Logo colour and differentiation: A new application of environmental colour mapping



Creating a logo design is an important task for a new company wishing to gain entry in a particular industry sector. It requires an initial situation analysis that examines existing logos within the sector, and this information is then used to inform creation of a new logo design. Colour, one of a number of design elements used to create a new logo, is a key element in creating a unique logo and in terms of enabling a logo achieve differentiation in a competitive environment. This article discusses the application of the environmental colour mapping process during the initial situation analysis phase of logo design. The process, which has been applied in urban design studies in Japan, America, France, England, and Norway has recently been augmented with the addition of digital technology. Using a case study approach, the ‘environment’ for the purpose of this study represented the logo designs of organizations within a specific industry sector. The main outcome from the process (colour data presented in the form of a colour map) was examined for patterns of similarity and dissimilarity and an attempt was made to identify new options for logo colours within the sector based on colour differentiation. This study represents a new application of the environmental colour mapping process and a number of limitations and benefits are discussed. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Col Res Appl, 2011