Colors in Design


Colors are a minor part of design, right? You may not notice their importance until something does not look right. More drastically, you may thing everything is fine until your design, whether that be anything from the product itself to the logo, just does not seem to sell in your target market. Perhaps the colors you use may be more important than you initially though.

Is it hard to believe that a product, service, or other design will not achieve the sales you wanted in a target market due to the colors used? It is indeed possible if the colors you use are offensive or otherwise unflattering in the local culture you are selling in.

If you see a danger sign in western countries it is often in red. This color can also be a sign for love, but in China it signifies luck and purity in India. There are many more different meanings for colors in various countries so this divergence needs to be investigated before implementing a color that signifies death in your target market.

Colors are one of the first thing people see in a design. They are also crucial to branding and communication. They unite the:

  • Corporate identity
  • Logo
  • Products
  • Website
  • Uniforms (in hospitality businesses, for example)
  • Advertisements

Many companies even have their own colors, do you? You may think that this is untrue, but the blue of Ford and IBM are different. Another example is that people associate red with Ferrari and yellow with Lamborghini. In many cases, the colors are not a standard pigment you find on your average office product but are generated using, for example, RGB codes.

Lastly, the color you choose should also fit with what you are. For example, you could use more green colors if you are an environmental company. This will strengthen the link between what you do and your corporate identity. So, colors are not just a byproduct of design, but are also researched and planned carefully to add value.

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