Saturday, March 24, 2012

Color [theory] of the wind

Howdy all,

So, after this week’s reading on color, I thought it might be helpful to share this poster I use at work. You can find it free here. (It’s pretty sweet.) 
Color theory is very interesting to me, because we see it in our everyday lives. Branding particularly comes to mind. Here are some funny ones (or somewhat devious) that I found…

BP- Is it ironic that an oil company has a green logo? Or smart? I can’t be the only one that feels warm and fuzzy inside when I look at this. The green lends a safe, natural vibe, while the yellow is sunny. I believe they are also using Helvetica in the corner there…

Fannie Mae – it’s not by accident they use blue here. You really get the sense of an established institution.

Google – everyone’s favorite search engine. In our culture, that combination looks a little playful and childlike, right? It may be more telling to notice that their competitor “Bing” uses blue and one spec of orange (i.e. Bing is begging for your attention with that orange while trying to claim “reserved elegance” with the blue). Bing looks grown up. 

Anywho, that’s my two cents. I’d love to hear any others.


  1. Wow, I never thought of the color scheme in the BP logo. Nice observation.

  2. I'm always interested in looking at the way companies use colors (and fonts and overall visual layouts) to deliver messages beyond simple branding. It's one of those things that once you begin doing it and seeing it out in the world, you can't go back to looking at things without that level of heightened awareness. Of course, it can be kind of annoying because sometimes you'd rather just look at something and take it for what it is without analyzing the hell out of it.

  3. ha, very true! Do you think color messages have more or less of an effect when you're conscious of them?

  4. I think bright, primary colors such as these do not become dated as quickly as vague shades. This could be why big companies go with them.

  5. I really needed this education. To match colors is easy, but its not easy. We can not just mix them together. So we need to know which one will look good with others.

  6. picking up a match color is our group problems.

  7. I think the google logo is very interesting. Using that many colors for a basic search engine looks odd. But the key is using basic primary colors. That is why it does not bother the viewer, and actually looks pretty simple.