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The Meaning of Color

As we transition from Summer to Fall, one can’t help but notice the change in color. Look outside at the leaves and foliage. Go to your local farmer’s market and check out the new fall season produce. Open up the latest fashion magazines that are using the latest fall color palettes.

Why is color so important?

Analytically, you could describe colors using terms such as “lightness” (light vs. dark, or white vs. black),  “saturation” (intense vs. dull) and “hue” (red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple).

But what about their meaning…their emotional content (we aren’t robots after all)?

When you listen to the Star Wars theme by John Williams, how does that make you feel? Color is no different – color is to the eye, what music is to the ear. As a pioneer of the American Modernism art movement, Georgia O’Keeffe, once said, “I found I could say things with color & shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Here is a list of a few colors and their typical meanings.

Red is a very emotionally intense color and is often used to represent fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire and love.

  • Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity and love.
  • Pink signifies romance, love and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
  • Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice and wrath.
  • Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
  • Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.

Orange is usually associated with the sun and the tropics, so it’s no surprise that it is often used to represent enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement and stimulation. Additionally, orange is also known as the color of autumn and the harvest. Highly visible, it is effective in promoting food products and toys.

  • Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.
  • Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression and thirst for action.
  • Gold evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom and wealth. Gold often symbolizes high quality.

Yellow, like orange, can also be used to represent the sun. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy. Used frequently for Taxi cabs, it is very visible from a distance. However, it should be used sparingly since too much of it can cause in increase in anxiety.

  • Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness and jealousy.
  • Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness and joy.

Green is the color of nature – it symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness and fertility. Additionally, green, as opposed to red, has a strong emotional correspondence with safety (especially with traffic lights). Many health related companies use it to market their drug and medical products. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

  • Dark green is associated with ambition, greed and jealousy.
  • Yellow-green can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord and jealousy.
  • Aqua is associated with emotional healing and protection.
  • Olive green is the traditional color of peace.

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. A preferred color of corporate America, it is often associated with depth, stability and masculinity, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence and intelligence. It has has also been used to represent expertise and precision in the high-tech industry.

  • Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding and softness.
  • Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness.

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red and is commonly associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Additionally, purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery and magic.

  • Light purple is a good choice for a feminine design. You can use bright purple when promoting children’s products and also to evoke romantic and nostalgic feelings.
  • Dark purple will often illicit feelings of gloom and sadness.

White, considered to be the color of perfection, is often used to represent light, goodness, innocence, purity, cleanliness and safety.

Additionally, in contrast to black, white usually has a positive connotation – so it can also represent a successful beginning.

In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. It’s versatility can be seen in its use in suggesting simplicity in high-tech products and safety in when promoting medical products. Lastly, angels are usually depicted wearing white clothes, so it’s also appropriate for charitable organizations.

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil and mystery.

It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’), but black can also denote strength, authority, elegance and prestige (black tie, black Mercedes).

While black can give the feeling of perspective and depth, a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – the addition of black can create a very aggressive color scheme.

Color and Branding

At Chase Design, we understand that the meaning of colors are important. We always try to make sure that the colors we choose for logos and other marketing collateral have been thoroughly researched because colors really do make a difference psychologically, especially from a branding standpoint. The next time you post your selfie on Facebook, buy the latest Apple iPhone at AT&T or receive a package from UPS, check out the color scheme they have purposefully chosen to represent their identity within their respective industry.

To further illustrate how important the impact of color is in our everyday lives, perhaps author Victoria Moran said it best, “You know how we’re thinking about food these days, less in terms of carbs and calories than in terms of color, vivacity and life force? We can do the same with time. Then it’s no longer about having enough of it but about infusing color and vivacity and life force into every moment.”

Celebrating 10 Years of Award Winning Magazine Design

Since it’s inception in 2005, Chase Design has had the privilege of working with Palomar Health’s marketing team on The HealthSource magazine, a Health News and Education Resource for the Inland North San Diego County community in southern California.

Published three times a year, and taking about a month to complete, it is a testament to the high levels of creative direction, design, customer service and project management that are needed to successfully complete a project of this magnitude – as evidenced by the magazine continually winning annual Health Care Communicators of San Diego awards in the category of “Publications, Collateral and Design – Magazines (External).”

Chase Design HCC AwardsAs the Chase Design team embarks on designing the last issue of 2014, while celebrating the last 10 years of designing The HealthSource magazine, here is to 10 more years of creating success!

If you have a magazine, white paper or large multi-page project that you would like to take to the next level, contact Chase Design today!

ChrisChaseDesign.com I Creating Success!

The Importance of Value-Based Logo Design

In our last post, “Good Branding Starts with a Good Logo,” we discussed the importance of a well designed logo.

But what about the importance of having the right team in place to create that logo?

Such a team would have a “value-based” approach that creates and fosters a synergistic relationship with a client. This increased degree of collaboration, maximizes not only the quality of the final logo design, but the efficiency of the overall design process as well.

An agency that is properly geared to provide intrinsic value for a client should have the following in abundance:

Confidence and Honesty – From the initial consultation, to the actual start of the design phase of a logo, confidence to understand a client’s business and audience, confidence to come up with a plan for a creative solution and, most importantly, confidence to be honest – especially when setting expectations – are all essential to making sure that the design of a new logo starts off on the right note.

Intelligent DesignPaul Rand, designer of many famous corporate logos such as IBM, Westinghouse, UPS and ABC, once said “Copy, art and typography should be seen as a living entity; each element integrally related, in harmony with the whole, and essential to the execution of an idea.”

From the initial brainstorming, research and pencil comps, to the fine tuning of the kerning and other vector objects of a logo on the computer, every step of the process, every element of a logo should have a purpose. Since a logo is an image that embodies the brand of an organization and must be easily recognizable and usable in any format, making sure that the practical and aesthetic qualities of a logo have a harmonious marriage is paramount to creating a successful logo. This takes experience, talent and attention to detail.

Passion for Customer Service and Project Management – The importance of having people that actually care about the well being of a client and making sure that all expectations are being met on time, is the glue that holds everything together. Good customer service perpetuates the relationship between an agency and a client, possibly leading to more collaborations in the future.

At Chase Design, we exemplify all of these characteristics and strive to perfect them everyday. Contact us today to experience how we can bring value to your logo design project!

ChrisChaseDesign.com I Creating Success!

Good Branding Starts with a Good Logo

Branding – how a company’s or organization’s audience perceives them is directly tied to their logo.

As you can see from our work, we’ve had the pleasure of creating a diverse portfolio of logos.

One in particular, for Palomar Health, not only led to a re-branding campaign by Chase Design, but also to being awarded first place in the category of “Best Logo Creation and Brand Identity for 2012 in San Diego” at the Health Care Communicator Awards.

hcc-award-2012When you visit the new Palomar Medical Center, and the other Palomar Health facilities, the well thought out execution of their logo is quite evident. The creative direction of signage, interior posters, flyers, email templates, patient booklets – have all been influenced by the redesigned logo.

As Saul Bass, creator of many logos for various companies such as AT&T, Continental Airlines and Lawry’s Foods (to name a few), once said, “Design is thinking made visual.”

At Chase Design, we think…everyday.

From the emotive meaning of the color(s), to the kerning of the letters – everything about our logo creating process has a purpose.

If you would like for us to create a logo for you, please contact us today.

ChrisChaseDesign.com I Creating Success!

The 6th Annual Nation’s Triathlon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Chase Design team is excited to be working with the folks over at The Nation’s Triathlon.

The 6th Annual Nation’s Triathlon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will take place Sunday, September 11, 2011 in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.  It features a course that winds through Washington, DC’s monument corridor in the shadow of the nation’s best known memorials and national treasures.  This International Distance triathlon, sanctioned by the USAT, includes a 1.5k swim in the Potomac River, 40k bike course through DC, and a 10k run through Washington, DC’s historical landmarks with a spectacular finish!

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) funds research to  help find better treatments and cures for blood cancer.  Over its 60 year  history, LLS has contributed to the discovery of innovative treatments for  blood cancers, many of which are used to treat a wide variety of other cancers  and diseases.  To learn more about LLS, or to donate, visit www.LLS.org/donate.

The Nation’s Triathlon is more than just a race, it is a weekend full of events for athletes, spectators and volunteers. As race day approaches, additional information (like swim waves and the athlete guide) will be posted here.

Please note, athletes must be 18 or over to participate as required by Washington, DC.

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time: 6:30 AM

Venue: Washington, DC

Address: West Potomac Park

Register Today!