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I am working on a completely new blog from scratch. New logo, branding, house style, everything needs to be done. Now the logo that is designed for the website has 3 colors, brown, green and black. You can think of a tree with leaves.

Now on the blog itself, I do not really want to use those colors, it makes the site look really boring. I want to add some flashy colors like red and blue to put some emphasis on certain elements. Plant brown and green are no easy colors to add flash to.

Now my question is, will this break the overall style and design, if I just go with a different color scheme than the logo itself.

Or is it better to have the logo redone to reflect the style of the website.

PS. Anyone have any good resources for branding and house style. I know I can just Google, but maybe someone has some recommendations.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

First of all, was the logo designed "for the website," or is this the company logo? If it's the company logo, those are the corporate colors, and I don't think you should start adding other colors because you think the existing ones are "boring." In certain industries, "boring is beautiful," and adding "flash" makes the client look bad. That's the opposite of your job.

Second, brand cohesion is important. If the logo is brown, green, and black, you should use those colors on the website. You might be able to use a complementary yellow, possibly an orange, since those are in the brown-green realm, but I would not use red. If you can make a case for "brown bark, green grass, blue sky," that might work for certain shades of blue, but you'd have to be extremely persuasive.

As an exercise: Go your pantry. Pick out five items from different companies. Go to their websites. Do the colors on the website match the colors on the packaging? Does a single website have colors which are nowhere near the packaging? If it's good enough for billion-dollar corporations, that should be a good guideline for your client's site.

Now, if you are also redoing the entire corporate standards, including the logo, then you still shouldn't think about the logo in terms of the website. You should be framing it in terms of the company, the product/service, the message, and the industry. Whether a corporate logo is "flashy" enough not to be "boring" on a blog should not be the first priority in designing it.

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There's no particular rule as to what's right or wrong here.

In general, part of the brand identity will include defined colors--and more often than not, they will be at least compatible colors with the logo so as to not clash.

If you're looking for resources, I'd start with googling "brand identity standards manual" or "brand style guide" and you can fine plenty of sites and PDFs that show corporate brand style guides.

Identity works has a nice collection of them in one spot:

http://www.identityworks.com/tools/guidelines_and_standards_manuals.htm

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Thank you for the response. I will check out the recourse that you have provided. In the meantime I have brainstormed about having the logo redone. As you said it is no particular rule I guess to have the same color scheme, but I do think it plays an important role. Will read some more, and maybe get some more answers. Based on that I will make the final decision. Thank you for helping out. –  Saif Bechan Nov 2 '11 at 14:46

I wouldn't design a logo PARTICULARLY for a website. The identity should come first with an eye towards the website/blog, if you're so inclined.

Otherwise, the best advice I can give you is to go pick up a color theory book. If that is too much trouble or too time intensive, there are a lot of color harmony/palette sites around. Learning the color wheel is indispensable in doing design -- print or web. Color theories are sound and have been for a very long time, stick with them and you won't go wrong.

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