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Top tips for choosing brand colours

As designers, understanding colour is integral to what we do and we know how important a colour scheme can be to a company’s image. Getting the colour right can make your brand instantly recognisable, emotive and unique, as well as setting the tone for all your brand communications. When it comes to choosing a brand colour we’ll listen carefully to your colour preferences, and make sure that the chosen colours resonate with your audience. In the meantime, here are some good starting points to consider.

1. Pick a colour you like

You’re going to have to live and breathe your brand. Many household brands are recognisable by their colour alone. If you unashamedly love vibrant purple or electric blue, then go for it! However, if your favourite colour is khaki green and you’re trying to sell children’s toys, you might want to consider tips 2–5…

2. Resonate with your audience

It’s a good idea to choose a colour that your target audience will like. Rather than guessing which colours might be successful, try some of these ideas:

  • Survey a sample of your target audience with a selection of colours you think might work
  • Research your competitors – it’s always good to know what other people are using so you can either assimilate or differentiate yourself.
  • Use your common sense – many people have a good sense of colour, and if you follow your nose, chances are you might be right.

3. Consider trends and fashions

Colours go in and out of fashion. While it may be important to your company to be ‘en vogue’, be aware that trends change at the drop of a hat. What might be today’s ‘colour of the season’ might be the equivalent of an avocado bathroom suite in a few years time. All brands change and evolve. Can you imagine a new iPhone with the old rainbow coloured Apple logo?

4. Pick something timeless

There are colours which will always look contemporary and there are colours which are traditionally used to convey particular values. Green is often used to portray environmental credentials. Red is used for passion and energy. Navy blue is often used for financial institutions that wish to express professionalism, reliability and strength. It’s also worth considering colour theory and ideas of complementary colours. It’s no coincidence that colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel work well together… orange and blue, purple and yellow, red and green.

5. If in doubt, go with black

If you’re not a colour person, rather than agonizing over the relative merits of olive over fuschia, consider black. It doesn’t have to be boring. Black works with almost any other colour. Bright colours, especially acidic and zingy colours work well with black, and it also goes brilliantly with neutral colours and greys.

Two Extensive Webfont Families

In addition to the five great google fonts of my previous post, here I have discussed two beautiful, stylish and very extensive google Webfont families and their variants. If you’re looking for a font family with a great range of possibilities for different heading styles or you just want to try out a few tricks you’ve seen in different designs to really set your website, branding or other design outcomes apart, these two families are certainly worth looking at.

Ubuntu

The term “Ubuntu” is of Southern African origin and can be translated as the “belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”. This is encapsulated by the free and open-source software of the same name. 

Official Ubuntu releases consist of Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Business Desktop Edition, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu Touch. All editions are developed and released by Canonical LTD who encourage the use of free software and its improvement and distribution.

These principles tie in closely with Google’s Google Font model. Google Font’s offers free, open-source fonts available as web fonts and downloadable font files for anyone who wishes to use them. This is great news for designers as, in the spirit of “believing in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”, the full font family of the Ubuntu font is available, through google fonts.

Developed during 2010-2011, the Ubuntu font is a stylish, clean and modern sans-serif. The font was developed by Dalton Maag. and was developed to communicate the Ubuntu brand strongly, wherever used. This is definitely achieved through its characteristic curves.

The Ubuntu font intends to cover the languages of all Ubuntu users and will thus be extended continuously.

The font family, as available from google fonts, is extensive and really helpful for designers trying to use a variety of typographic designs and techniques to set a website and brand, as well as any print outcomes, apart.

The family includes a light, normal, medium and bold font weight as well as an italicised version for each. There is also an Ubuntu Condensed front available in a single, normal, weight. There is also a monotype version as well. View the full font here.

Roboto

Developed by Christian Robertson, an interface designer for Google, Roboto is the newer Android font, replacing Droid sans as the default font.

The family combines elements of a Grotesk sans, think Akzidenz Grotesk or Helvetica, and a Humanist sans like Gil Sans or Apple’s own Myriad.

A link to justification by the designer behind Roboto can be found here.

The font family for the robot is extensive and includes thin, light, normal, medium, bold, ultra-bold and also an Italicised version for each. There is also a condensed version of the font with light, normal and bold weights. Furthermore, there is an italicised version of each and, in addition to the two san-serif versions, there is also a slab version that is great to pair with. View the full font here.

The Difference Between Web and Print Advertising

In an age of unprecedented technological growth in an increasingly busy society, the question must be asked – Is the Web more effective than Print for advertising a business?

Now, I’m sure I don’t have to go into too much depth to persuade you of the power of the Internet. In fact, two keywords come to mind when contrasting web from print advertising– accessibility and cost-effectiveness. In an era of urgency and rush where there’s never quite enough hours in the day to complete your daily tasks, the convenience of purchasing or selling a product or service online is deeply valued in our society.

Consider this scenario. You awake in the morning aching with anticipation to purchase that new video game you’ve been holding out for, for the past three months. You drive 20 minutes to the shopping centre and wait 45 minutes to get a parking space, only to get caught in a large crowd because of the annual winter clearance sales. Once you finally hustle your way through storms of people, you get to the shop only to find that it’s been sold out. However, due to the lack of advertising, you aren’t too sure where else the game is sold and instead go home empty-handed. Let that thought brew for a little while.

How can this be avoided? The answer is simple. Online Shopping. When purchasing or researching a product or service online, there’s something so simplistic and wonderful about laying on the couch and scanning through pages of products – whether it be on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet. Once you’ve found a product you like, after scrolling through a limitless number of Websites, you reach into your pocket and grab out your wallet to find the product delivered to your doorstep a couple of days later – meanwhile, you’re still in your pyjamas! Not to mention, you were able to purchase that video game even cheaper online as not only are Websites more interactive than print, they also expose you to a much broader range of options, all of which are at the touch of your fingertips.

So, how does this differ to print? Unlike print advertising, online advertising is extremely easy to absorb and almost impossible to ignore. Whether you’re on YouTube, Facebook, or even doing a Google Search, advertisements are popping up all around you.

Yet, among the most notable differences for business owners is the customized design elements that help create an aesthetically pleasing and unique brand image and the broader scope of the Website, meaning it is effectively reaching a national or even a global audience. Finally, unlike print, websites have the ability to track your success through using certain tools to gain a better understanding of the demographic and views, which allow you to see what consumers are responding well to and what they aren’t.

In turn, this creates convenience for consumers as they can shop from the comfort of their own home or on their mobile phone while on their lunch break. Likewise, the ease and accessibility of online advertising ensure that consumers are being exposed to a number of options right in front of them, opposed to print advertising where you have to go out in search for different products and brands. More importantly,c the affordability of running a Website and not putting large sums into print advertising is often passed onto consumers, meaning better bargains!

However, perhaps still the biggest difference between online and offline forms of advertising is the visual aesthetics and feel of a website, which is often difficult to convey through print. How often do you get drawn into a website due to its visual elements only to realise half an hour later that you have no use for any of the products? The visual aesthetics of a website can be your selling point in many instances and this is a distinct advantage over print media, which can only use a certain amount of visual effects to sell a product.

There’s no doubting that the Internet will continue to play an important role in our lives, and whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur, the Internet is an extremely powerful place to sell and be sold.