Color Trends vs Color Psychology

The timing was interesting. I had just given a talk on the subject of —“Is it time to update your brand?” when my 2022 International Color Forecast boards arrived in the mail. 

Color forecasting is an involved, year-long process, so the 
arrival of the final color boards is almost as anticipated as Christmas morning!

As I was sifting through the color cards comparing the North American forecast with those for Asia and Europe when I was asked:

“I know you’re a part of this International Color Forecasting process. So when you design a logo, do you choose colors that are “on trend” or is it based on some other criteria?”

That was such a great question . . . I wanted to share my response.

“I start by understanding the client’s values and the problems they solve for their ideal client, as well as what makes their business or product unique. That knowledge informs the basic color choices. 

The color trends, however, may influence the specific shades. 

I’m currently working on a brand for a 5-star preschool and daycare (Yes, there really is such a thing!) Their values are trust, educational excellence, inclusion and fun. Their ideal client is a working mom seeking peace of mind knowing that her child is safe, well fed, well educated and loved in a well-sanitized environment (It’s 2020 after all). The school is not religious. 

This profile told me that I want to use a lot of medium to dark blue (to communicate trust and excellence), orange (to communicate physical activity and intelligence), a bit of green to evoke “peace of mind”, and a splash of yellow to provide the “happy”. As as an added bonus, the combination of blue, green and white will elicit the concept of “cleanliness”.

The client asked if it might be appropriate to use yellow and purple in their logo. “The yellow—absolutely! However purple is associated with being artistic and spiritual. Based on what you’ve shared it would not communicate your desired message.”

At this point, the color palette was loosely defined and ready for refinement. That’s when I referred to the newest color forecast.

The 2022 palette is filled with the most vibrant brights paired with soft, soothing clean shades. The colors couldn’t be more perfect for a high-functioning Daycare and Preschool!