I’m starting a four-part series documenting and exploring color palettes found around Downtown Raleigh, NC. When a scene like this catches my eye, I stop and marvel at the fact that perfect color palettes can sometimes happen by chance. I realized these would be a great way to explain some basic color theory, an extremely important element in designing a brand identity. The emotional response produced by certain colors and the way they work together is part science, part magic.
I’ll explain why this particular color palette works so well:
First, let’s think back to the color wheel that we all learned about in Elementary School Art Class. There’s a certain theory to the way colors on the wheel work in harmony. In this example, the colors ranging from blue to mauve to pink all sit next to each other on the color wheel. We call these colors analogous. The colors work in harmony together because they’re similar, yet different enough to give some contrast. The pinks are warm colors and blues are cool, so there is enough tension to keep things visually interesting. If this were applied to a visual brand identity system, there would be enough variation to have plenty of room to apply the colors to design elements in interesting ways. There would be room to pull out different colors in a variety of brand photography, typography treatments, and of course, logo and sub-mark options.
Stay tuned for the next post in the series!