Love/Hate – The Power of Colour
Hate is a strong word of course but a colour we dislike can evoke a strong emotional reaction in us, a reaction caused by a powerful association we have with that colour, an association from a negative experience from some time in our lives. And for that reason (whatever it may be) we don’t like that colour! Sometimes we know the reason we dislike or HATE a certain colour and other times it is so deep in our psyche that we just know that we don’t like it. End of.
However, upwards of 80% will be able to tell me which colour (or colours) they HATE, so it makes sense to ask the ‘hate’ question first, as generally the client will have a response. The ‘LOVE’ question on the other hand tends to get responses such as “to be honest, I’m not sure”.
With any design project you need to know what colours the client likes or dislikes – and sometimes they just don’t know what colours they like – but knowing what colour(s) they dislike is nearly more important. With any design project you need to know what colours the client likes or dislikes – and sometimes they just don’t know what colours they like – but knowing what colour(s) they dislike is nearly more important.
They can’t see the forest for the… GREEN!
My addition of colour palettes (to the logo) will only be applied once the logo already works for the client in black. And I also do this for another important reason – it is preferable to have your logo in a one colour option (as well as the chosen brand palette) as sometimes you may need to use your logo just in white or another single colour so it is important to create that option at the outset.
When choosing colour palettes, I also consider many things such as how colours are interpreted by people in general, how colour pairings can have certain associations and also which colours are considered industry norms etc… But that is too in-depth to get into here…
See my blog post on Colour Psychology here.
The power of colour struck me during a lecture given by the then Head of Design at the college where I studied. It was the start of my second year of a three-year HND and he was imposing on us the high drop-out rate from that HND due to the pressure and deadlines that the design students would be under. Our first year had been an introduction to the world of design but second year was when it got serious! A real sink or swim situation. And what has this got to do with the power of colour? Well, he stood there in front of the class, marching back and forth, telling us that by Christmas more than a third of us would have thrown in the towel. He had a very commanding presence and most of us, myself included, were more than a little afraid of him!
I also to this day, nearly 30 years later, find it a little strange that the Head of Design could have an aversion to ANY colour but he was an honest (if a little bristly) man who told it like it is and most of us in Graphics 2 had a great respect for him. If he hated pink, that was OK with us! His no nonsense approach prepared us well for the real world of agency work and what that involved.
WHAT COLOUR(S) do I LOVE/HATE?