Essential Elements in Great Design: Color

Color can dictate perception and feeling in design.

Think of a great piece of design as a chocolate soufflé – great color, texture, depth, consistency, and of course, taste. Quality design has many variables that must be in harmony in order to get the best product.

Nothing can be overlooked the way that color can! Often times, it’s something that isn’t taken as serious as it should be. Businesses tend to arbitrarily select colors without considering that color choice is instrumental in how a message is perceived. Colors should be chosen to appeal to a certain demographic or target audience. And consider your competition: if all of your competitors use some combination of blue and green, chose something different to help differentiate from your competitors.

Every business or brand should have it’s own set of values and standards that require using colors that can best reach its audience. Color, whether we’re conscious of it or not, evokes an emotion or feeling from us all. It affects our mood. It can, and does influence our decision-making. Understanding what certain colors evoke in the mind of your customer will give you a good grasp on how to use them.

For example, let’s pretend you own an Architecture Firm, Bryant Architecture. Your business has been open for 25 years and you specialize in designing deluxe high rise apartment buildings in metropolitan areas. With that background, what comes to mind when you think “Bryant Architecture”?

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Which one of these logos best represents what popped into your head?

The example on the left is close to how color should be used in this brand in order to position Bryant with their target demographic whereas the color scheme in the 2nd isn’t parallel with the brand.

Color is the conductor of the symphony of design; unifying elements like shape, texture, alignment, and flow to influence buyers and leave a lasting effect on consumers or audience.

If you want to better understand how color is used and perceived you can read here.

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