Guess Who? — Company Design Edition

Psychologists like to state how logos and brands have invaded the American culture. Everyday the average American is exposed to thousands of advertisements and brands. The most simplest way companies can infiltrate our senses is by some of the most basic of visual processing: color.

Below are the 3 major colors found on 4 separate company websites. Can you guess the companies?

Surprisingly, each company’s website only consisted of 3 major colors (not including their products or promotional frames). In this example, each company has red as a major design element, yet each red is only a few shades off from their competitor. Despite this, it makes a world of difference when it comes to identification. We can not identify which are representative of technology companies, food industry, or retail. There is no “food industry hue” or “retail tint.” However, most companies do include a neutral tone into their design.

Some of the colors above are vibrant, while other appear faded, illuminated or tinted. Let’s look at sample A. Here, the intensity of the vibrant colors make the overall swatch look illuminated. The vibrancy of the colors make the brand appear bright and cheerful. This idea of happiness and vibrancy is used often in the company’s marketing campaign. Any ideas on the company?

Next, let’s look at swatch B. Here, we have the saturated colors of red and gray with white being neutral. The colors choices give a sense of sturdiness, and of quality. The colors also appear to be “solid” or “heavy.”

Now we have swatch C. Here we have the colors red and yellow with white being neutral. The lack of vibrancy in the colors and the accompaniment of white exaggerates a faded look in the design. The colors do not appear to be “solid.” In their faddiness it feels as though in their near transparency they are flimsy.

Lastly, we have swatch D. Here we have the colors red, yellow and black. The colors red and yellow appear to have a gray hue. What company do you think has this smokey but primary-based color scheme?

Here are the answers: A: Coca-Cola, B: Target, C: hhGreg, D: McDonalds.

Do you think each company’s chosen colors reflect their positioning strategy or marketing plan? Leave a comment!

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