There is a common misconception that more color equals more visibility or stronger and better impression, somehow whats needed in a logo or a corporate identity is more color. Lately, the web has been filled with colorful logos, logos packed with colors up to the rim without rhyme or reason. Most of these businesses have nothing to do with color, painting, textile, paint manufacturing or another industry that their primary preoccupation has anything to do with color.
So what the issue with more color obsession?
The short answer is Misconception and web trend. There was a time, for a long time when Nike swoosh logo was all the hype, everyone wanted a little of that magic swoosh to be part of their brand. Most small business owners thought Nike's brand success came from the swoosh and they wanted that success for their company. That was a misconception on so many levels, the Nike logo did not make the company successful, the product and services did, the cool advertising commercials and the talented athletes made the brand successful, the emblem enhanced the company brand and became a symbol of all the good stuff the company had to offer. The Nike symbol might as well have been an "O" like a zero, and everyone would have thought that was the coolest Zero they have seen and they would somehow like a variation of a zero symbol for their companies logo too. Designers would have been bombarded with requests to come up with ideas that are similar.
The Nike swoosh Fantasy
If you have your doubts that the Nike swoosh phenomenon still happens, please check 4imprint.com logo above. This company prints on products and their logo is Nike swoosh upside down. That's all it is, who ate they fooling? they can dispute this claim as much as they like, but as designers, we know exactly how the brief was presented to the design company, it would have gone something like this: Can you make our logo something like the Nike swoosh logo...? Make it as similar as possible.
Over the years the swoosh shape has been exhausted and now replaced with colors. Now people are in love with colors, the more, the merrier, if you have noticed lately, a lot of business logos are in a color overdose. There is a common misconception that if one color makes you stand out, more colors should do miracles right? Wrong! Unless your company deals with photography, flower shop, printing, painting or TV and media production, there are very few businesses that could use more colors in their logo to stand out.
This is as much about misconception as ongoing web trends. The new swoosh is replaced with demand for more colors, the brighter, the better. The color wheel has become the new Swoosh without much thought or reason. That's like saying the company color is, well all colors, that does not create much of an identity, does it? Think of all the big companies and the first color the color that comes to mind when they are mentioned, now imagine your customers having a hard to identify your business color. It does not work by having all the colors in the world as your identity.
Color vs. Shape
If color and shape had to battle it out, in the end, the form would win. Case in point, the Apple logo. When they started producing desktop computers, their logo was in the shape of the apple that we see now. It also had the colors of the rainbow. While it was fun for a computer company to have a colorful logo, the strength of the shape of the apple won over rainbow colors. You can fill the apple logo with dirt and the identity and perception will not change a bit, because, in the end, the companies reputation and products make the logo and not the other way around.