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Accessible Brand Colors: How Customers View Your Company Logo

September 22nd, 2021
By Hayley Fogleman

Have you ever considered how vision impairments affect the way people perceive your brand? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many companies don’t, and 6% of Americans report having vision impairment issues. Beyond that, around 8.5% of people in the U.S. have some form of color blindness, and an estimated 3% of people in the United States are legally blind. 

In other words, depending on the state and age range you’re targeting, anywhere between 14% and 20% of your target audience could be affected by a partial or full visual impairment. Why is this important? Because it should affect how you think about your logo and brand colors. 

Let’s dive into this subject a little deeper:

 

What Is Color Blindness?

Color blindness occurs when people are unable to see colors in a normal way. According to Bausch & Lomb, color blindness affects around 8% of men and less than 1% of women. 

Generally speaking, there are three types of color blindness:

– Red-green color blindness

– Blue-yellow color blindness

– Complete color blindness

It’s a hereditary ailment triggered by a distinction in how some people’s light-sensitive cells (located in the retina) react to certain hues. These cells, called cones, analyze wavelengths of light and tell the retina how to distinguish between colors. This disparity in sensitivity in one or more cones can cause a person to be color blind. 

 

Ways for Your Brand Logo to Be More Accessible

What do colorblind people see in logos? Well, this all depends on the type of color blindness a particular person experiences. Some who experience mild color blindness can see colors normally in good light but may struggle to experience logos correctly in dim lighting. Others cannot distinguish colors in any light. In very severe forms of color blindness, people see everything in shades of gray.

As you’re choosing brand colors for your logo, you’ll want to keep your design as accessible as possible to make sure you’re not accidentally excluding part of your target market. To do so, consider incorporating these tips:

– Improve color contrast and color ratio. For normal-sized text, aim for a 4.5:1 contrast and color ratio to help your viewers see your logo in the most optimal light. For large text, go for a 3:1 ratio.

– Avoid pitfalls. Steer clear of using color as an indicator. Instead, underline or italicize keywords and phrases to convey the meaning you’re trying to exemplify.

 

What Is the Best Color for a Logo?

Interestingly, women and men tend to be attracted to different colors in marketing scenarios. Again, this depends on several factors. For example, yellow is the most eye-catching color, but it can be a bit fatiguing to the eye and overbearing to the mind. If your target market is women, blues, purples, and greens might work best. If most of your audience is men, blues, greens, and black might be the ticket.

As you think about your future logo colors, consider these thoughts:

– Tritan colorblindness will affect a blue brand color palette. People with this form of color blindness may have trouble distinguishing between blue and yellow, violet and yellow-green, red and red-purple, dark blue and black, or yellow and white.

– Protan colorblindness will affect a red color palette. For people with this condition, greens might look red, and reds might look green.

It’s important to define the characteristics you’re going for in your brand style guide, so your employees and future contractors will know exactly who you are.

Have you ever considered how vision impairments affect the way people perceive your brand? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many companies don’t, and 6% of Americans report having vision impairment issues. Beyond that, around 8.5% of people in the U.S. have some form of color blindness, and an estimated 3% of people in the United States are legally blind. 

In other words, depending on the state and age range you’re targeting, anywhere between 14% and 20% of your target audience could be affected by a partial or full visual impairment. Why is this important? Because it should affect how you think about your logo and brand colors. 

Let’s dive into this subject a little deeper:

WHAT IS COLOR BLINDNESS?

Color blindness occurs when people are unable to see colors in a normal way. According to Bausch & Lomb, color blindness affects around 8% of men and less than 1% of women. 

Generally speaking, there are three types of color blindness:

– Red-green color blindness

– Blue-yellow color blindness

– Complete color blindness

It’s a hereditary ailment triggered by a distinction in how some people’s light-sensitive cells (located in the retina) react to certain hues. These cells, called cones, analyze wavelengths of light and tell the retina how to distinguish between colors. This disparity in sensitivity in one or more cones can cause a person to be color blind. 

WAYS FOR YOUR BRAND LOGO TO BE MORE ACCESSIBLE

What do colorblind people see in logos? Well, this all depends on the type of color blindness a particular person experiences. Some who experience mild color blindness can see colors normally in good light but may struggle to experience logos correctly in dim lighting. Others cannot distinguish colors in any light. In very severe forms of color blindness, people see everything in shades of gray.

As you’re choosing brand colors for your logo, you’ll want to keep your design as accessible as possible to make sure you’re not accidentally excluding part of your target market. To do so, consider incorporating these tips:

– Improve color contrast and color ratio. For normal-sized text, aim for a 4.5:1 contrast and color ratio to help your viewers see your logo in the most optimal light. For large text, go for a 3:1 ratio.

– Avoid pitfalls. Steer clear of using color as an indicator. Instead, underline or italicize keywords and phrases to convey the meaning you’re trying to exemplify.

WHAT IS THE BEST COLOR FOR A LOGO?

Interestingly, women and men tend to be attracted to different colors in marketing scenarios. Again, this depends on several factors. For example, yellow is the most eye-catching color, but it can be a bit fatiguing to the eye and overbearing to the mind. If your target market is women, blues, purples, and greens might work best. If most of your audience is men, blues, greens, and black might be the ticket.

As you think about your future logo colors, consider these thoughts:

– Tritan colorblindness will affect a blue brand color palette. People with this form of color blindness may have trouble distinguishing between blue and yellow, violet and yellow-green, red and red-purple, dark blue and black, or yellow and white.

– Protan colorblindness will affect a red color palette. For people with this condition, greens might look red, and reds might look green.

It’s important to define the characteristics you’re going for in your brand style guide, so your employees and future contractors will know exactly who you are.

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