11 Colours: Orange

Before Christmas when I created a survey about my Branding Toolbox, part of the survey was to ask what YOU wanted to know about. I had LOADS of amazing ideas for the information that you’re interested in, so I’m going to start working through all those responses now!

If you didn’t complete the survey and there’s something you’d like me to write about then please just send me an email and I’ll add it to the list!

One of the main things that came up over and over and over again was colour.

Colour is really really important in design. You see a colour before you see a shape or read a word. Colours have a very subtle effect on people – by which I mean, when someone sees a colour they immediately form an impression and an emotional reaction based on that colour before they look at anything else. 90% of instant decisions about products are based on colour only.

This means that colour is very significant. If you create a logo and it’s in the wrong colour then it entirely changes the message that you are trying to convey. It’s not always easy either – every colour has positive and negative properties (just to be complicated!) and whilst there are only actually 11 basic colour terms there are of course MILLIONS of colours so it’s essential to spend some time looking at your colours and making sure that they create the right impression.

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Every month for the next 11 months, I’ll take a look at each colour and let you know what is significant about it so that you can consider your own branding and ensure that the colours are right for you.

Orange is a great colour to kick off the new year with as it represents abundance, optimisim, energy and passion – something I hope you all have lots of in 2014!

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Orange is playful, creative, sociable, enthusiastic, optimistic and friendly. It also evokes survival instincts like shelter, warmth, food and security – think safety, traffic cones, warm fires, comfort. Orange is a great colour to use if you run a restaurant as it’s known to make people feel hungry, so maybe invest in some orange napkins or use it on the menu.
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Orange is also great for encouraging people to do something – this is because of its association with action and energy, it makes people want to do something – so maybe use it on your call to action buttons or anywhere where you are asking people to do something specific.

Using too much orange can look cheap – this is why it’s used for discount products such as Sainsbury’s Basics or Easyjet, so use it sparingly (unless this is what you’re going for) and use it alongside other colours which will help to emphasise its positive connotations – such as purple or a dark blue.

Do you have orange in your branding? Should you? Please let me know in the comments below! Also, let me know which colour you’d like me to cover next month.

 

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