something for your mind
the power of colour
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
colour in design
our colourful work for the
museum of islamic art
yeah, we did this
collateral we completed
for al khaleej kair
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05.09 thoughts. 3
BY ANTHONY RYMAN
MANAGING DIRECTOR AT GROW
we did this!
a big bang.
Colour is a powerful device. Advertisers use colour to reflect
and reinforce a company’s brand and communications to
create a point of differentiation by creating a brand personality.
AL KHALEEJ KAIR
Colour creates a perception. As consumers, our emotions are influenced
by the use of colour in advertising and with the constant development of
innovative advertising techniques, our world is being ‘coloured’ more.
Light triggers hormone production. These hormones stimulate emotion
causing us to develop a feeling or perception towards the colour or the
object that colour is showcasing.
Al Khaleej Insurance has enjoyed
the privilege of being among the top
5 domestic insurers in Qatar for
the past 20 years. However with
the arrival of new entrants into the
market, its position has changed.
The company responded to changing
market conditions by launching a
Medical Assurance Division, which
had been non-existent until now.
Central to the concept is the graphic of
an umbrella, symbolising protection and
security. The colours of the umbrella were
drawn from the brand palette. The use
of the umbrella was then extended to
the sub-brands with colours changing
for each product. The design was rolled
across the ATL and BTL applications,
with an integrated “look and feel” that
worked in tandem with their strategy.
A clear, coherent and consistent
identity that worked across
all collateral. In support, the
advertising campaign carried the
same look and feel and worked
in synergy with the brand identity.
Altogether, a distinctive package
that separated Al Khaleej from
As designers, we understand the power and meaning of colour.
For example, the colour red in China signifies joy, but in Europe it signifies
danger or anger. Yellow is sacred to the Chinese but signifies sadness
in Greece and jealousy in France. White, the fusion of all colours, signifies
purity (e.g. wedding dress) in Europe but death in Chinese and South
Our brains are hot-wired to recognise colour before words. According to
the Institute of Colour Research, we make subconscious judgements
about a new situation or item within 90 seconds of their initial viewing.
Between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone.
Such is the power of colour.
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Red signifies passion and anger. It is associated with
vitality and strength. It’s engaging and emotive and it
tends to excite people and cause a release of adrenaline
– don’t Ferrari’s look great in red? Red has high visibility.
It brings text and images to the foreground. It stimulates
purchase behaviour – note its preference for ‘Buy Now’
or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.
Red is often used to evoke erotic feelings and is commonly
associated with energy. Companies who use red include
Coca Cola, HSBC, Virgin and Vodafone.
Blue is the colour of the sea and the sky. It is cool and calming with a pacifying
effect on the nervous system by slowing metabolism. It evokes thought, wisdom,
enhancing communication and decision-making. It’s the most popular colour for
both sexes so it lends itself to brands and companies that offer products and
services to both. It has long been associated with royalty and is therefore linked
to authority, prestige and power. It’s used extensively as a corporate colour, for
example, royal blue.
Light blue is young, fresh, clean and cool. Blue is used by IT companies, to
suggest precision when promoting high-tech products. It’s also good for airlines,
air conditioners, pool companies and travel agencies. Blue is an establishment
colour and is used in over 60% of corporate identities.
Personality: Courageous, confident, humanistic,
strong-willed, spontaneous and extroverted.
Personality: Loyal, tactful, incisive inspiring, inventive, cautious.
Orange denotes vibrancy, energy, fun, enthusiasm and
exuberance. Orange Telecom chose the colour and the
name to appeal to a broad section of the general public.
Orange can stimulate our appetite for life and learning. It is
an emotional stimulant. It connects us to our senses and
helps to remove inhibitions and makes us independent
and social. Orange is used to advertise dance studios, a
vitamin shop or food products to appeal to an audience
seeking energy, warmth and excitement.
Green signifies health, food, nature, freshness, hope,
safety and the environment. It’s a calming colour, the
most restful colour for the human eye, evoking feelings
of peace. It’s a great colour for products, but especially
good for anything characterising freshness, life and
growth (note grow’s corporate colour!). Banks, financial
advisors, nurseries, farmers and refreshingly creative
advertising and design agencies use green to reinforce
Personality: Enthusiastic, happy, sociable, energetic,
sporty and self-assured.
Personality: Understanding, self-controlled, adaptable,
sympathetic, compassionate, nature loving, fresh
Indigo and violet are not often used as corporate colours,
although Cadbury’s uses a violet/purple – it has created
a unique positioning using this colour. Purple combines
the stability of blue and the energy of red. Children love
the colour purple. Surveys suggest almost 75 percent of
pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colours.
More individualistic, these colours convey imagination,
intuition, wisdom and truth. Whether a blue tinge (mystery)
or a reddish shade (sensual), these colours are great
for elaborate and distinctive establishments including
nightclubs, photographers and jewellers.
Black is the absence of colour. Often associated
with death, fear and the unknown it also suggests
seriousness, boldness, power and formality. It is used to
communicate coolness, modernity, elegance and style.
The fashion industry has adopted black as experts say
it makes us look thinner. What is for sure, is that no selfrespecting lady would be without a little black “number”.
Consumers purchase products that reflect their own
personalities, either communicating who they are,
or who they want to be. Brands should understand
the power of colour to communicate personality and
differentiation and use colour appropriately.
Yellow represents brightness. It is the most visible
colour in the spectrum, which is why it gets attention
quicker. Yellow gives us clarity of thought, increases
awareness, and stimulates curiosity. Yellow energy
stimulates communication, enlightenment and
spirituality. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter,
which is the reason taxis are painted this colour.
However it should be used sparingly - tests have
shown that people lose their temper and babies cry
more in yellow rooms.
Personality: Good-humoured, optimistic, confident,
practical, and intellectual.
There is more to a colour than liking it or not. In design,
practitioners spend years understanding the meaning
and power of colour and how they relate to each other.
It’s important to trust your designer with the use of
colour, its degree of saturation and luminosity. Their
experience is objective, based on a deep understanding
of the power of colour to form a strong personality.
Appropriate use of colour can reinforce your brand’s
positioning, create brand loyalty, lower customer
acquisition costs and so increase profits. As we like to
say, growing your brand is growing your business.
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colour in our
05.09 thoughts. 7
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART
grow developed and designed 5 publications for
MIA as well as a friendly mascot as a spokesperson
to use across all of their publications. Each book
took on a different creative approach for each age
group but still established consistency across all
publications, with an integrated “look and feel”.
This successfully created a synergy in keeping
with MIA’s communications strategy.
Education Centre Collaterals
grow developed an identity inspired by the reflection
of the museum on water and rolled it across ATL and
BTL applications, with an integrated “look and feel”.
For the collaterals, we chose a design that was able
to communicate across all audiences. We wanted to
express the idea that learning is fun; hence we opted
for bright lettering and infused it with different shades,
making it appealing to all ages.