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Color

Lesson 14 from: Creating Brand Identity Systems

Brian Schmitt

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Lesson Info

14. Color

Lesson Info

Color

most branding programs include color usage. If there's not a brand color system, you'll have to create one, like everything else, I'm putting these in order, semi order of importance, you know, starting with creating a logo but kind of working on all of them at the same time. So, you know, when I'm working on a logo, I'm still trying it in color, I'm trying it with a bunch of colors. So like everything else that starts with research. Um but I want to talk about, you know, how you can be using color in your brand identity system. So like I said, start with research gather color imagery. Think about colors that feel right for your brand. Um Consider the applications, um, think about how the color will be applied. Think about the printing process. Think about, you know, if it's digital, how it'll look on screen and consider the different kind of places color can live and how you'll need to use color. Um you're also gonna want to plan with your different teams and you're going to test samp...

les, you want to make sure that, you know, the color that you picked is the color that you get talking, you know generally about color. Um it's often used by brands is a signature element on product or to designate a special line. So, having a key color for a brand can become something that's super valuable, might be something that you pick from the beginning, it might be something that kind of finds its way into use. Levi's red tab is probably one of the most known. Um Mais uses their wonderful orange color for all of their packaging and branding. BMW has racing series called an M Series and they have different special colors for their um cars that are based on raceway names like this. Special Dakar yellow and Laguna Seca blue. Um one of my favorite colors is sort of pure bright red. This color is RGB 2 55 00. It's just pure bright red. Pantone. It's called Color 32 C. It's a great fashion magazine and it's also a clothing brand. The universally recognized system across media is the pantone color system. Most brands use specific colors selected for them to keep uniform color and sometimes they will even have a custom color created for the brand. There are other color systems. You should also know all screens show colors in RGB, which is the ratio of red, green and blue in a pixel. Online colors are called web colors. This is the code for a color in html. Different factors can influence how and when you use color and branding, consider it along with other design elements and sketch with color to find the right combinations for your brand palette. When you're looking at applications of color in your brand identity system, think about how they work together. Think about how um, you know, they'll be used. Are they part of a system or are they just part of giving consumers different options. The brand palette that you determine as a brand. Identity designer will be the palette that the company uses to produce products. Think about what colors feel the best and always kind of use that along with everything else. You know, are they conveying the brand values? Do they fit with the spirit of the company? Um Hold color to the same test that you would everything else and think about how it all works together for the okie branding color was a critical part of the branding system to convey flavor along with brand identity color for the okey project was somewhat dictated by um, the initial product launching with water and a few other flavors. Eight total but water is the ingredient in every other flavor. So my insight looking at every other water brand was that almost all of them used blue, blue is associated with water but I felt like black was a nice different color that still felt neutral and could then be the basis for, you know, all the other colors in the brand. Looking at it. Uh ended up using the color system where we took a color and used it for the label, the cap and the logo. Um and this kind of single color per product system helped us differentiate amusing flavor if you look at the different PMS colors that we picked. Um and you also see that running across um the cap and the label. Um This was a great way for us on the waters of showing different flavors because all the products were clear. We use the label to then differentiate. This color system of using color for flavor worked really well when we went to create other imagery, like we mentioned before in product image making having a color label that was using color alone to illustrate the flavor. Let us then combine it with the actual flavors later on um and have an image that worked together. This also works great in photography as a piece of set design to um put the natural parts of the flavors um like cucumber in this example along with the product is propping um see another one of mint and the the iced tea. We used the same basic idea because we had similar looking products that we want to differentiate. So we're able to extend the color system over to different products from the same color that we had for water saying, okay, flavors are gonna be differentiated by color. We use the same process again on branding the iced teas, looking at that on the labels and on the caps. So you see the whole line, we've created a palette that feels hopefully like it's a natural product made of pure ingredients and um we're kind of trying to convey this through the coloring on the label, the fact that it's transparent, The fact that it's glass um and everything else that we've done to kind of try to unite the color scheme here. I used a slightly different color plan on the cases using a flood color rather than just a spot color, like on the labels running the flavor color over the entire packaging. Um to sort of create the most impact at retail. Um and using solid version of the logo. Um you see here with the brand palette um to stand out from a distance when we then uh extended the color system over two different products, we wanted to use sort of a parallel system. So in this case we're talking about strength rather than flavor on the different varying strengths of Oki tinctures. Um We used color again, but metallics um some metallic white, metallic silver and metallic gold. And you see that on the tinctures and capsules as a way of differentiating a product. It doesn't actually have flavors. We're using colors for flavor and using metallics for strength, so it's another kind of color but by adding material element with the metallic ink, uh we're using sort of the same thinking um in a slightly different way when you're creating color for brands, I recommend trying to find a key color. And usually that means using one brand color. So accent this with neutrals like black, white or silver. And then you have enough to build a system but still let that one color be recognizable. Try to use color early um from the very beginning, do all your sketches with color. Um and then once, once you have colors that you like try to combine them. Um think about how they work as a palette. Um and then you're gonna have to adjust them. Um you know, colors might be too close, it might be too far apart, might not feel like a family, you know, um combine them and adjust them so that they all work together. My other advice on color is limit colors for recognition. The fewer colors that you have, the more likely you will be able to associate a color with the brand. Try to find um colors that not only encompass the feeling that you want your brand um to embody but also have a positive energy on their own. This means that they have positive associations. Um different cultures will have different associations with colors. So um do your research on on that as well and make sure that, you know, you're you're using colors that have positive energy to them and um will benefit you when you use them in your brand identity system at launch. Um combine your colors with neutrals. Um as I mentioned before, you know, you want to have color stand out. So by combining them with neutrals, you'll keep seeing um you know, a color like blue again, but by combining it with silver and one used combining with black and another use combining it with white. Another use you're able to repeat it um but have different neutrals that it's working with. All right, so you have a sense of variation um and really integrating your color into an overall program, like everything else. It's all brand identity system. We're talking about it in one section, but this is something that's always being adjusted to work with everything else. Um and you know, hopefully adding value, you're going to understand more about how your logos work, how your typography works when you set it in color and use it as kind of a test of how your whole programs working together, bianchi bicycles uses a special color of sky blue that's called celeste um sort of a turquoise and there's different, varying competing um theories about the origin of it. But basically any time you see this turquoise bike, it's branded as a bianchi. Uh, it doesn't even have to say, it sort of becomes something that goes beyond um, the logo and color can be something to identify a product