The importance of choosing colours in logo design
When designing a logo or visual identity, colour is very important. We each have associations with different colours which means they can make us feel different things. Some organisations have a unique colour that most people will see and immediately identify with the company. If I talk about the orange airline, the purple musician or the red soft drinks company, chances are you know what i'm talking about.
Colour is so important because it means something to everyone, when creating a visual identity its important to get it right. Every colour that exists has been used for some logo somewhere in the world, so the challenge is finding significant colours that have specific relevance and meaning. When designing Logos and colour pallets, a hidden connection to something significant can bring a whole new meaning and feel to the logo.
My old school King's Ely updated its visual identity with a full rebrand. While I was there the majority of the school hated the new logo and one regular comment that kept being mentioned by various people was that the colour choice was awful. It's fair to say most of these people didn't understand the significance of a rebrand but people weren't happy and favoured the old logo with its classic look. The school was founded in 970AD so its no surprise that people preferred this traditional look, but it didn't reflect the energy of the school today.
The new logo is a robins egg blue, and although it isn't a colour you'd associate with one of the worlds oldest schools, the shade of blue was sampled from the ceiling artwork of Ely Cathedral. The Cathedral is a big part of the culture of the school with at least 2 services a week for all students and staff. That is why this colour choice is so significant, its a colour that everyone in the community sees several times a week without even realising. The Cathedral is also the only place where all staff and all students are together so everyone has been exposed to it, and it has been there for hundreds of years so it's a constant colour that all previous generations have seen. Reed Branding Agency who carried out the rebrand have done an incredible task as through the selection of one colour, hundreds of thousands of people are connected, completely embracing one the schools oldest tradition, its links with the cathedral.
heart to heart logo
For a recent project I had to create a logo for a charity sub brand. The charity is based in Greece and provides fresh meals to refugees in Syria. My logo logo design shows 2 rounded hearts overlapping. I started by experimenting with a variety of colours, looking at palettes online and sampling colours from images of the food that the charity was preparing. This was good to get an overview of many different options but there was no clear direction and none of the colours had any real significance.
I then started to look for more meaning behind the chosen colours. The camp is based in Greece and is helping refugees from Syria so I decided to look at colour samples from the Greek and Syrian Flags. With Syria's 2 flags containing green and red, and Greece's flag containing blue I created some variations of the design using these colours. There was now much more meaning and significance behind the colour selection and I was starting to see colour combinations which I preferred. After showing these options of different people the consensus was that the 3rd version on the top row was the preferred design. The combination of red, dark blue and green had potential.
I now started to test different variations of this design to ensure I had the best version. I tested colours in different orders, different size variations to ensure the colours still looked good scaled up and I made minor adjustments to colours shades. I ended up favouring with the original chosen design however this stage was important as by seeing the other variations I knew that I had made the right decision.
I liked the design so far but I felt that colours were a bit dark and lacked vibrancy. I really liked the shade of red as it was not too soft or pink-ish, but also not too dark and heavy. I tested different variations for the green as it need enhancing. After speaking with more people, It was clear that the lighter greens were preferred, so I then tested 3 variations of the lighter shades against each other. The selection was gradually getting narrowed down.
After testing different variations of the green, I also tested different shades of the dark blue in the centre of the logo, to ensure all of the colours complimented each-other in the best way. Below is the final logo with the lighter, more vibrant colour palette. It took a while to reach this result but by testing many different variations I was able to feel confident knowing It was the most refined one.
When working on the design of this logo in Illustrator, I used many different art-boards in the same document so I could easily see all of the versions of the logo. This allowed me to easily compare previous colours and see if the design was progressing in the right direction.