Why Colour is so Important in the Branding Process
What is branding? Branding can do several useful things, all of which help to ensure the success of the product or service. In essence, a good brand aims to fulfil the following hallmarks:
- Reinforcement of a good reputation
- Encourage customer loyalty
- Assure quality
- Convey a perception of greater worth
- Bring about a sense of affirmation
Brand reputations are often synonymous with how they reside in the customer's mind.
How do we use visual tools to enhance a brand? In the successful brand development, we look to a few key areas to determine whether their strategy is easily recognisable and also succinct within their target market. When we look to refresh a brand, we consider the brand positioning, i.e. defining where the brand is most relevant in terms of colour, tone of voice, product/service and age range. We also look to how we visually tell the story of the brand, whether it’s a complete revamp, or just an evolution of an established brand, making the appropriate design decisions can be the difference between taking the brand forward, adding value and credibility, or not doing the brand justice. In design terms, we look to incorporate every aspect of research that we undertake so that we can make informed decisions about how to approach the design process.
Being able to associate and distinguish brands by visual impact is of key relevance in any brand awareness exercise, ultimately, we familiarise ourselves with brand identity in visual terms more than we do any other way, therefore communicating the right message by the use of subtle colour combinations and form is perhaps the core importance to any successful brand development process.
Why is colour so important in the branding process? One of the most important and perhaps impacting factors of branding is colour. Colour is a sensation, produced by the brain, by the light which enters the eye; and that while a sensation of a particular colour is usually triggered by our eyes, receiving light of a particular composition, many other psychological and physiological factors also contribute. Understanding the complexities of colour is an essential influencing factor when assigning colour themes to a brand based on their hallmarks and guiding principles. Taking this into consideration, we have developed a study whereby we are able to utilize the theory of past colour experts, along with brand placement in order to assign colour themes that are appropriate for their requirements and the role they will inevitably undertake within a brand. In acknowledging our perceptions and emotional interactions with colour we are able to influenced by its psychological properties, our own experience is based primarily on how receptive we are to changing colour environments and/or colour schemes, coding, visual and verbal communication.
Case Study – Evolution of Coca Cola brand design
Coca Cola is a great example of how the established elements of the brand have been echoed in their current brand aesthetic. Derived from a solely black typographic logo, the diagram above demonstrates how the Coca Cola brand has gone from minimal tweaks and changes to complete movement away from traditional serif font, almost performing a full circle before arriving at their present day design, which ironically, is more or less identical in form to the logo in use in the 40’s. Here we are able to see that the introduction of colour enhances the brand, the red has been chosen carefully to depict the appropriate emotional connotations with the brand, also with the font style being revived from 60 years ago, this helps to reinforce the long established successful nature of the Coca Cola brand. It’s easily recognisable down to the fact that it has gone through an evolutionary process as opposed to a revolutionary one.
A nod to the past whilst maintaining the core hallmarks of a brand moving towards the future. Overview The study of colour is complex, made difficult by its variety of attributes, which include the aesthetic, psychological, physiological, associative and symbolic nature of our own personal interactions with it. When the eyes see’s colour it is immediately stimulated, the spontaneous nature of this reaction instinctively seeks to reproduce another, alongside the original, this infinite process aids us in the comprehension of the whole chromatic scale.
Our practice is supported by the integration of colour theory, based on pioneers of their field, we are able to structure our colour navigation using the processes outlined by Isaac Newton and Goethe, both of whom studied colour extensively and are responsible for outlining the correct use of colour alongside its complementaries. Johannes Itten, a pioneer of colour strategies, devised 7 simple methodologies for coordinating colours by utilising the hue’s contrasting properties. Using the basic principles outlined by these, we are able to determine the relationships between appropriate colour applications, which will make the process of identifying a new accent colour(s) as accurate as possible. In many ways, colour drives our decisions within the context of brand development, enabling us to create a brand that resonates with the hallmarks and guiding principles. Having re-organised the priorities of the colours and made distinctions between their application, we are able to develop an informed guide as to how best to implement new/revised colours into the brand process going forward.
By exploring the theoretical implications of colour and combining it with the brand hallmarks we are able to make an informed decision on the appropriation of the revised colour palette. The ability to identify the specific colour groups that will work successfully is perhaps one of the most pivotal elements in defining a brand. For more information please visit brand design or call the Pixel8 Branding Agency in Manchester on 0161 228 6489 – 0845 230 1336 or contact us by e-mail today.
The graphic design wizzards at Pixel8 in Manchester created the official Merlin 2011 Calendar, which is now available online and in shops everywhere. The spellbinding BBC TV drama Merlin is now into its third series. It follows the legend of a young Merlin and Arthur and the adventures they encounte ...