Does your letterhead and fax sheet communicate the same message?

 First thing first, Let me get this out of the way — I say a logo’s most important responsibility is to identify.

But with that said most logos carry colour, something that contributes immensely on the message that the brand wish to communicate. We’ve all heard how professional graphic designers always advice on a logo that also works well in black and white (or one colour) version.

I agree with that. Take the ‘bp’ from the picture above and tell me if you would have thought ‘bp’ when you first saw the logo.

The human eye and brain experience colour to produce a mental and emotional response. As a result, colours themselves has meaning.

Let’s look at meanings behind some colours:

Red — passion, love, blood, battle.
Yellow — joy, intellect, youth, caution.
Green — fertility, money, success, growth.
White — perfection, wedding, virtue, purity.
Blue — knowledge, calm, peace, cool.
Purple — royalty, wisdom, spirituality, imagination.
Orange — creativity, invigoration, unique, energy.

These meanings are words which some companies usually would like their identity to communicate. So I think it’s fair to say that the second most important responsibility of a logo (if required) is to communicate a message or idea.

When applying a logo to things like fax sheets (yes, some people still do use fax), uniforms, signage etc. one is in almost all cases limited to a one colour logo.

Now we’ve seen a lot of creative rationales behind logo designs where most part of the rationale is mainly the logic behind the colour/s usage.
Is it safe to let colour communicate most of the client’s message?

If Amanda’s Wedding Planners’ logo was a wordmark that used two colours; red and white, to communicate ‘love’ and ‘wedding’ — Doesn’t her logo sort of lose meaning in mediums or instances where she has to use her logo in black and white?

Brand’s like Apple and Nike are not affected by this scenarios, not even a bit, reason is their identities doesn’t rely on colour to communicate.

Is applying your logo to a fax sheet (uniform, signage etc.) sacrificing what your identity communicates?