Color = brand essence

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Did you know that when people look at a logo, the color is what they remember most? Research (Color Matters) shows that over 80 percent of visual information is related to color. And, recently, more lawsuits are seeking to protect distinctive colors that are strongly associated with a brand, which further underscores the importance of color. Clearly, color is a brand’s essence because it is the primary way that people recognize a brand.

Academic studies of colors and branding are consistent in one conclusion: brand colors should support the personality of the company instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations. It’s the feeling, mood and image your brand creates that play a role in persuasion. Choose colors to match a brand’s desired personality. For instance, the colors we selected for Concept Systems are industrial and bold. The gray tones are reminiscent of metal used in automation equipment, and are offset with a confident orange-red depicting energy, progress and movement.

In the case of the City of Eugene’s logo redesign, we choose blue and green to represent sky and our lush green environment. A vibrant secondary palette that complements the logos primary colors captures our area’s varied natural landscape with colors such as moss, rain, pumpkin, hazelnut and forest.

A study by radiologists at Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich, Germany, revealed that our minds prefer recognizable brands, making color incredibly important when creating a brand identity. Additionally, the book Color Research & Application suggests that new brands will be well-served by using logo colors that differentiate them from entrenched competitors. This is an important consideration in strategic positioning, as well.

The success that color can bring to a brand may be the result of its effectiveness on memory, as researchers at Oxford University and the University of Newcastle discovered. When they asked participants to recall specific elements of an image, participants who were shown that image in color, as opposed to black and white, performed five to 10 percent better.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liz Cawood

Liz Cawood

President

Liz’s creative outlet is writing – and gardening. She’s dabbled in fabric arts and done a few oils, and even did some rock painting for “Flood the Streets with Art” last November. She’s a voracious consumer of content and enjoys the mental gymnastics of playing with ideas.