When it comes to branding colors, it's survival of the simplest. Most well known companies don't have logos we would consider "current" by today's standards, but they know how to evolve. Their brands have become so familiar to us and they reinvent themselves over and over and over no matter what the economy or technology throws at them. True, these companies spend zillions of dollars plastering their brands on every thing we see, touch, and smell – but it's their simple color branding that lets them adapt and change so successfully.
3 is better than 2
Branding a two-color combination may allow more consistency, but it offers fewer opportunities to be fresh. So very often companies (or creatives) will select two base colors to establish a brand, and then add a smattering of accent colors. Who wrote this two-color rule anyway? Why creatively confine ourselves? Why not use three colors and have more options? We do. The trick is to find the right trio of colors that you can embrace as your own.
Recognition = Response
Staking your color claim sounds easy, but it can be daunting when there are so many out there already. If your color combinations start to conjure up things like fire-trucks, candy bars or soap, don't sweat it. In most instances, the fact that your colors look familiar is a bonus for your brand; it helps plant the seeds of recognition no matter where you are in the world. Everyone reacts to color – whether it's comforting or confronting and whether you're in Boston or Bangkok. The point is that a color can consistently do something that a logo or message can't always accomplish: generate response.
With a rotating creative door of new trends and color forecasts, it's tempting to change things up – but stay true to your colors. Keep your colors consistent but keep mixing them to stay fresh. Let each of your brand colors be the boss for while, and then mix it up again.
ANSWERS: Fed-Ex - McDonalds - Tiffany