Design Spotlight: Unexpected Color Trends

UI / UX / Design

According to the Adobe blog, the Pantone Color Institute has crowned the 2019 Pantone Color of the year Living Coral kicking off a movement toward unexpected color trends.

A return-to-nature reaction to the growing and overt digital overload of daily lives, this reddish-pink shade of orange is a beautiful organic choice.

This color selection got our agency’s design team discussing and ruminating on the importance of color and the thoughtful and successful application of colors to the financial branding and websites we design.

Color Harmony

In visual design, color harmony is an arrangement of colors that is pleasing to the eye. By way of color theory. Color harmony engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience.

Inharmonious color combinations can be either boring or chaotic. The following is an example of an inharmonious color palette:What happens when one sees dissonance in colors? At one extreme is a visual experience that is forgettable and bland, in which the viewer isn’t mentally engaged. The human brain will reject under-stimulating information. At the other extreme is a visual experience that is so dissonant and chaotic where the viewer doesn’t find it pleasing to look at it. The human brain rejects what it cannot organize, what it cannot understand (similar to the idea of “uncanny valley”).

A designer’s visual challenge is to arrange a logical color structure that provides visual interest and a sense of balance.

At Gate 39 Media, our design team is tasked with providing structures to clients in the form of branding guidelines as well as website development. Understanding and applying color theory is a special component of design and we discuss and review different palette options carefully.

Natural Colors in the Digital Realm

In fact, in several of the recent website design projects our agency has created for financial industry clients we have noticed a rise in both the up-front interest and openness to integrate nature-inspired color palettes (most notably among emerging hedge funds and CTAs) into both logo design and website designs, taking a route that may be unconventional to financial firms.

We’ve seen nature-inspired color pairings across several recent color palettes: From the aqua tones of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon offset by the earthy rust colors of Antelope Canyon…

…to marble gray paired with a deep berry…

A financial firm’s decision to move toward a bold use of color in a historically conservative industry can be a smart tactical marketing move to differentiate and stand out amidst a sea of competitors; Whether in the development of a new brand, or in a “refresh” treatment of an existing one.

Unexpected Colors in Financial Branding

The Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral, could feasibly support a unique brand identity in the financial markets; it isn’t a color often used as a primary color in this industry, however, it would stand out over a portfolio of legacy brands mired in blues and greens to which many consumers have grown brand-blind to.

As a secondary color selectively applied, Living Coral could be used to help “pop” key calls-to-action and important information off the screen or page. The following is an example of a harmonious color palette that could include Living Coral as a secondary color, followed by a mock-up application of how this bright color can serve the purpose of drawing attention to key elements in a financial website.

Example of a harmonious color palette


Our takeaway: It’s clear to us that visual design is moving into bold, unexpected color trends so Living Coral could be a great choice to help a financial firm’s identity stand out and resonate “modern”.

As an agency, we’re skilled at suggesting and presenting color palettes that are unique as well as provide a dynamic equilibrium — using colors that website visitors react to in the ways a firm desires.

And we are always excited to see new and bolder edge-pushing palettes that set the stage for an exciting brand or the reinvented boldness of a brand transformation – especially in the financial industry.

Take a look at Gate 39 Media’s website designs which showcase additional unique color palettes.

Interested in discussing your financial branding and design issues? Contact us.

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