Developing a brand identity – Part 2

By Matt Foale,

In the last blog post we talked about how we created the logo for aip. In this post I’m going to discuss the process of taking that logo and bringing to life. As I said before, a brand is much more that just a logo. The colour palette is an essential part of a brand identity tool kit.


But with an almost infinite combination of hues, tints and tones it can be hard to know where to start when creating a colour palette. Do you create a monochromatic scheme with varying tones of the the same colour, an analogous scheme using colours close together on the colour wheel, a complementary scheme using opposite colours on the colour wheel, or do you break the rules and do something totally bespoke?

These are all important things to consider when working with colour. But one of the more fundamental questions to ask is – how should it make you feel?

 

A little bit about colour and emotion

Colours come with baggage. There are loads of inherent conscious and subconscious meanings that we attribute to colour which will affect how a brand is perceived.

An obvious example is green which is often associated with growth and nature. If you were designing a brand for a company operating within the environmental sector it would be a logical to create a palette of greens and earthy tones to subconsciously add meaning to you identity.

Blues would be a good choice if you were big corporation or tech company and wanted to create a feeling of trust and security. While if you were an energy drink you might want to go with oranges to evoke strength, freedom and optimism.

Some colours are less obvious in the emotions they create. For instance, purple is often used to create a feeling of wealth because those pigments were historically the most expensive. Only the richest in society, such as royalty, could afford them.


Applying colour to the aip logo

So how do you set about choosing the right colour scheme? You need to start by asking yourself how would you like your brand be perceived by its audience. Do you want to be innovative, passionate and creative, or trustworthy, reliable and secure? Should you focus on one target sector or appeal to a diverse range of industries? Should you be calm and elegant or confident and bold?

From developing the logo we wanted Anything is Possible to feel optimistic and inspiring, yet professional and authoritative. And we knew instinctively that some colours wouldn’t be appropriate, such as greens and browns, so after a process of elimination we decided to focus on blues and oranges

We quickly started to apply different hues and tones of these colours to the new logo along with mockups for branded collateral such as business cards, letterheads and a website to help bring them to life.

After several rounds of designs we were struggling to create a set of colours we felt embodied the values of Anything is Possible. Blues were good but a little bit cold. Oranges felt lively but were they professional and authoritative enough?

After experimenting some more we then started to ask the question “should aip identify with only one or two colours?” If we truly believe that Anything is Possible why limit ourselves? With this question in mind we started to develop a palette that could include a range of colours from across the spectrum.


The final palette

Initially we had a set of 10 colours but we soon realised that this could become difficult to manage, and create a potentially incoherent experience for the viewer.

From this initial concept we wanted preserve the optimistic and inspiring feeling that was created by lots of colour, but find a way that made it easier implement.

To achieve this we introduced a hierarchy to the final scheme that consists of a primary and  secondary palette of 5 colours each, and a set of black and greys. The primary palette is to be used for branded collateral such business cards and letterheads while the secondary palette will be applied when a broader spectrum of colours is needed, such as presentations and reporting documents. There is also a hierarchy within the core palette, with red being the most dominant colour, for instances when only a single colour can be used.

 

 

It’s our belief that this approach, if a little risky, is a bold and creative solution that embodies the values of Anything is Possible. The challenge now is to apply the aip colour palette in a considered and consistent manner to create a coherent brand experience.


We welcome feedback and would love to know what you think. Give us a shout.