The importance of a colour scheme
The colours you see on a logo represent the whole brand. In fact, the colour scheme plays a big part in your brand publicity. For example:
- FedEx ~ orange and purple
- Snapchat ~ yellow and white
- Facebook ~ blue and white
- Pinterest ~ red and white
- Netflix ~ red and black
- Starbucks ~ dark green and white
- Spotify ~ dark green and black
- Amazon ~ orange and black
- Google ~ blue, red, yellow and green
- Microsoft ~ blue, red, yellow and green
These are some of the biggest brands on the market. Most of them are made up of two colours, which consist of a colour and black or white. Many prefer to use white instead of black, which is frustrating as we are now in the 21st century. But many brands for example Apple and Adidas use black and white. This makes the brands colour scheme clash. Another example of color clashing brands would be Google and Microsoft. Google and Microsoft are the odd ones out. They are the only ones using multiple bright colours, but this also makes them stand out. On the top of my list is FedEx as the colours they used are secondary colours, which makes the colours contrast. This is better for those with colour blindness.
What can colours express?
Blue expresses tranquillity, integrity, security, peace, loyalty and trust. On the other hand, blue expresses coldness, fear and masculinity which can be seen as a bad thing. So if your brand or business is to do with mediation or mental health it would be a good idea to use blue as your foundation colour in your colour scheme. On the other hand, if your business is about femininity or something to do with warmth then blue would not be a good choice for your colour scheme.
Turquoise, similarly to blue, represents a sense of protection and security, while also communicating healing and spiritual essence. It also gives you a sophisticated edge as turquoise is considered classy. Turquoise unlike blue also represents femininity and jealousy. This would be one of the negative things it represents as it makes the colour sexist in a way. So if your business has a target audience that consists of more females and is targeted at women this could be a good colour. if your brand is to do with rehab this would be a good colour choice as it represents healing.
Green reflects fertility, earth, healing, freshness, and the environment. This is because this colour has a strong link to nature. Contrasting that green also gives you a sense of newness and money. No wonder money is green. In the midst of all these good qualities green also represents envy, jealousy and guilt. For example, Starbucks includes green in their colour scheme. As a coffeehouse, it gives off a better atmosphere, an atmosphere that is more connected to the world, nature and the people. If your business brings people together this would be a good colour to use.
Yellow is mostly associated with the sun and a bright new day. It creates an energetic, happy and warm atmosphere. The only considerably negative things associated with the colour yellow could be instability and an irresponsible vibe. Though yellow is mostly positive it isn’t used a lot on logos. Yellow doesn’t directly link to any business ideas, but some brands like Snapchat use yellow in their branding and it fits perfectly.
Purple is also another colour that is commonly neglected in colour schemes. Typically, purple represents nobility, luxury, royalty, wealth, ambition and spirituality. If your brand uses the colour purple then you have knowingly or unknowingly have created a standard that is only fit for your brand. In addition, purple does not have any bad factors unless you count mystery or moodiness as one.
Pink is frequently left out of colour schemes and mostly used in businesses to do with femininity. This is because pink can portray your brand as weak, feminine and immature. This has to do with idealistic set in society since the olden times. The good factors are that pink is associated with happiness, compassion, playfulness, sweetness and a healthy atmosphere. Some of the brands that use pink are Barbie, Hello Kitty and Victoria’s Secret.
Orange is a secondary colour which is making an entrance in the overall colour scheme of businesses around the world. Simply because big brands like Amazon and FedEx are sticking with it. Orange represents the qualities every business should have: courage, confidence, friendliness and success. Though orange has many redeeming qualities, it comes with the baggage of ignorance. You don’t want your brand’s image to be smeared by ignorance, but still many brands like this colour choice.
Brown is very odd and outcast of a colour. No offence to brown. Not many brands use brown even though it is associated with the earth, outdoors, friendliness and longevity. Brown is also very conservative which may be a reason why people are disregarding it.
White as people already know is reflected as innocence, purity, cleanliness, goodness and freshness. This brings a whole new perspective to your business no matter how big or how small your brand might be. The qualities of this colour are why several brands use this colour. On the other hand, it is also linked with isolation, pristine and emptiness. This counts as a reason why white would not be used for businesses including anxiety or other mental health problems.
Black is one of the most common colours to use even though it is associated with death, misery and mystery. This actually makes the brand edgy. Black is also portrayed as secure, elegant, dramatic, classy and very formal. This shows class and hierarchy in society. This is why many brands such as Nike and Apple use this colour scheme. Another benefit of using this colour scheme is it helps with colour blindness.
To sum this section up, it is very important how our body reacts to different colours. It’s a natural response or it’s developed by society. In order for a person to be more attracted to your brand just by looking at it then a rival brand is very important for the growth of your business, so you should take your decision wisely.
Which colours go together?
First up are complementary colours. These colours fit together like a glove. When you think of Christmas, what two colours come to mind? Red and green. The colour spectrum these two colours are opposite each other, making them the perfect duo of colours. Other complementary colours include orange and blue; purple and yellow. Though these colour combinations are more commonly used in the fashion industry it would be clever to incorporate it into your brand’s visual image.
Warm & Cold Colours
There are also warm and cold colours. The warm colour spectrum includes yellow, orange, and red. Warm tones are typically linked with happiness, sweetness, quietness and emotional and physical warmth. Many people are attracted to this colour because these colours are seen as welcoming and approachable. On the other hand, the cold colour spectrum consists of green, blue and purple. This is because the colours represent isolation and loneliness. Though lighter shades of green are considered to be one of the warm colours, dark green is known for being in the cold colours. But generally speaking, green is considered to be on the colder side of the spectrum even though it has redeeming qualities such as healing and spiritual essence.
Quite evidently warm colours are associated with summer and cold colours are associated with winter. If your business is linked to one of these seasons it would be clever to use the warm or cold colours. Such as Christmas is in the winter and most of the Christmas themed things are green, reflecting the winter.
Very few businesses use three colours in their schemes. When they do they prefer to use split complementary colours and/or analogous colours. One of the examples is Mountain Dew.
Mountain dew uses both the analogous colour scheme and regular complementary colour scheme. Both the colours red and green are included and it is analogous as it includes two different shades of green.
The drawbacks of utilising analogous colours is that some people who are colorblind will not have the ability to recognise the colours incorporated and may seem unclear to them. On the other hand, the split-complementary colour scheme is classy and sophisticated method of obtaining a unique colour scheme. Examples of a split colour scheme would be red, light green and dark green or yellow, dark purple and blue. These combinations would be very appealing to the eye if you wanted to include three colours into your logo. This would be a brave choice.
Being original and unique will automatically make you stand out. Especially if you’re a small business, you don’t want to have a clashing colour scheme with big brands like Coca Cola which has a simple colour scheme of red and white. Your colour scheme is your first impression and once the first impression goes wrong you never really get a second chance