Color Pains

When Opus Design begins a logo project we always show clients initial drawings in black and white. Not until the mark is finalized, do we introduce color? It’s such a strong and influential variable that it can cloud the evaluation of the form. Everyone is excited when we get to the color phase. And why not? Color gives life, emotion, and expression to ideas and brands. So we proceed. But not without a fair warning to clients that “color is contextual.”

Designers are familiar with Joseph Albers and The Interaction of Color which demonstrates how color can change depending on the background. Additionally, there are variations between print and web, pc and mac, laptop to iPhone to iPad, and even different types of paper (don’t get us started on coated vs uncoated, we’ll save that for another blog post).

As much as we obsess, we cannot completely control what others see. Standards and formula equivalents only get us so far because color is an expressive element, relating to its surroundings like a true live experience.