (invented words, a logo created from the association of two different words) in the vocabulary of a country tend to have the highest visibility rate, as they are new for the consumer market and they offer a competitive advantage through their novelty.
Another way to increase the power of a trademark is by creating a catchy slogan to be associated with the company’s products. The combination of words and numbers can also represent a good idea for establishing a trademark and it advisable not to use three letter acronym logos, especially when the investors do not dispose of a large capital to be infused in marketing and advertising purposes.
In the situation in which the trademark is composed of several words, it is highly recommended to make the first word as memorable as possible – for example, by using foreign words, words describing animals, plants or fruits.
Choosing a color scheme is one of the most important decisions in the logo design process. Not only do the right colors play an important role in a logo’s aesthetic appeal, they also communicate meaning. Below, we’ll take a look at what the various colors in a logo stand for in order to help you choose a color scheme that will communicate the right message about your brand. Here are the different colors in logo designs and what they mean.
Red is a vibrant and energetic color that is associated with passion, excitement, and anger. It’s a powerful color that can elicit strong emotions in the people who view it. If you want an exuberant and edgy logo that creates a strong emotional response then red is a good color to include.
Like red, orange is an energetic and vibrant color. However, it isn’t quite as mature and serious and is a little more playful and casual than red. Children often prefer the color orange, making it a good choice for children’s products. Orange is also an appetizing color, making it a popular choice for food and beverage companies as well.
As the color most associated with the natural world, green is a calming color that conveys the idea that your brand is natural and eco-friendly. Since green is the color of cash, it’s also associated with wealth and is thus often used in logos for financial institutions.
Blue is the most common color in logo design, and over half of all logos incorporate some shade of blue into their color scheme. Blue is the color of intelligence, trustworthiness, and maturity. It’s often associated with technology and is therefore an especially popular choice for tech company logos. However, blue can be successfully used in just about any logo design.
White is the color of cleanliness and purity, which makes it a popular choice for pharmaceutical companies, cleaning supply companies, and many more. In most cases, though, white is better used as an accent color rather than the primary color in your logo since too much white will be seen as sterile and bland. This is especially true since most logos displayed online will be displayed against a white background.
Brown is an earthy and masculine color. Like green, brown is associated with nature as well, though it is most often more associated with the rough and rugged side of nature than the calming and peaceful side. If you are selling equipment, sporting goods, or other products geared towards outdoorsy customers then brown is a good color to include in your logo.
Black is a modern, powerful, and luxurious color. It’s also a very formal color, though, so if you are going for a fun, casual brand image then black is best avoided. If prestige, luxury, and class are the connotations that you’re aiming for, though, then black is an excellent color to incorporate into your logo design.
The color of femininity, pink is a fun, playful, and lighthearted color that is a good choice if your brand is targeted almost entirely toward female customers. However, the color pink will repel many male customers, so it’s not a great choice if you are attempting to sell your products or services to both sexes.
Yellow is one the brightest and most cheerful of all the colors. It is often associated with childhood and therefore is often used to promote children’s products and brands. If you use yellow in your logo, be sure to stick with the brighter shades as dull or brownish yellow is associated with sickness.
Grey is a neutral middle ground between white and black. It’s a serious and mature color that is often associated with industry and manufacturing. Grey by itself can also be a very unexciting color, though, so unless neutral and unexciting is what you’re going for it’s better to include other colors in your logo as well.
Purple has long been seen as the color of royalty, dating back to the times when purple dye was the most expensive of all dyes. Today, purple is still associated with royalty and luxury. It’s a slightly feminine color, but certainly not so much that it excludes male customers in the same way that pink is prone to.
The Ws And Hs Of Color In Logo Design
We can’t help but admire the beauty and excellence of a well-designed logo. It’s true. Step out into the market and search for a product. You’re probably going to end up choosing the one that has a nice logo, the one that describes what you feel, and understands what you want.
A logo design is a part of the brand building process, which either adds to the business success or downgrades it. It comprises several components, each of which highlight the prospects the business is able to reach via an identity. Though each logo design element may reserve its importance, what the color does for the logo design is what the logo design does for the business.
We humans are visual beings and depend on colors to guide the course of our life. When it comes to brands and businesses, colors impart a distinct visual identity to them, without losing their respective aura.
Want to learn why and how the colors work their way through a logo design? Consider this article your North Star because it’s going to elaborate on every questionable W and H regarding colors in logo design and shed light on the deep details that are easily missed out.
The article will first walk you through the whys and whats, after which we’ll be dealing with the hows of the logo design color scenario.
So, let’s begin.
Almost everyone knows that there is some psychology behind colors but not everyone knows that there is a latticework of numerous emotions and behaviors guided by the colors alone. Each color is limitless in its expression and can elicit responses varying from person to person. For instance, red is known for its passionate qualities, but the same red (when representing blood) can nauseate many.
Moreover, picking colors for your business’s logo isn’t as easy as a nursery rhyme. Our mind is a highly specialized machine that makes intricate color combinations with various factors, such as culture, context, and various instructions and shapes our perception with respect to our surroundings. Moreover, we tend to associate different feelings and emotions with colors over time.
Anyhow, color psychology today is neglected to a greater extent and is generalized to simplistic concepts. For instance, red is passionate, green is soothing, and blue is calming etc.
When we use colors in a logo, we need to be aware of how the human mind works with colors and the respective context. We must bear in mind what makes a logo a good logo and how color psychology comes into play when cementing a solid foundation for your business’s logo design. Let’s take a brief look at what messages color convey with their meanings.
As we discussed earlier, colors can deviate from the semantics they’re known for. Why do we associate an attribute or emotion with one color? Do colors mean what they mean or do we give them our own meanings?
Since the brain is a 24/7 running machine, it contains several nodes dedicated to each color. Yes. Every. Single. Color. No matter how many colors you’re exposed to, your brain has the ability to modify those nodes. It’s Iike a color sequence where you keep adding attributes to each color based on your growing exposure and experience with that color.
For instance, a red car on the road may remind you of the pain you experienced when you were hit by a red car in your childhood. It probably isn’t the same car, but the stimulus is the color red that triggers the memory of pain you once associated with it.
You could see it from a different perspective as well. When you’d see red around food, you’d probably remember your favorite fast food brand. Seeing a red logo triggers hunger, so there’s another experience.
Color psychology revolves around everything related to color. It isn’t just a ‘blue is calm, yellow is happy, and red is passion’ thing; it’s much more than that. Apart from the main themes, the colors are associated with, the experience, culture, context, and background play a crucial role in setting the overall tone for the color perception.
Your past experience complied with the cultural usage of color and the context determine the overall meaning of a color. Despite those facts, many brands might exceed beyond the generally accepted notion of color perception and set a different color standard suited to the business values and objectives.
You must’ve learned by now that the color perception keeps getting regulated time by time. So, why does that color perception affect us? How do the colors get ingrained into our minds and what impact do they have on our actions?
The color control runs in the subconscious of your mind, like a background app in your smartphone. When you come across a color, your mind produces two kinds of reactions: Arousal and evaluation.
The best case of arousal reaction can be explained easily with red when linked to romantic interests. A cascade of biological reactions inside the body takes place and as a consequence, we experience an adrenalin rush and an increased heart rate. The higher the arousal, the higher are the chances of getting hurt.
However, the other reaction is linked to the evaluation or likeness pattern of color choice. People are attracted to colors that are bright and warm in nature. For instance, if you’re hungry and are going to choose between two food brands – one using red and the other using multiple colors – your color node associated with hunger becomes activated and overrides your senses and lets you choose the one that has a stronger connection and perspective integrated within the internode connection in your brain.
Both these activation processes are at work in the subconscious of every individual exposed to colors. This part of psychology works well when brands are deciding colors of their logos.
They say that a color can stir some emotions in your memory. But there’s another thing to it. Colors are more than what they seem and in the case of brands, a specific goal can be achieved using appropriate colors. As we’ve mentioned before, your subconscious is in a constant process of running the color code and acting as an action incentive section; the colors in logos work in the same manner.
But it is important to render the key traits of your business as well as the perception of your customers. Colors, with all their relevance, are used to define your brand personality. However, they should address your brand characteristics. Before you jump at the color scheme, ask yourself these questions:
Once you’ve figured out how’s everything keeps getting linked, you will likely pinpoint the right color scheme for your logo design.
We’ve got past the color psychology and how the whole color psychology works. Now, let’s narrow our path to discovering how colors contribute in defining a logo and how your brand value gets a distinguished presence – just by color alone.
Depending on the type of your business, there are several ways via which you can choose the color scheme. Just know that it is not a random color choice, but a deeply ingrained one. Each color has its own hue, value, and saturation. You must see past the visual representation and think about the how your color scheme is going to connect your customers with your product.
The process starts by going through the color wheel which has variations of primary and secondary colors. For your convenience, divide the color wheel into two halves. One half contains warm colors, while the other contains cool colors. The arrangement of colors in the color wheel gives you the idea of appropriateness and a balanced color scheme.
Based on your business’s objective, you can make the following combinations.
As fun as it sounds, creating a color scheme for yoeur logo requires skills, knowledge, and time. A good color scheme controls the saturation and contrast in your logo design. You can create unique combinations by using neutrals and the classic B&W.
When deciding between colors, make sure you’re choosing the not-too-vibrant or not-too-subtle combination. When in doubt, check out what color schemes your successful competitors are using. Combine some inspiration, knowledge, and your imagination to devise the perfect scheme.
H # 2: How Many Colors Can You Choose?
Now that you’ve learned what each color means and the ways of combining them, how can you determine the number of colors you can choose for your logo design? Of course, the choices are unlimited, but since there is a semantic meaning behind each color, the number of colors have a meaning to them too.
The number of colors depends on your product. Is it something with a utility purpose or does it correspond to luxury? If it’s a causal product that displays lightheartedness and playfulness, you can choose more colors. On the other hand, if your product has a serious nature and is targeted at a particular audience, then the fewer colors, the better it is.
Another thing that determines the number of colors is the amount of content you use in your logo. If your logo is laden with several design elements and redundant text, the colors will lose their power. But if there is too little content and too much color, it’s still going to pose a problem for you. Your design will also become overwhelming if you’re putting in too much content as well as colors in your logo.
However, the key here is to choose the colors that represent the major attributes of your business and set its tone.
H # 3: How To Associate Your Brand Value With Your Logo Color?
As discussed above, the colors must align with your business objectives. They should bring out those elements and maintain a sense of congruency with the product. For instance, choosing deeper hues of black and purple when used in logos of a luxury brand will improve brand association with its products and motives.
In addition, marketers experiment with different approaches as to how colors can communicate several messages by activating the color nodes. They bring psychology to play with multiple factors, such as evolution, environment, gender, and social norms etc.
Pay attention to what your audience thinks about the colors in your logo and what evokes them to take the action. Noting the minute but deep details can help you associate your brand values with the colors in your logo.
If you’re a designer, then the above concepts might come easily to you. As for the brands in other domains, they either try their luck or hire experts to deliver a fully-furnished logo for their business. However, for brands that cannot afford expensive logo design, DesignMantic offers the ultimate solution; it offers a complete range of logo designs that help you pinpoint your brand’s goals.
Designing with DesignMantic doesn’t require you to acquire prior experience or knowledge of logo design as it allows you to choose your desired logo design from a plethora of options and have it customized. What’s more, you can even create your own logo using DesignMantic’s AI-driven logo maker tool.
With an advanced tool like that, you can achieve a hassle-free professional logo design in no time.
Now that everything’s said and done, the colors will never cease to rein our world. With all that you’ve learned about how the color system hardwired into our minds, the color psychology is best at play when exhibiting the brand messages.
Colors are one of the main communication sources that drive our senses. They make us feel whatever we’re oriented towards, which makes the underlying psychology a form of an interesting art. We learn to deliver messages without using verbal cues and that is also how the successful brands employ special color codes to drive their audience. At the end, it is hoped that this article has covered most of the Ws and Hs of the color in logo design and has contributed to your knowledge.
Meet Evan! He’s a Digital Marketing pro who’s been proactively engaged with the cyberspace since 2008, focusing on design services, user interface planning, and branding with a never-ending list. He now leads content marketing efforts at DesignMantic. Plus, Evan’s also a design aficionado since he loves DIY design projects.