The Color of Crazy?

When branding or doing product design, color is a major factor.  Colors can evoke emotion and tip-off direction. 

Green Can evoke Acceptance, Nature, Harmony, Communication…

Orange points to Optimism, Productivity, Creativity…

Violet lends itself to Creativity, Imagination, intuition…

Since well before people tied a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree to signify that a family member was welcomed home, color has been used to signify many things, and ribbons have become pervasive over the past decade in association with causes.  It seems that every organization has laid its claims on a color.  When I saw this list, I was blown away by all the causes that have attached themselves to the colors for awareness purposes.  With that being said, I was surprised by a report that was just published saying the one of the best known cause colors – Pink for Breast Cancer – was counterproductive.

The study by Rotterdam School of Management professor, Stefano Puntoni, suggests that:

The problem is not that some women are turned off by the traditionalism and underlying stereotype of a pink brand, but rather that too large a proportion of women directly identify with the color. Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/07/28/study-pink-ads-prove-counterproductive-for-breast-cancer-awareness/#ixzz1TWmfc2IB
 
I am left shaking my head about some of the findings.  In this case, I can see how they might be true on individual levels, but if you’re looking at an icon that best conveys a brand, product or event, its got to work somehow – I don’t know how much people – specifically women – disregard the message and meaning of the pink ribbon based on what is talked about in the study.  Perhaps the scientific numbers work, but we don’t know what the group consisted of, and it certainly did not seem to make any suggestions of what’s better…
 
Having been involved in a number of Susan Komen Breast Cancer walks, it seems oddly funny to me that anyone would have a bad response to the cause or its color of ribbon.  They have worked hard to create a solid brand that is absolutely clear from first sight.
 
With the import of color in any identity or logo, it is advantageous to analyze the choices of color.  Just don’t overdo it…
 
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