color choices

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by wongulous, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    I'm working on a corporate identity project that encompasses a logo, business card, invoicing, website, promo material, and office front-end signage. The aim is business-to-business and the points that the client wants to emphasize are that the brand is (a) personable and approachable, (b) in touch with trends, and (c) filled with creative thinking.

    I've got the logo finished (from sketch to vector to print variations to screen representation), settled on an aesthetic with them, and already purchased a lovely typeface with more weights than I know what to do with (squee! I love new fonts). I've sketched concepts for almost everything other than the office front end (I know my limits, and I'm going to have to consult with a sign-making company for that, as they want something high-end). I've been working on the web presence and I think I've decided that I hate the color scheme. Something about it... I don't know. It looks a little 2006/2007 for me. It was inspired by some of the client's tastes, and I really thought I was onto something with the logo and my Pantone chips all laid out. But putting it all together with some accent colors, and taking a step back to ask the advice of some of my non-designer friends, I'm wondering if it is hackneyed.

    So, I played around with things on screen, and I found a similar combination that I think I like... I think it's way better. I wanted to take it out of context, though, to help me make a decision, before I revamp all of the work I've done so far (okay, it won't be THAT much) and present it to the client. I put a couple of swatches together to represent the color scheme being used now, and what I want to propose (don't worry, I'm not doing anything with the paint strokes, I just thought they were pretty, and since this whole thing reminds me of picking paint colors, appropriate). I wanted it to be really fresh and add more warmth/personality, without making it an obvious "warm" color combination.

    - The first three colors are featured in the client logo (along with black and white. don't worry, it's a very simple logo and not crazy busy despite what it sounds!) as well as for various little elements.
    - The second two colors are used in the web layout and some print material.
    - The sixth is for when the colors all look too analogous (for instance in web applications) and/or I need another color that contrasts. I don't think it'll be used all that often.
    - The final color is the web background color (and may be the color of the office wall paint). Clear as mud? ;)

    Opinions! Tell me how horrible the first one is and how I should go with the second, even though it'll be some work and client-convincing. Or how I'm crazy for wanting to change it in the first place. Or how they're all garish and none of these colors make you think of anything creative or friendly. I don't know! This change is making me question myself back and forth.

    And THANK YOU! :)

    Attached Files:

  2. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    I like the second swatch better. There seems to be more of a variety in them. It may not make sense, it's late and I can't think of the words right now. What I mean is, the first group to me seems too similar. A lot of blues, a bit of purple and pink, and the green and gray. The second grouping to me feels like a better combination when looking at it. That's my opinion. Sorry if that didn't make sense. I'm off to bed.

    EDIT: Ok, after looking at them again after posting, I think the first swatch has too much of a cool feeling to it. It's probably all the blue. The second has a more lively feel, due to the green I'd say. That makes it pop in my opinion and stand out and grab my attention more.
  3. ecwyatt macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I would vote for #2 (the oneon the right) aswell. It gives a good variety the first feels to heavy just my opinion.
  4. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    (a) ?
    (b) ? (requires frequent adjustment to remain current)
    (c) check

    Though immersed in the color business, I actually have no favorite color. For me color is relative. Not knowing the nature of the establishment for which you design (other than B2B), your request does not have a context. Therefore opinions will be quite subjective. First impressions are that either palette appears to be for a tattoo shop or Hollywood hair salon. Yet a similar palette is observable in nature.


    I like reading your thought process. You apparently have an emotional and (forgive me if I am wrong) feminine connection to color. The difference in your two palettes is the dominant cool color. There's a reason most corporations choose a variation of blue. It causes the body to produce calming chemicals. On the other hand, blue is less common for eating establishments; some of the trendy restaurants feature bright colors with green.

    The proposed application of color based on color position dramatically skews public recommendations. In a vacuum of specificity, my general comment is that the blues in the first palette are safer selections but the complimentary colors are risky. Together, there is too much excitement. I could not imagine feeling comfortable in a room with such colors for more than short while. Of course, I am not viewing them in their context. Likely, the reds would be scarce accents.

    If you have an iPhone, to help build and compare palettes, you may enjoy an app called ColorExpert reviewed on my blog link below.
  5. wongulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Thank you very much. I am in agreement... something about all the blue. But blue was part of the whole concept. I thought it was the blue and pink that made it look dated, and the green was too predictable... I just had to shift the whole thing. In the end, I did like having blue there, but pairing it with green just made it look less... predictable. And the grey, with the blues, was too clinical. There is enough of that aesthetic out there anyway, so I made it a muted greenish grey. But I'm blabbing... thanks for the say. I'm feeling better about it.

    YES! Heft. It did feel really heavy to me. For some reason, the green seems lighter and more uplifting. Thanks!

    Wow. I have to thank you the most of all... I love the photo, of course. It makes me want to integrate brown... but I'm trying to make a color family, not a fantastic photo, so I have to edit here.

    As far as the context, colors 1-3 are part of the logo that, on screen and in full-color print, is very colorful... but color 1 (and black) is what I want to represent the company. The remaining greens (or blues, depending) are for web layouts mainly, and possibly things like funky packaging or zebra tables, I suppose. The reddish-pinks are accent colors. I'm talking a reddish pink vase on a shelf in the room (we'll go with your metaphor :) ). NOT much, by any measure. I definitely don't want you to get up and go running to the bathroom. ;) And finally, the grey/greyishbrownishgreenishcolor might as well be the floor. I want it to drop away and frame the rest without competing or being too heavy or clinical (I don't like the idea of black, though funnily enough I think no room should be without something black). Okay, metaphor over. :)

    Also, I am a man. But, I'm a gay man, and at the moment, I'm a bit inebriated, so excuse my blabbering. I was very amused at your comment about femininity and showed it to my husbear who laughed!

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