What’s the first thing you see? It’s colour

I once designed a logo for a scientist who is colour blind. Did I pull a fast one and slip him a black-and-white design? Of course not!

Colour is emotional. We feel it in a design before we even start looking. It’s so visible, but it’s mostly invisible to our consciousness. We take it for granted, because our whole world is in colour, all day, every day. Yet, it provokes reactions we’re not even aware of – warmth, anger, serenity, agitation.

You may have noticed the cultural aspect of colour when you travel. Different places have different music, food and dress – and they also have different appreciations of colour. So it should be no surprise that colour can communicate, that it can be imbued with meaning.

When I design your project, I will probably think first about its colour, because that’s the first thing your audience will see. I consider the reaction we want from them, and the emotions it will likely evoke.

Using colour is fun, and tricky. There are literally millions of choices, and more than one combination that might work for you. The predominant colours of any design I do for you will be deliberate: intended to serve the goal of the piece. They’ll also coordinate well with the photos or illustrations we choose, with a nod to your brand identity or logo colours.

How do I make colour choices? It’s not just what I think looks nice. I apply the rules of colour theory (our culture’s accumulated wisdom about how colour works), I consult colour charts and palletes, and I use trial and error on my computer screen.

In the end, I want your printed piece to look great to you, but more importantly, I want it to resonate with your audience, attract their eyes and make them feel the message you’re sending.

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