Colour is an essential element of every marketing campaign and is especially important in branding. The ability for colours to influence the mind and emotions of consumers and affect how they perceive a brand means that the colours chosen for a logo are as critical a component as the shapes and lines used in its design.
Blue is the colour of the ocean and has deep links to feelings of strength, tranquillity, reliability, and professionalism – part of the reason why brands such as Dell, IBM, and AT&T use it so extensively in their logo designs and marketing material.
Red is a colour of energy and passion, a property not missed by many famous fast food franchises and restaurants, and green is a positive colour representing growth and sustainability, or young and playful.
Colour can mould a person’s perception of a company; yellow is the colour of the sun and evokes feelings of certainty, friendship, and warmth – it’s also the colour most associated with wealth and good luck.
When brands want to evoke feelings of happiness and fun, yellow is their colour of choice. Yellow has been working well for McDonald’s with their iconic golden arches, but such a colour scheme may not work so well for an insurance firm.
With research showing that proper use of colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80%, choosing colours for your logo or website is not a frivolous exercise and deserves some attention. The colours you use should evoke your brand’s values and enhance its identity.
The limitations imposed by a small set of natural pigments during the age of print media have been replaced with an explosion of possibilities, made possible by LCD screens capable of displaying millions of colours and synthetic pigments also creating a much wider range of options in colours and hues.
While more choices can be liberating, such a full gamut of colour options has also managed to make finding the right colour scheme a challenging prospect; but then, what designer doesn’t love flexing their creative muscle when faced with a challenge?
With the ability to amplify your message and appeal to your target demographic using colour, all that is needed now is a little more inspiration; here are seven places you can find it.
As printed newspapers are on the wane the way to satisfy the need to know what’s happening around the world is through digital copies of today’s publications. The advantage to this, of course, is that it’s easy to analyse the colour scheme of every advertisement you see in the spread once you cut and paste the image into your favourite bitmap editor. For Examples: PDF Magazines available on Issuu, advertisement in daily newspapers et.c.
Supermarket shelves are loaded with colour schemes, which food producers have spent millions of dollars on market research to discover. You can take advantage of any colour schemes which appeal by either taking a photo with your phone. You can also copy or screengrab the image by visiting the manufacturer’s or supermarket’s website.
Hardware and paint stores carry colour swatches of all their available paint colours, so grab a few swatches of colour schemes that appeal and use your scanner to good effect. If your creating a design which will also be duplicated in physical print, then a colour swatch is also a great way to see exactly how it will look on paper.
Physical Pantone sets are another resource a designer can keep on hand to view how colours look in the real world. Pantone colour sets also include handy references like Hex colour codes for each colour, and a useful guide showing the best way to produce that colour in physical print mediums.
All smartphones contain a camera these days, with the higher-end models sporting some fantastic true-to-life colour reproduction abilities. You can take advantage of this by snapping a digital image of any images or logos you see while you are out and about. While you are walking around the city, you will come across thousands of logos and images, any of which can be a source of inspiration for your logo and website design.
Adobe Capture CC is an app by Adobe with a colour extracting tool and a full library of colour schemes for you to browse, with the ability to load the colour schemes directly into Photoshop. Using Adobe Capture, you can capture an image and turn it in to pattern, colour theme, shape and brushes.
You can watch the video below on how to use the Adobe Capture CC.
You can find heaps of colour inspiration online by visiting sites which specialise in helping designers find the exact colour scheme they need. BrandColours lists brands and their colour schemes in alphabetical order so you can quickly research colour schemes suitable for your industry.
If you want to take the hard work out of manually creating a colour scheme from a photo, you can with Pictaculous. Upload a photo for Pictaculous to analyse, and you will be provided with colour suggestions and palettes based on the colours appearing in the image.
These are just a small sampling of what is available, as there are many more options available on websites, Android tablets and phones, and iOS devices.
Pinterest is a cornucopia of ideas for creative sorts as the site makes it very easy to search for inspiration. You can start off with a general search such as “colour palette,” or you could get more specific and type in a term such as “winter colour palette” to collect ideas on whatever colour your design and industry demands.
There are not many things more pleasing to the eye than that canvas of life that is mother nature. The rich tapestry of the world around you can provide you with heaps of inspiration as you check out landscapes, fruit, foliage, and fields of flowers. So, if you have been stuck indoors and your search for inspiration has come up empty, try stepping outside for a bit, or jump in the car and take a trip out to the country.
There is no doubt that mismanagement of a colour palette can ruin an otherwise excellent website or logo design and cause it to miss the mark in delivering its intended message. If you spend some time on understanding the psychology of colours, you will be able to come up with a design that appeals and speaks to your target demographic.
The example of the sources mentioned in this post is from publicly available information on the Internet.