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How To Use Colour In Your Signage To Build Brand

Our sister company Warnstar Sign & Print has written a blog post about ‘How To Use Colour In Your Signage To Build Brand it explores the use of colour in branding and clarity/functionality in signs. It discusses the use of colour to reflect mood and brand attributes. Interestingly it quotes that 45% of law firms use dark blue in their branding. We at Maritime Progress decided to do our own investigation into brand colours in the shipping industry. We looked at a random selection of the world’s top shipping organisations and their logos to monitor the use of predominant colours.

Blue – 37%

Black – 34%

Red – 26%

Green – 3%

So with blue and black being the most used colours depicting dependability and tradition, is it time for firms to shake it up a bit and explore branding that reflects modern shipping?

How To Use Colour In Your Signage To Build Brand

Designers will be familiar with the Colour Wheel Theory and how to use colour to create an aesthetically pleasing design but even the non-designer can use colour to create mood or feelings that the viewer will associate with your brand.

How Can Colour be Used in your Signs

 

Branding

Colour can be used to help re-enforce your brand values. Your brand is far more than a logo. It should reflect your business values and ethics. Once you have a clearly defined list of values, everything concerned with promoting your business should reflect those values, including the colours you use on your signs and promotional material. See below for some commonly used colours and feelings they often reflect.

We are used to firms that command authority and dependability using dark blue colours in their branding, in fact, 45%* of law firms use the colour blue in their branding. Dark blue represents knowledge, power, loyalty integrity, wisdom and seriousness. Whereas only 5%* of law firms use the colour orange. Orange can be great for a law firm that wants to appear as modern and vibrant and breaking away from the dusty traditional image often associated with the law industry. Orange is associated with enthusiasm and creativity.  What’s more, they will stand out as it is an underused colour in this sector. This reflects the importance of using your brand values first for defining any designs used rather than following tradition.

Visibility

When thinking about what colours to be used in your promotional signage think about colours that ‘catch the eye’ but also compliment any of your brand colours. Using tints, shades and hues of your brand colours are a simple way to add a colour palette to your designs that you know will compliment your brand, and or if you want to get technical, use the ‘Analogous’ colours ie. the colours on either side of your colour on the colour wheel. If you want a bolder impact go for colours on the direct opposite of the colour wheel, for colours that ‘pop’ but don’t clash. Red and green, yellow and violet and blue and yellow-orange are complementary colours.

Clarity

Colours can work together and against each other. Ideally, you need to use colours that have high contrast so any lettering shows up well against the background but work together in a pleasing way so as not to ‘jar’ visually. For ultimate clarity, it is better that the contrast should be dark lettering on a lighter background, it can work the other way i.e reversed but then the clarity and size of the font needs to be a bigger consideration.

Colour combinations that work well include:

Dark lettering on a light background

  • Dark blue, black, grey, or red lettering on a white background.
  • Black, dark blue, or red lettering on a yellow background.
  • Red or black lettering on a light blue background.

Light Lettering on a dark background

  • Yellow or white lettering on a dark blue background.
  • Yellow or white lettering on a black background.
  • Yellow or white lettering on a red background.

Colour coding your signs is also an excellent way to add clarity to your signs. Particularly useful in retail signage or directional signage. You can have your main design template and branding but then use an accent colour to help the visitor orientate themselves. Being consistent is key and making sure your accompanying point of sale, promotional literature or even your webshop also reflect the colour coding scheme you have adopted for your bricks and mortar shop.

Different colours and the mood or feeling they often represent

                

If you would like to have a no-obligation chat about your signage or branding please get in touch

  • ALL-STATE LEGAL in February 2018 of the National Law Journal’s top 500 law firms released in June 2017.

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