Own a Color

by Fred Showker

More color articles in this month's DTGThis article, contributed by Jonathan Munk, was first published in 2007. In reviewing this year's color issue, we find Jonathan's words are even more true than ever! Follow along as Jonathan Munk shares these important considerations for your logo and identity program...

PREFACE: Before we start, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions. A lot of people writing articles and tutorials on the web seem to think they know it all when it comes to logo design. But I don't think I've ever read any of them who ask the essential questions about the client's logo or the logo project.
A question about logo design   Does your logo identify the essence of your mission?
A question about logo design   Is it instantly recognizable?
A question about logo design   Will it reduce down to fit on a ball-point pen?
A question about logo design   Will it look dynamic in a black and white newspaper ad?
A question about logo design   Does it read well as a 60 x 60-pixel graphic on the web?
A question about logo design   Does it read well passing on a vehicle at 65mph?
These are all the crucial questions any organization needs to ask about the single symbol that represents their entire presence to the public.

Never overlook the importance of choosing the right color

Jonathan writes . . .

In creating your logo and brand identity, never overlook the importance of choosing the right color. When a customer looks at a logo, his/her mind goes through a sequence of visual perception. The brain first reads shape, then color, then content. So theoretically, the color in your logo is more recognized and potentially more powerful than the company name or tagline.

In terms of branding, the ultimate goal for any business owner should be to own a color, that is, to brand your company so that whenever a person sees a particular hue, they think of your company. Owning a color means facilitating recognition and building brand equity.

Designing a logo color ... example is John Deer green and yellow

This concept is nothing new. Tractor makers have been doing it since the machines began dotting the landscape. The blue tractors were Fords, orange were Kubota, Red were International, green with yellow wheels were John Deer, and so on. The colors made it easy to distinguish one brand of tractor from another in an instant.

Your logo color is important ... consider UPS BROWNCompanies today are attempting the same thing. Consider the color brown. Almost without thinking, UPS comes to mind. Kurt Kuehn, Senior Vice President of worldwide sales & marketing at UPS, knows how important brown is to the company's identity.

After doing months of market research on people's perception about them, Kuehn said in a speech in 2004, "We found that UPS was strongly identified with the color brown -- brown could be a bridge to associate new attributes like agile, worldly, business savvy and forward-thinking."

And their new campaign was born. "What Can Brown Do For You?"

When your color is strong enough to use it in your tagline, you know you've got it made in the shade.

Owning a color takes time, and in reality, few businesses are able to do it on a global scale. But small businesses can still own a color within their market if owners choose the right one for their logo and stick with it.

Jonathan Munk

Colors that identify a brand


Blue ...

Pink ...

red ... If you think of others, please send them in!

Thanks again, to Jonathan Munk for sending this article. Jonathan writes articles for major Logo Design Companies such as LogoDesign.com. Visit LogoDesign.com for excellent tips and articles about Logo Design * Graphics, * Illustrator, * vector graphics, * info graphics


30th Anniversary for DTG Magazine