To most of us, orange conjures up visions of youth and fresh ideas; it’s a lively, vibrant colour, ideal for portraying vitality and newness.
On the downside, it can be perceived as cheap – but this can work well for businesses whose business is to provide a budget service or product. Think Sainsbury’s – you’ll conjure up an image of a mid-market supermarket which suits shoppers on a shoestring. Easyjet is another example; a budget airline for people without deep pockets. Surprisingly, the Easyjet identity wasn’t the result of a branding team’s brainstorming. Stavros H, Easyjet’s founder, chose the colour after noticing that no other airline used orange as it’s primary colour.
Designers employ colour psychology when designing a company brand, but it can be a challenge to make a company stand out from its competitors. Sometimes it really works to fly in the face of perceived wisdom. Recently, I noticed this sign outside a solicitor’s office. The colours, orange and white on black, attracted me. I admired them for not using navy blue or a similar colour which you might use for a profession that’s perceived as very conservative. It made me think that this firm of solicitors was go-ahead and modern. They retain their gravitas by using perspex and black granite, employing a classic sans serif capital face, and by hiring a designer who understands the importance of typography.
Orange is not a colour that would immediately spring to mind for a staid profession, but if used correctly can work really well.