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Blog Design & UI/UX

Managing Colors & Fonts in a Global Marketplace

Alex Deckard
February 6, 2019 |

As a global company, one challenge we must overcome is bridging the cultural divide between how color is perceived from one place & culture to the next. Color and typography are two fundamental building blocks of graphic design, so it’s critical we master these skill sets.

Understanding Use-Case Through Research

As with everything we do, these choices should be made with intent through diligent research. By understanding the customer and their market we will be able to make informed choices appropriate for the client use-case. So not only do we need to understand color theory and best practices, but how color applies within the context of the client.

Fast food logos

For instance, red elicits hunger and desire. As such, many food/beverage brands incorporate the color red (Coca-Cola, McDonalds, KFC, etc…). However, red would not be an appropriate color for clients in say, the healthcare space. Instead, cooler colors such as blues, greens, & purples are typically perceived as more calming and trustworthy.

Font Applications

Similar to color choice, fonts aren’t designed arbitrarily, but each has an intent or use case they are trying to solve for. Screen fonts are designed for maximum readability on screen, and are typically more geometric and have higher x-heights (think proxima nova, open sans, roboto). Whereas serif fonts, are typically seen as being more readable for long paragraph copy (which is why most books are set in a serif typeface). Again, only through research and understanding the use case and application may we make an informed decision as to what the best solution may be.

Color & Font Resources

Below are some resources on color and typography that I’d more or less consider mandatory reading for designers. The books are quick reads – perhaps we can purchase a few copies to pass around the office.

On Web Typography
Color Accessibility Workflows

Lastly, here are some links having to do with color accessibility & symbolism:

Contrast Checker
Cross-Cultural Color
Color Symbolism Around the World

Alex Deckard

Alex has over a decade working as a web & UX designer with a strong e-commerce background. In his work, he takes pride in his ability to effectively communicate and relate design decisions to clients, as well as values, first and foremost, the client’s trust. When not behind a computer, Alex can be found roaming the vast expanse of the American West with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

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