Green is actually the color the human eye can recognize more shades of than any other color. Think evolution over millennia as we hunted and gathered, trying to discern the poisonous from nutritious. After black and white, the color that was most commonly named first by most human societies was red. The last primary color to be given a name? Blue. It’s called the Hierarchy of Color. Check the whole read out here, it’s quite fascinating.
So if we can see more greens and bothered to give red a name second in human history, why aren’t we using more colors in brand-building and breaking out of the blue box we’ve built? Lots of reasons. Old design rules. Inertia. Stubborn clients determined to have a blue logo.
The point is, you can use different colors and should use different colors. You should use colors that evoke an emotion for you first. From there, you’ll build messaging, images, and other collaterals that will communicate that passion with your clients and broaden that connection. Right now, not choosing blue could significantly differentiate your brand from competitors (in a line-up likely half would be blue tones, I’d be willing to bet). We’ve worked in blues a lot and still do with some clients. We’ve also had the pleasure of building brands that include a wide range of other color schemes:
With most of these you are playing with a fuller color scheme, of course. In cases using one really bright, unexpected color, it’s muted with grays (the lime green and red/orange gradients). The blue/teal/green works exceptionally well over stark, bright whites, helping to minimize and frame the impact of their brand elements. In the case of the pure, bright red, we actually paired it with a very light teal to further modernize it and use a color commonly found in the technology/social spaces. Because it works so well on white, it needed a second accent color to expand the scope and range of what could be done.
Even with our clients who have existing brands already built and established in blue, there’s a lot a new designer can bring to your brand. With one client they had a beautiful brand that was already established and well-known and of course, it was a deep, buttoned-up navy blue. The brand they had was already on point for who they were—very professional, white glove service, and well-known for being leaders in their fields; there wasn’t much that needed to be changed so we focused our efforts on the extensions. We added a bright orange color and lively, scripted font that would tag on to the logo when necessary for publications, events, programs, and other offerings. It was purposefully more casual and human in order to soften the core brand. It works beautifully in hitting the intended mark of updating the brand while maintaining the incredibly strong and recognizable core they’d established over the years.
The work you can do with color is limitless. As you consider your design and marketing choices in the future, think outside the blues.
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