Corporate Design and Colour


While reviewing several corporate designs we did at FAZIT:DESIGN (Wiesbaden, Germany) during the last years, I found a subtle regularity concerning the colouring. It’s not too obvious and it isn’t visible in every design, so that one doesn’t immediately come to realize it. But it’s definetely there: a correlation between the colours of the clients physical appearance (skin, eyes, hair) and the colours he prefers to see used in his corporate design.

The correlation seems to fall apart where there have been several people involved in the decision process, but as long as there has been only one person deciding upon which design should be used, it occurs in some cases.

A similar phenomenon has been observed before, though in different context. I rembered a passage in “Kunst der Farbe” by Johannes Itten (ISBN-10: 3363009798, Page 23). In the book Itten describes how he tried to teach a class of students, that the combinations or “accords” of colours should be objectively chosen. His students protested and he gave in to let them test an alternative approach: they would paint colour accords based upon their individual tastes. The result was a very subjective outcome, where the colourings resembled the colours of the students faces.

What could one make of this?

Well, with the psychological part being the source for the most time consuming obstacles during the development of a corporate design, it would perhaps be tempting to “generate” the colour range from the clients looks.

Coming from a strictly conceptional based approach to corporate design, my first impulse is, that this would be utterly wrong, since the appearance of anything concerning the business needs to be tuned to fit the market.

However, there may be businesses where this might be applied and work well for the client. Imagine a corporate design for a freelancing consultant. The “product” his clients are buying, is his time and his expertise. For the classical one-man-show this means that they are meeting him in person and thus get “exposed” to his looks anyway. Thus, if the corporate design makes use of some of his colours, the overall customer experience could be even more consistent.

For the internal psychological part it could make it easier for him to identify himself with the appearance of his business. Thus his behaviour could be positively influenced in terms of self-confidence and he could be more positively remembered.

What do you think?