what’s in a color?

If you’re a brand, perception is everything, or so you’d think, but what comes first? I thought about making this originally as a graphic where say CNN’s logo was green, Coca-Cola’s logo was blue, AT&T’s  logo were red, etc. A conundrum as a trained designer and branding guy, color X evokes emotion/thought Y, some days I’m not entirely so sure. Would blue not be considered so corporate if it weren’t the colors IBM used early on, a VERY corporate place?

What may be intriguing more-so it’s a bit of what came first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps consumers in general have been trained by colors of the brands they know and buy to associate them with feelings and their concepts, not the other way around. Granted due to my profession I’m probably more in-touch with colors of logos but, looking at this graphic below, you could remove the icons to either side and still even conjure up some of the brands by the colors in the middle. Which is rather fascinating. Go ahead and block the logos to the side, think of a company with those greens, blues, reds, etc., it’s actually not so hard, your experience as a consumer can fill in the blanks.

In the end colors of course have some weight. While crafted a brand or even a design look, I take time carefully considering a palette and how it will interplay with a brand or logo; in many cases in my position I’m in fact also creating that brand and logo as well. In the end what my instinct tells me, what the consumer then responds to, and then what they associate with my handiwork perhaps is only self-evident after the fact.

Something to ponder.