Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brand Identity: Company Colours

Big brown boxes tied up with string! 
Nothing is better than coming home to packages...big packages! Big packages are full of big possibilities. :D 

I went on a little photography/business shopping spree this weekend. One by one the goodies are rolling in! Today we're celebrating tissue paper! I've never seen so much of it! We're talking big bulks of beautiful tissue paper! 480 giant sheets of my company colours (and that's just per colour!) — love it!

Company colours .... two little words that seem so simple & fun yet have the potential to drive you completely insane (at least until you've mastered them).
Choosing Your Colours is a Journey!
When I started my business last August I thought of naming it 'Plum Bumble Photography' (ha! cute but probably best to save that one for my baby photography business lol). 'Plum' inspired me to adopt two shades of purple and those two shades stuck with me all through the era of Loveducks Photography. 

In October, I got a little adventurous & I invited 7 other colours to join the party. Colourful — that's me! I couldn't help myself...they were so pretty! It took until February to realise that 9 company colours was too much. It looked chaotic & trying to design business cards was a nightmare!

Then along came my new brand and with that, a new look. It was time to streamline — make things sleek & simple. Just like with my wedding planning, colour was the first thing to choose. Should I just use one colour? No, it was too bland. Remember, I love the contrast! Then, I tore pages from magazines to see which colours I was drawn to but none of them seemed to work on my website. After weeks of no sleep, stress and buckets of tears I finally discovered my colours! There's 3 of them & this is how I found them...

How to Choose Your Colours
My first instinct was to pick my favourite colours. That wasn't much help considering I seriously love them all! :P I spent days shuffling colour palettes with no success & then finally (!!!) I discovered the beauty of colour psychology! I had been so focused on what colours would be right for me, I'd complete overlooked the obvious... what effect would my colours have on my clients? 

There's loads out there on colour psychology but here are the trends I noticed:

Black: classic, expensive, sophisticated, luxury
Grey: timeless, stability, doesn't evoke any emotion
White: simple, clean, fresh, pure
Gold: expensive, luxury
Silver: expensive, luxury, cold, scientific
Red: excitement, aggressive, powerful, calls people to action, draws attention
Pink: romantic, feminine, soft
Hot Pink: young, feminine, sexy, fun, less expensive 
Orange: energetic, warm, playful, least popular colour
Yellow: happy, optimistic, encourages creativity 
Green: growth, natural, environmental, helps people spend money, peaceful
Turquoise: calming, fresh, happy
Blue: relaxing, trustworthy, most popular colour, can be cold
Purple: royal, luxury, mystery
Brown: reliable, down to earth, natural
Helpful? It can narrow down the options a bit.
Even after reading all about colour psychology it can still be confusing. It took me weeks to decide ever after I read about the effects that colour has on people. Ask would you like your clients to feel when they visit your website or look at your business card. Every colour has something positive to offer so it's all about prioritising the reactions you want. Imagine shopping for a photographer for your own would you feel when you found 'the one'?
I want my clients to feel relaxed (blue) and happy (yellow). I also want them to feel like they are investing in a sophisticated (black) business that they can trust (blue). Finally, I want everything to be simple (white) so clients can make stress-free decisions. 

*Black & White photos just so happen to be a big part of my photography style and I LOVE contrasting my B&W's with my bright colours (cue turquoise!). So you see, it all works out in the end! Big smiles :D

Yellow + Blue (x2) = Turquoise

I would never have chosen this colour combination if I just sat down and picked colours at random. It wasn't until I plopped them together on my website and designed some business cards that I realised how much I love my company colours. They might not look great around my house, in my closet or as a handbag, BUT for the time being I feel they're perfect for my company :D Yay!

Enjoy the journey over the rainbow!