Colour theory and its emotional associations


Colour theory and its emotional associations.

Being able to settle on a single colour for a design is a difficult task. Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of how colours affect our emotional response after reading this article.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have an in-depth psychological relationship with colours; it influences our emotions and behaviors. For example, sports team would alter the away team's locker room colours to directly affect them psychologically. And basic colour psychology is used by businesses to increase productivity with workers or encourage shoppers to spend more money.

As you can see, we use colours to stimulate emotional responses. But it should be noted there is no universal truth. Different cultures view colours in different ways and might respond differently to certain colours than another culture. Also, personal experience alters emotions pertaining to a specific colour. Regardless of this, what's important to understand is colours affect us and evoke specific responses. All we need to do is be mindful of which cultural and personal context we're working in.

Perception of temperature: By painting a room with specific colours you can alter their perception of the temperature. Using green and blues you can create a space that appears to be cooler, whereas by painting a room red or orange it has the opposite effect.

Acceptance: In the past, we have all been able to look up to the sky on a clear day and see the colour blue. We often associate blue with being good. It is one of the easiest colours to utilize to appeal to the majority of people.

Reduce analytical thinking: The colour red reduces how effective we think. You may already be aware of the fact when people wear the colour red we find them more attractive. Maybe that's due to red hindering mental focus. Also, athletes lose more often to an apposing team that wears red. ... And students exposed to the colour red before taking a test are likely to have lower scores.

Value: We often associate the colour orange with good value. Brands such as Amazon and Home Depot have incorporated the use of orange to influence our emotional perception to assist our response as a low cost supplier of costly goods.

Spark Creativity: The use of green has been linked with creative thinking, and we often associate green with growth and positivity. This most likely lends itself to spring, when the trees and plants start to grow and flourish. If you are looking to increase productivity in the workplace, you consider using the colour green around the office.

Calm down: We associate the colour pink as calming or draining of energy. Some sports teams in the past have painted the visitors locker room pink in order to lower the mental state before heading out onto the field.

Research has provided us with data that colours directly effect our emotions. Just remember there is no universal rule that says colours will affect us all the same way, but it may just provide you the home team advantage.

Below is a colour guide of existing brands and their associative colours.

Are you taking advantage of colours in your branding?

COLOUR THEORY infographic

Why is logo design important?

Why is logo design important?
First impressions count:

Whenever I sit down to have a first meeting with a new or potential client, the saying,you never get a second chance to make a first impression, pops up in my mind. Deep down I feel most people understand that on some days we're simply not at our best. But when it comes to business, I feel people aren't as forgiving with their first impressions. I think it's because we don't really have any time to waste. We want to make sure that when we hire a business to solve our problems, it needs to be done right the first time, so, we take our first impression of someone and almost imagine that it was the first task we assigned them -- did they pass, or did they fail?

And that's why I think businesses need to have their shit together so people will have more faith in the idea that they'll get it done right the first time.

You might be asking yourself what does this have to do with logo's?

If you are, here's a straight forward answer: everything.

A logo design provides an instant visual representation.

A professionally designed logo allow us to instantly recognize a business as fast as we can recognize a friend’s face in a crowd of people. So, it's best to make sure you invest in a high-quality logo because it's going to be around for awhile -- 5, 10, even 20+ years for many businesses.

A logo is the Foundation of your brand.

A logo speaks to its target market. When you look at logo design, you take a peek behind the curtains and get a glimpse into what type of business they are. If you like the design, odds are you're their target audience. If they like the design of your logo, odds are they're your target audience too.

A recognizable logo cultivates brand loyalty.

Every time you see a business’ logo, our brains temporal lobe is activated. Our temporal lobe is responsible for the our ability to recognize everything in our world such as faces, objects, etc. Each time we recognize something, dopamine is released. Dopamine's a chemical our body produces as a natural reward system of positive stimuli. This means that each time your business’ logo is seen and is linked with a positive experience people “feel-good”, which is a driving factor in brand loyalty.

The bar is already been set.

People estimate that people are exposed to somewhere between 4,000 to 10,000 ads every day. Our new normal is design centric businesses who communicate with us daily with high-end, custom designed advertisements. In order to stand a chance in making an impression in the minds of the public, your design has to be amazing.

How to know when to update your logo

How to know when to update your logo design.

There are many reasons why you need to consider updating your business' logo design. Here are a few reasons that we think are important.

The first reason you want to consider updating your logo: your business has grown.

When your business started, it was young and new to the market place. Years have gone by, and you can see the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get where you are today. Now, looking back, you can see how much your business had shifted over the years to be as successful as it is.

Ask yourself this: does your logo represent what your business has shifted too? If your answer is no, it's time to start thinking about hiring an experienced logo designer.

The second reason you want to consider updating your logo: your market has changed.

We can often lose sight of our business' target audience. The market shifts, interests change, and some companies are left behind. Sometimes, when the market shifts the logo and the brand it represents are no longer in-line with each other. Here's another way of saying it: when the next generation of buyers look at your brand, does it still convey the same authority and trust in the industry that it always had? If not, it's time to consider a new logo design. A logo design that will recapture the new audiences while maintaining your brand's values.

The third reason you want to consider updating your logo: the logo design is outdated.

Just like everything else, a logo design can become outdated too. Now, a logo redesign can be expensive. However, the redesign can reset you ahead of your competition because they're too stuck in their ways to consider change, or it can help you keep up with other people willing to shift and change with the times. We understand that a logo is personal. But business' successfully reinvent themselves all the time. Many times, it breathes no life into the brand's image.

The fourth reason you want to consider updating your logo: your logo is DIY.

Some companies are bootstrapped together from $100 cash and a bit of wiggle room on a credit card. People are always trying to save money wherever they can, so, this is completely understandable. When people save money by designing their own logo, they risk missing the subtle influencing factors that professional designers put into a logo's design. This isn't to say a self-designed logo doesn't look right, but it might not be built properly. Your logo design needs to reflect the logo where your business is. Make sure your logo isn’t holding your business back.

The fifth reason you want to consider updating your logo: your logo has lost an edge over the competition.

This has something in common with reason three. Businesses are popping up and shutting down every day. The marketplace is constantly shifting. And everyone is using every imaginable tool to create a competitive advantage because of it. Ensure your business maintains that cutting edge and never let your competition outshine your business.

You've probably heard this before, but, maintaining your competitive edge never goes away. Knowing and understanding your market place provides you with a massive advantage. Just make sure you update the face of the business once in a while when the market calls for it.

Reach out to us if you're considering a new or updated logo design. We offer free consultations.

We've helped hundreds of clients over the years to find the perfect logo for them for where they are at right now. Just fill out the form below or call us.

Are free logo designs worth it?

Are free logo designs worth it?

Many business owners ask themselves if a free logo design is better than a paid one. This short article will provide you with some information to help you make a more educated decision.

The first thing you realize when you're starting a new business is that costs add up quickly. So, with a limited amount of money to invest into your business, the first instinct is to minimize costs in as many areas as possible until the business' cash flow increases. This is often where the concept of a free or cheap logo designs becomes very tempting. But, after reading this, you may find that spending money upfront is cheaper overall.

Here are a few ways people have their logo designed.

Online Logo Generator: An online logo generator's a simple mix-and-match tool that allows you to sort out a variety of clip art icons and font choices. While the overall effect may be pleasing aesthetically, you don't actually own your design due to copyright laws that favor the logo designer over the logo buyer.

The online logo generator is actually a sales tool designed to entice you to purchase business cards, stationery, etc. The business behind the generator benefits the person who owns the elements of the design. Part of that business involves creating so many options that the odds of someone choosing the same parts and ending up with a similar logo as someone else is considered a coincidence. Although your local competitor can legally select the specific options, you are the one who decided to run with that logo.

Design Contests: Now, while logo design contests aren't necessarily free, they are often low-cost. So, it's worth mentioning. These are plenty of websites that allow you to create a general outline of your business and design goal. Designers then get together and square off, competing with each other to create a logo based on the information you've provided. Only the selected logo designer gets paid at the end. You do get to choose through many designs and styles, and sometimes you can even make a request to alter the design to better suit you.

Almost sounds too good to be true, right?

That's because it is.

One problem is that contests hurt designers because only one person receives payment when the design is chosen. So, designers instead end up submitting as many logo variations as possible. In order to submit that many entries daily, designers don't have time to sit down and create a logo specifically for your business'. Instead, they use clip-art libraries to create that logo design. This is similar to how an online logo generator works, and the same problem arises with buying clip art: You don't actually get to own your logo or icon design, just the rights to use the clip art in a limited way. In fact, anyone who wants to purchase and use the same clip-art logo you selected legally can.

Using a Student: Every once in awhile someone mentions to me that they're looking to hire a student to create their logo because they're often cheaper or willing to work for free, and this is usually the rational to justify using the student in the first place. They do this by by citing part of the Nike Logo Swoosh story to me.

Here's how it goes: Nike hired a student to create their logo and paid them around $35 for it. Logically, Nike is MASSIVE, and they didn't need to spend a lot of money on their logo.


Well, let's take an closer look at this: Nike paid $35 in 1971. Which is roughly, $270ca today. They also provided the designer with 500 shares in the company, which has since split to 32000'ish+ shares.

That's definitely not cheap. And most business' aren't very interested in providing designers with shares in their company to offset costs on their logo design.


There are several ways to create a free to low-cost logo design, but the caveat is that you never really own the design -- it's just borrowed.

If you are interested in owning the intellectual property of the logo design, then its in your best interest to hire us because we provide you with intellectual property rights.

And if you're interested in hire another designer, make sure that they're not selling you clip-art that you'll never truly own.

What illustrations are in relation to your business

What illustration are in relation to your business

An illustration becomes a part of the business' brand image when it's used on it's media, like it's logo, brochure and business cards. Illustrations are used in advertising because they convey an instantly recognizable message. You can set the mood, tone, and style in one glance.

Illustrations, sketches, drawings, photographs and paintings: Any image representing something is another word for illustration: sketches, drawings, photographs, paintings. The only substantial difference between them is the format it's displayed on (web, paper, car wrap). And in today's world where artists are more technocratic, the format is less critical. But, at the end of the day, the aim of an illustration is still the same: to send a message.

Where you'll find illustrations: You'll find illustrations everywhere: publishing, transaction printing, images on blogs, business cards, internet memes .. you name it, it likely has an illustration associated with it.

Illustrations and graphic design: In graphic design, the illustrations should be created in a format that's easily outputted to a printer at the correct resolution. If the format isn't correct, it usually requires that the artwork is redesigned from scratch to ensure the printer prints it out correctly.

Digital Artists designing for business often use vector or raster image files.

Digital artists can create files in either Raster or Vector images file types. The final output dictates which file type is used. This is why most corporate illustrations are created with Vector: vector lacks pixels. A vector graphic design is entirely created from multiple points on a graph. These kinds of illustrations are freely scaled up or down without loss any of detail. The benefit here is that the company isn't bound to single-use designs, which mean they can reuse their designs over many different mediums and channels without having to recreate the image each and every time.

A short comment on custom illustrations: One fantastic way to visually define your business is through custom a illustration. By developing a unique style and voice through illustrations, you bring out what's unique about your company. And this will help you attract the kind of customers who are interested in your product.

Portfolio Feature, Logo & Brand Identity Creation, Rock & Roll Driving School

Portfolio Feature:
Brand Identity.
Logo Creation.
Rock & Roll Driving School.

This client already had a clear vision of what they wanted to have incorporated into their logo design, as well how they would like to see the branding applied to their media and promotions. After a brief consultation over the phone, I knew I could knock this design out of the park for them.

The clients outline went a little like this:

a) Incorporate a black vinyl record to utilize the popularity of nostalgia media.
b) Incorporate something vehicular related, like a car or road.
c) Stick the colours use of yellow and black -- street signs.
d) A design that can be used across their entire brand, including business cards, social media and vehicle graphics.

This is how I tied into one clear logo design: I created a road using negative space showcasing a yellow striped road line to ascend upwards into the spinning record. Now, Rock & Roll needed to be fun and expressive. The business logo also needed to be easily seen by someone driving down the road. S, I kept it BIG.

I framed “Driving School” inside a yellow rectangle with an inside pinstripe so it would look more like a road sign. This doubled up as a simple separator from "rock & roll". And that's how we ended up with a clean, breathable logo that could be used across their entire brand.

Rock and Roll Driving School operates out of Port Moody. Please recommend them to anyone you know in need of a driving school.

Rock & Roll Driving school logo design brand identity

Rock & Roll Driving School

Local to:

Port Moody


Portfolio Feature, Brand Identity Creation, Papa Greek

Portfolio Feature:
Brand Identity.
Papa Greek.

The goal of this project was to create a new brand identity for a start-up restaurant chain. The message they want their brand to convey is: high-quality restaurant food given at fast-food speeds. This meant that the they needed a clean, easy-to-identify brand that could be used across their entire offline and online marketing.

Their business name is short. And short names are ideal for Wordmark logo designs. When you look at the logo you can notice two distinctive elements commonly associated within Ancient Greek culture:

1) The Greek Fret or Greek Key, which is a decorative boarder element to create a repeating motif.
2) The Greek alphabet character sigma, which is an uppercase Σ.

We repeated this logo throughout their restaurants as a decorative trim and scroll work. It's also easy integrate across their entire media, on and offline.

Shameless plug: We encourage you to check out PapaGreek anytime you are craving fresh Greek food served quickly at of their 3 locations.

Papagreek | Logo | Brand Identity Creation | Raw Media

Papa Greek


Burnaby: Unit 110, 7515 Market Crossing
Maple Ridge: Unit 670, 22709 Lougheed Hwy
Abbotsford: D120 – 3122 Mt Lehman Rd


Logo design styles

Logo Design Styles
Logo design: a short brief.

A logo design creates a face for your company. This face allows people to connect with it, allowing them to feel a personal relationship between it and them. An example of this relationship is in how easily we begin praising and blaming companies as a whole as opposed to the individuals that make up their part. Businesses also create logos because the imagery provides a story — think: a pictures is worth a thousand words.

A good logo design separates businesses from their competitors. More importantly, a logo we’re familiar with even helps us with snap decisions when buying stuff — just think about the last time you walked down a grocery isle and scanned the shelves for one, specific brand.

Even though we have been exposed to logo designs our entire life, it doesn’t mean that we are all aware of the various styles a logo design can represent.

Logo Design is an abbreviation of the work logotype. It consists of a graphic element or symbol which can be combined with a name. It may also consist of stylized letters that in-themselves become a logo.

Here is a brief outline of various logo styles you can use to best represent your business.

Letter-mark: Letter-marks consist of a few letters, most commonly the company’s initials. You’ll recognize this most often with already-established companies, companies that are already very recognizable in their industry. Think “IBM”, which stands for International Business Machines. Another kind of company is one that has a long, detailed name that probably won’t be remembered. Think “NASA” which stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Word-mark: Word-mark’s consist of the word or business name being spelled out in a stylistic design. This brings more attention to the name of the business and allows the name itself to become the logo. Think “Coca-Cola, Google or Vans”.

Brand-mark: Brand-marks consist of a symbol or an icon with or without the company name. The symbol or icon, graphically speaking, should be stylized in a manner that is unique. Think “Pepsi, Nike or Apple”.

Letter-form: Similar to letter-marks, letter-forms consist of uniquely stylized, individual letters, that are more often the first letter in the company’s name. Think of the McDonalds golden arch “M”, the Airbnb designed “A” and the Beats by Dre “B”.

The mascot or character used as a logo: These consist of a rendering or an illustration of a character/mascot. Characters and mascots become the actual face of the company, much like a spokes person. These can be stylized with minimalistically or contain a ton of detail. Think KFC’s Kernel Sanders, Playboy’s bunny icon or Geico’s lizard.

All logo designs can be made up in part of or by utilizing various combinations of all of the above listed styles. However, the main goal is to create a unique logo that your customers will immediately identify, not confuse with your competitors, and, most importantly, connect with.

Intro to graphic design styles part 5: typography

Intro to graphic design styles part 5: Typography

Typography is the art of styling words and fonts by using techniques to adjust stylistic variations in a layout. What’s changed by these stylistic variations is a font’s appeal, or how appealing is it to look at, and it’s legibility, from somewhat illegible (think graffiti) to easily read (think of the font in a book).

Typography has a deep anatomy. Each letter consists of many structures, which include its spacing, weight and layout within the paragraph.

structure of typography

As you can see above, there are many elements that make up the structure of a letter and how each letter interacts with one another to create words.

The structure of each font is made up of varying elements that require consistency across the each letter. Each font has a set of guidelines, e.g., the baseline and cap height set the overall size of the font. By varying the x-height, ascender height and descender line, you can dramatically change the overall style of the font. So, too, do the structural elements, such as the stem thickness and each intersection, adjust the fonts style.

font weight - typography

The weight of the font adjust the thickness different fonts have. When you use a thin or ultra thin font, you can imply subtlety, luxury and a sort of femininity. Whereas a bold or ultra bold font is often associated with the impactive, loud and the masculine.

serif vs san serif-typography

A serif is the small line or accent end cap that is added to the top and bottom of each letter. Serifs are not applied to oval letters such as “O and C” and are not applied to the curved portion of letters, such as “R and P”. Serif fonts are typically associated with luxury, and decorative and ornate.

A sans serif font excludes the accent end cap found in serif fonts. Sans Serif fonts are often associated with being light, simple, clean and uncomplicated. Sans serif fonts are particularity popular as a default paragraph web font because it’s easy to read on a computer screen.

kerning vs tracking-typography

Kerning is the modification to the amount space between two individual letters / characters that step across each characters line. When kerning is done right it produces a pleasant, visual balance.

Tracking is similar to kerning, however, instead of adjusting the spacing between individual letters, tracking globally adjusts the spacing across all letters inside a text block. Increasing the tracking substantially affects legibility. 



1) Centre alignment: all of the text is aligned to the centre of the area. Centre aligned text is great for headlines, quotes or a short amount of information.

2) Right alignment: all of the text is aligned to the right of the area. Right aligned text is the universal standard for paragraph text. This is largely due to the English language reading from right to left.

3) Left alignment: all of the text is aligned to the left of the area. Left aligned text works well to display a short amount of information, such as notations or quick points.

Intro to graphic design styles part 4: art deco

Intro to graphic design styles part 4: Art Deco

Art Deco: a style that screams glamour, luxury, exuberance, modernity.

Art Deco is a movement that arose during the 1920s. The performance of infusing everyday objects into art made this style a symbol of modern luxury. It’s incredible popularity, as with any popular movement, influenced many disciplines, including graphic design, architecture, furniture and fashion. 

Art deco has a prominent feature that is recognizable in any medium: its use of bold, clean lines combined with a streamlined appearance that’s adorned with an ornamental or geometric pattern. In addition, these designs are often paired with strong, contrasting colours.

If you’re looking for a way to create a design that stands out in a bold way within our modern version of advertising, Art deco may be for you.

How to incorporate art deco into your designs: Use bold, clean lines to guide the viewer’s eyes towards a specific direction.

Redesign curves so that they become angular shapes.

Have your shapes represent organic objects.

Use ornamental and geometric patterns to create visually stimulating designs and patterns as a main feature or subtle background.

Use strong, high-contrast colouring not normally found in nature.

For your typography, use tall, thin and uppercase letters with angles; remove the curves.