Our latest design work for the Waterside Shopping Centre has just arrived!
The centre wanted to welcome University of Lincoln students to the city and is attending the Freshers’ Fayre next month. Our creative comprises a booklet full of special offers, a competition and an invite to the centre’s Student Night.
Can you imagine Cadbury in any colour other than purple? How about if I say Coca Cola – what colour comes to mind? Your answer is probably the same as mine – no. This is because these colours have become so synonymous to the brand, it’s almost impossible to imagine them as something else.
Colour is such a key part of design, so much so, that a recent study by ColorMatters found that 85% of people notice colour before any other business branding, including the logos or fonts. When thinking of a brand design, though, colour can often be underestimated, as businesses don’t fully understand the impact it can have.
Not only does it help stand out against the competition, but it also reaches customers on an emotional level, reflecting a brands personality and, in turn, affecting how a customer feels. However, to successfully ‘own’ a colour and ensure consumers link it with your business, it must be consistent across all branded materials to become relatable and memorable.
So that leads us to the question: what do colours actually signify and which companies have been successful in owning these colours?
Red This bold colour symbolises excitement, passion and youthfulness and is the signature colour for big brands, like Coca Cola and Vodafone, to embody their social nature.
Blue Signifying trust, reliability and strength, it is the obvious colour of choice for the NHS and Facebook – reflecting what customers would hope to expect from them.
Orange Bright, fun and friendly, the colour orange has been chosen by EasyJet and Orange because of its cheerful nature.
Purple Symbolising creativity and sentiment, a deep purple also gives the impression of sophistication and royalty, so it’s no surprise Cadbury’s has even registered its own pantone (Cadbury 2658C) shade!
White White represents simplicity and purity, and has successfully been used by technology giant, Apple, to promote a clean and modern brand.
So, which colours do you use in your logo and design work? And what are they saying about you? If you haven’t considered the role colour plays in creating your brand, then perhaps it’s time to have a think.
Have you ever thought that the font type you chose for your logo could say something about you and your business? Have you ever sat next to someone who has sneered at a Comic Sans logo? I would be surprised if you haven’t been in that situation, as this is just one font that seems to be able to curl the toes of most creative types.
Choosing a suitable font for your logo is an integral part of the design process.
When designing a logo, you’re attempting to communicate multiple complex messages in the simplest form possible. When you have only limited space to write just a few words or in most cases just a name, the typeface you use can portray your company’s name or catchy slogan can say a lot, not just about your company’s motives, but your characteristics as well.
Pick the right font and it will amplify the meaning of the words, pick the wrong one and you will be sending mixed messages, which could be nothing short of disaster.
So which font should you choose? My advice is to experiment, that way you’ll quickly be able to see which style is right for you. For those who aren’t confident knowing their Sans Serif from their Serif, here’s my quick guide to the types of fonts on offer for your business and the psychology behind them:
Serif fonts – think Times New Roman or Baskerville. These fonts are characterised by a slight decorative projection added as an embellishment to a letter. Implying a sense of tradition, respectability and reliability, they’re like old friends, but be warned, a younger crowd might see them as too ‘old school’. A company that wants to emphasise its pedigree or heritage would do well to choose a Serif font.
Sans serif fonts –think Helvetica, Ariel or Franklin Gothic. Clean, simple and futuristic, Sans Serif typefaces are very popular, especially in educational applications. They’re easy to read making them ideal for the visually impaired. These work well for companies that want to send out a straightforward message and give the impression of reliability and honesty.
Modern fonts – these fonts include Futura, Avant Garde and Century Gothic. Strong and dependable but with a touch of sophistication, modern fonts suit forward looking brands and can be good for fashion lines, companies in niche markets, luxury brands and purveyors of the exclusive.
Script fonts – cursive and handwritten fonts can be beautiful but proceed with caution! Care needs to be taken over legibility when using a font like Zapfino or Scriptina. A logo font may be reduced in size for stationery or similar, and nobody is going to understand a message they can’t read or remember an illegible company name. However, these issues notwithstanding, a script can convey elegance, femininity or creativity. A font that looks genuinely handwritten can also give your design a sense of informality or spontaneity.
Novelty fonts – a novelty or display typeface is any typeface that’s a lbit different from the norm and generally one that you wouldn’t want to read a whole body of text in. These can work well for logos and singular words, however, staff and customers alike may quickly tire of something overly childish (unless, of course, it is for a brand that is aimed at children).
Custom fonts – can’t find what you really want in a typeface? Then you could always have a custom font designed. For companies like Coca-Cola, Disney and Pinterest customised fonts have become synonymous with their brand. It’s an expensive option but one that will give you everything you want; text that stands out, a recognisable and unique typeface, consistency and above all the freedom to do what you want.
So remember think carefully before you choose your font. What subliminal message will it put across to your customers? Experiment with different fonts and you’ll quickly be able to see which style is right or wrong for you.
What makes a good design? It can be a difficult question to answer as it’s so subjective but there are a few guiding principles that all great designers follow (as our rather splendid infographic shows off rather well!)
The Burberry check is so iconic that it doesn’t need words or a logo to make it identifiable; it is the same with Coca Cola or Ikea. Some brands are so iconic they don’t need words to tell their story. Shapes, fonts, illustrations, colours, images and patterns can all be used to create a brand that is easily identifiable without a logo.
Guinness is a great example of where strong photography can be used to create a striking, emotive and immediately identifiable brand. However, Cath Kidson uses specific patterns to appeal to its intended target audience. Coca Cola uses its infamous font and unique glass bottle shape to sell it brand to its customers.
So what can you do to build on your brand and make it more identifiable? Here are some top tips to creating a visual element that doesn’t rely on your logo.