“Company colors are more important to a company’s recognition and identity than any other elements.” – Hans G. Conrad and Otl Aicher, designers behind the iconic Lufthansa Brand Standards.
If you’ve ever been to an international airport, you’ve likely seen it- the crisp, deep yellow brand colors of the German airlines Lufthansa. This German airline has “owned” that color since the late sixties, thanks mainly to Hans G. Conrad and Otl Aicher’s design efforts. Conrad and Aicher used a rigorous system to achieve a unified, corporate-wide aesthetic. Businesses today can learn from the benefits this unified brand system provides Lufthansa. These designers knew back then, in the late sixties, what many business owners today fail to understand- color, all on its own, can be enough to remind the consumer about a brand. Picasso is famously quoted saying, “color speaks to the soul.” Likewise, designers think that color speaks to the consumer’s emotions.
Even as consumer tastes may change over time and society moves one way or another, the associations we make with color remain essentially unchanged. For the most part, we still associate green with nature, blue with trust, white with pureness, red with passion, purple with royalty, and so on. We’ve made these associations for centuries. That’s why it must make the right choice when a business decides to use a color or colors. It’s essential to pick the right color for the business, the context where it’s seen, and that business’ or services market.
It makes the business or service easier to recognize.
Think of those golden arches, the red can of soda, the iced latte with the green straw, the retail store with the red circles. You get the idea. Color makes it easier to recognize that brand at an almost subconscious level.
It can unify larger and more complex companies.
This applies to large companies with multiple divisions that may have several locations. Color helps unify these different portions of the company under one banner in a more subtle way than plastering a logo on every surface.
It allows the company to expand its advertising.
When a color becomes synonymous with a brand or business, it’s much easier to connect with the consumer in advertising since it requires less effort to recall that brand. In addition, the simple act of seeing a color and associating it with your business allows your brand to live rent-free in the consumer’s mind.
It helps the company establish a cultural profile.
Over time, with enough reach and exposure, your brand color may become a commonplace thing. People will be used to seeing it and immediately associate your color with your brand. Like that iced latte with the green straws, your brand will be a part of daily life that’s almost expected.
How to choose the right color
First, never choose a color for the sake of color. When creating your identity, work with your designer to establish a color that will highlight or represent aspects of your business. Keep cost in mind as well. We always do at Beyond Lines when we design a logo for a client to create our logos in black and white first. So this allows for two things; first, we know the logo will work in low cost or color restricted situations, and second, we know the logo doesn’t require color to do its job. There’s also another benefit to reducing the number of colors used in a logo. 85% of the Top 100 on the Forbes List of Most Valuable Brands (as of 2020) only use one or two colors in their branding. The benefit of reducing the number of colors is that it’s easier to “own” one or two colors.
Of course, there are many other things to take into account when designing a logo. So if you’re ready to start branding or rebranding your business, please get in touch with us to get started!