“Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.” – Pierre Bonnard
The first thing that a viewer tends to notice within a design is the element of color – it is something that is perceived before one is consciously aware of it. With such a strong and initial communication, color must be used to the advantage of the designer to deliver a successful message.
Color within design is something that doesn’t have to be trendy. Be it emotion, symbolism or culture, color can communicate a message in a variety of ways.
A few general guidelines when working with color:
- Try to vary the value of the colors (light/dark) before changing the hue. This will often lend a more cohesive look to a design.
- Working with no more than 2-3 hues will help to keep your design from becoming too busy.
- The absence or restriction of color is a powerful tool. Black and white is a classic and timeless combination.
- Studies have been conducted that prove there is a science behind choosing colors for brand identity, which can increase the effectiveness of branding methods or product loyalty. For example, the color red has been known to encourage appetite. Blue can be associated with feelings of calmness and peace. Green can symbolize wealth and good health.
- Remember that the guidelines above are only that – guidelines. There will always be instances where these examples don’t have to be nor should be followed.
Take note the next time you look at a good logo, ad, or product design. How do the colors make you feel? Does it alter your mood? Does it enhance the message of the design?