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From the Design Desk:The Perfect Palette

Last week I was driving home a few days after the massive snowstorm that blanketed the enitre midwest in a foot of snow.  It was early evening and the sun had just begun to set, and most of the snow along the roads was still unsullied.  The setting sun cast long, purple shadows along the snow, while the warm pink light brought out the browns and ivory of the birch trees along the roads.  Despite the fact that I was supposed to be paying attention to the roads, I found myself admiring the beautiful colors of a winter sunset. When I was a kid, I always had to have the giant box of 64 crayons.  12 colors just wasn't enough for me.   And while most kids probably don't care about the difference between "Red" and "Brick Red", I knew exactly which color I wanted at all times.  One of the best things I ever learned was how to mix colors when shading.  I studied my own hands, trying to figure out what colored pencils I needed to make it look "real". Color palettes can powerfully evoke our senses, memories and emotions.  We associate certain colors with specific ideas, so when we combine those colors we can carefully craft a response to a design based on the colors we used.  Sometimes the most successful design campaigns go against the expected in terms of color.  I'm not a huge fan of McDonald's, but their transition away from the bright, garish colors typically associated with fast food into a deeper, jewel toned palette for all their signage and interior marketing is genius.  It gives a sophistication to their brand.  It's still the same McDonald's - the golden arches will always be gold - but the visual identity makes you think you're actually getting something much more. If you're trying to change up your brand look, or you're stuck with a logo you really hate, sometimes changing up your palette can make all the difference.

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