Whenever showing initial designs and concepts for a logo project I present them in black and white. Whilst there is always the temptation to dazzle a client by throwing everything you have at a concept, colours at this early stage can cause an unwanted distraction..
In addition to the black and white logos I occasionally show concepts placed over a full colour image to give an example of application but again, the logos will be in black or white and identical photography used so the client is choosing like-for-like.
Colour is introduced once concepts have been developed and agreed. This method reduces the number of elements and the volume of information the client needs to focus on. It also reduces the myriad of combinations I would otherwise need to produce.
A recent project for Isle of Wight Adventure Activities posed some interesting colour choices. The target audience for this client is families with children aged 8 to 16 and groups of young adults.
The branding exercise for Isle of Wight Adventure Activities included producing a new logo and visual identity. From a set of six concepts two were chosen to evolve and develop further and three colour options were presented.
An obvious choice as the existing identity was red so there was some merit in retaining this. Words associated with this colour include heat, energy, danger, power, speed, passion and desire. The association with power and energy is extremely dominant in the context of this particular client and preferred mainly by adrenaline seeking males.
Blue is arguably the world’s most popular color. It consistently occurs throughout nature and lighter, brighter tones of blue are held in close association with holidays, cloudless skies and clear calm seas. This is evocative of tranquility and relaxation and studies have shown this can actually slow down a person’s metabolism and producing feelings of calm and well-being. Equally liked by men and women blue is a safe choice appealing to a wider audience than red.
A close relative to red, orange manages to retain a lot of the energy of its cousin. Orange is a color that is associated with fun, warmth and pleasure. Orange exerts an invigorating effect by increasing oxygen to the brain and stimulating mental activity. It is therefore an excellent choice for any product associated with high energy pursuits, such as sporting activities and energy drinks. Orange can impart very similar messages to red, but importantly, without its aggressive edge. Orange also conveys an aspect of safety and appeals to both men and women.
Having presented the colour options to Isle of Wight Adventure Activities my client decided to put this theory to the test and run a poll with a number of people from across the target audience. The results (thankfully) came back as predicted! Whilst men preferred red, when asked to choose a colour for their family they chose orange. This was also the preferred choice for the majority of women and children.
Each of these colour would have worked and not looked out of place but orange spoke to everyone in a positive way on different levels therefore would work the hardest for the brand. There is always a degree of intuition when it comes to colour choice and preference but it is always useful to have knowledge of colour theory to help myself as a designer and clients make informed decisions.
Examples of the finished project can be found here.