We all know that having a cohesive business image is vital. Mixed messages are self-defeating and time wasting.
The messages we receive from the millions of corporate logos, advertising images etc that surround us are often subliminal. There is often no obvious reason why one design wins out over any other. There are whole industries built on trying to make this happen and the psychology of colour is a vast subject.
The Five Elements
However, here’s a slightly different way to create some influence for yourself using the Five Element Cycle. Like many traditional Eastern disciplines such as acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui uses the Five Element Cycle. (See diagram below).
This is a shorthand way of understanding how everything in the universe is connected. Any business or profession can be divided into the elements they relate to. For example a hairdresser is primarily to do with the wood element. Hair to humans is just like leaves are to a tree. Because a hair salon cuts hair, the metal element is also key. Wood and metal are therefore the primary elements involved in this type of business.
Once you understand this, it makes sense to use the colours that align with the essential nature of your business. This will give your business a boost in the battle for attention.
An additional factor to consider is to also avoid colours that extinguish the energy or essential nature of your business.
How it works
For example, computing relates to power/energy and is predominantly a fire element business. Therefore, the colours most likely to be effective for logos and branding are elements in the fire colour spectrum. (Red red or colours with lots of red in them.) The colours that fire controls are also useful. These are metal colours such as white, gold, silver and bronze. The colour that supports fire is the wood element, so green is good to use too.
Colours to avoid would be colours that extinguish fire – water element colours like blue or black. Fire draining colours from the earth element – yellow or, brown or grey should also be avoided.
Finance relates to the water element. Unsurprisingly, many of the well-known names use blue in their logos which is a water element colour. Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland as well as Barclays Bank are good examples. However, the element water controls is fire (red) which also gives Santander a boost.
If you look at a new corporate colour scheme or logo, and you feel that it doesn’t work, it’s a fairly sure bet that they’ve either used the wrong colours for the business or the wrong colour combinations.
So what is your colour scheme doing for your business?