How to use bold colour in your brand and still achieve a sense of calm.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
This week my social media guru person suggested that I write a blog about using bold colour in design, given that we’ve just celebrated Valentine’s Day which is all about big, bright red everything! Eeeeeek, was my first reaction. Really? What about my love of invoking calm and serenity into my designs?
I’m a lover of muted colours. When I studied art at school we learned to always counterbalance our colour range in a piece of art with a colour that was opposite to it on the colour wheel. So, if my painting was all about greenery and cool forests, one would add in a small amount of red which is opposite to it on the colour wheel. That little pop of red, although not necessarily in your face, would lift the picture.
In the macaroon image the bright pop of colour is the yellow macaroon. All muted colours once again, yet the yellow lifts it. Although the colours are striking, they are balanced by the muted lilac of the background. Calm maintained. Interestingly enough in the image of the rolled paper the ‘bright’ colour is the light blue. The main palette is all muted colours — brights, with a smidgen of black in them, yet the blue allows it to pop.
Using bright colours yet still maintaining a sense of calm is easy to do when one employs the medium of negative space (white space — which as I said before doesn’t need to be white), a few colours in the palette with the bright colours balanced. The colours are bright, but there is still a sense of calm in these images.
In web design the same ideas are followed. Bright colours balanced out by the use of white space and symmetry, as shown in the following web pages. The colours are undoubtedly bright, yet there is still a feeling of calm to the page. Symmetry also helps to bring order to pages that are full of lively bright colours. Although these pages are full, the noticeable symmetry allows one to concentrate on the main object or message without being distracted by the mass of bright objects.
I hope this little explanation allows you to see how even with bright, contrasting colours we can still instil calm, balance and simplicity in a design.
Till next time.