A regular reader of the Gist Brands blog recently emailed me a concern:
“Are there any ‘no go’ website colors or combinations we should be aware of as we tackle our new site?”
Good question, and if you do a visual survey of websites, obviously one not enough people are asking.
My take is there are as many color fails and issues in websites as there are in brand color choices in general, though they get further exacerbated online by complications of: screen type and resolution; transmitted color (backlit screens) versus reflective color (like a page, package, or car); as well as form factor (small mobile screens, etc.) But let’s talk about some basic guidelines and guardrails.
In reality, it’s pretty impossible for a brand to be truly incorruptible, or vandal proof, whether as a name or logo. Someone can always do something with it if they work hard enough and have the right motivation.
In response to a reader’s questions, I give some thoughts on how to judge your idea before rebranding and if there’s anything you can do to keep people from spoofing your brand name or sabotaging your logo.
This is a plea for an end to hip websites featuring photo shoots of cool “creative spaces” and not much else.
You know what I’m talking about: Parallax websites papered with empty reception desks with brand signage; macro shots of artisanal light fixtures; den-like flex spaces with artfully cast-off iPads and headphones; and perspective shots of touchdown workstations with knife-edge aligned Apple displays and funky task chairs.
Your homepage is now a cliché.
A couple weeks back I was commuting to a client meeting and was backed up at a four-way stop across from a familiar forest-green Waste Management garbage truck. For the first time I was able to read and fully comprehend a marketing decal that’s flashed by me countless times:
“Our landfills provide 17,000 acres of wildlife habitat.”
I actually laughed out loud.
A loyal reader of the Gist Brands blog recently posed a great question on Twitter about brand naming and search engine optimization:
@gistbrands: What are your thoughts on start up businesses using SEO “specialists” to choose their brand name? Argument against/for it?
My response was pretty direct on the issue, but I thought the concept was big enough and important enough to warrant some in-depth discussion and the rationale behind my advice.