Friday, October 3, 2008

Colours & Shapes - What do they matter in Corporate Design? Part 1

A week or two ago I read "Show Your True Colours" on Nomadic Display's Blog, and it got me thinking about the effects of colours on design, particularly for signs, display stands, logo design and large format print.

I learnt that colours have inherent qualities, and this has to be even more important for large scale displays or logo signs which are big enough to cover the side of a vehicle or building. Most of us know the basics: - red conveys warmth, power, and passion, - pink can be playful, romantic or feminine, - blue and green are clean colours used almost exclusively by soap and toiletry makers - and orange can denote health, energy, vibrancy...

But did you know that certain colours are subconsciously favoured by men or women, and I don't mean pink versus blue. According to Joe Hallock, purple is generally disliked by men, as is turquoise and most warm colours, including orange and brown! One fact I found particularly interesting is the link between age and colour preference - apparently people of both sexes are less likely to favour green or orange as they age, and are more likely to go for brown and purple as they get older. How many companies take this into account when marketing to age-specific sectors?

Product or Industry Sector should also be taken into account when choosing corporate colours: again there are traditional colours in corporate design such as green for health, agriculture and environmental sectors and blue for financial companies. But did you know that blue is a negative colour for Food and Beverage sectors - because blue is reported to be an appetite suppressant, as is black to a lesser extent. If you don't believe me just take a peek at these images of this yummy sushi and see what I mean... This is apparently hardwired into our brains because blue is such a rare colour to occur in foods naturally. I wonder how has this has affected the comsumption of Hellman's Mayonnaise, Salt and Vinegar crisps, Blue Smarties, Avonmore milk and Rice Crispies over the years? Do you know anyone who drinks Bombay Sapphire or Blue Curacao? Didn't think so! (For the sake of even handedness, check out this article which extols the genius of Bombay Sapphire's signature colour and design and let me know which sideof the fence you are on...)

1 comment:

sarah said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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