Orange is tricky: Even though this colour seems to become more and more acceptable, it is still one of the most difficult and delicate colours to use when it’s about corporate designs. Already Eva Heller wrote about the "colour that nobody likes" in her book "Wie Farben wirken" (published by Rowohlt). According to a survey conducted among 1,888 women and men of all ages in Germany, orange ranks second in the list of the most disliked colours. Only the colour brown is even worse and ranks first in this list.
When thinking about corporate designs, you have to raise questions like "What message do I want to transport? What does my business stand for? What makes my business unique and stand out?". Colours have to be picked wisely to match the message you want to transport. Orange stands for the cheap (guess why EasyJet uses so much orange), the tacky and the fake. But on the other side, orange is modern, attention-catching, improving one’s mood, optimistic and it even has a positive influence on one’s immune system and digestive organs.
How dangerous the colour orange can be in corporate designs though, can be seen when looking at the design relaunch of the Sparda Bank:
The Sparda Bank used to have a mix of red, black and sepia. Now it’s blue and orange. The orange tone is almost brownish and doesn’t shine very much. This is combined with quite a dull blue that almost looks a bit greyish. This does not look modern at all, not positive for a bank. The colours make the bank look stale and cheap. My first association with the new Sparda Bank look was the supermarket chain Zielpunkt that is known for low prices.
A better example for the usage of the colour orange is the ING DiBa bank. Here, the orange tone is much brighter, warmer, sunnier and friendlier – more yellow was mixed in. This is combined with a dark blue that looks classy and elegant (not stale like the Sparda Bank blue). This colour concept makes the ING DiBa look modern, positive, optimistic and professional.
As you can see, the exact tone of orange is very important. This makes this colour so dangerous when choosing it for a corporate design.
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