Color and the UUA new identity

This is the second in a short series of blog posts about the new UUA identity and branding plan: the theme is color.

While I’m expecting a full visual identity and an color palette, I thought I would look at the released image of the new UUA logo to approximate what the colors options would be. On the side, I’ve put a vertical slice of the new logo so you can follow along.

I’m not a designer but we see the gradient running from coral at the bottom to a muted orange at the top. (Well, not all of us: several percent of men have a form of color-blindness that will make the coral a caramel or gray color.)

If I had to make a prediction, I think the greatest lasting legacy of this campaign — maybe for several years, possibly longer — is the color scheme. It’s the most obvious part that corresponds to the affirming cries of warmth and beauty. I look forward to the full treatment, to be released.


And of the colors, I think the deep coral at the base (and perhaps in the lettering; it’s unclear) is the winner and the least problematic.

The orange at the top of the flame is dangerously close to Crayola flesh (read: “lightly-tanned Caucasian”) if you’re old enough to remember that, and isn’t contrasty enough from the Standing on the Side of Love goldenrod to make an impact alone.

The various shades of tomato red that follow are attractive, but if you’ve ever had to buy a red shirt or sweater, you know how hard it is to match this color. Especially in Target, when you’re confused for the floor staff and kept getting interrupted while buying cleaning supplies.

The color right below it reads as Marketing to Women pink, tints of which sell yogurt, wholesome cereals and probiotics. Use it alone and you’d might as well say “shove off, guys.”

And a single color is important, for real world, not-on-the-web uses. It’s a lot easier to pick a single color, whether it’s t-shirts for a church outing; running orders of service on an old, taxed printer; finding cloth for a banner or what have you.

And the deep coral is beautiful. It’s also distinctive, less gendered and less likely to look bad on a range of human skin tones.

I’m guessing it’s at or near hex f3354f or RGB 243, 53, 79.

Correction: it’s hex cc243a or RGB 238, 46, 90.

And it can be expanded: if you add varying amounts of white, black or gray: scroll down at this page to see options (corrected).

(I’ll update this post when and if the color scheme is formally released.)

A thought. Someone who wants to identify or coordinate with a visual identity plan, but not use the logo (because they have their own, or they just don’t like it) might adopt Futura or a near-enough type and some variant of the coral color. 

On the other hand, it’s not a meaty issue. We’re getting to the harder stuff…

9 Replies to “Color and the UUA new identity”

  1. Ditto on the need for a single color. Gradients are beautiful, but all too hard to reproduce accurately, especially in printed materials.

    By coincidence, the logo’s gradient is almost exactly what appears on the red-twig dogwood stems outside my window this time of year.

  2. Interesting, interesting, interesting! Please keep exegeting this for us. An interesting statistic, mentioned on the VUU Youtube piece that climaxed in a glimpse of the new logo, is that the UUA is 90% composed of older, white women. There is initial talk about how the new logo says, “tulip” or some combination of sexual imagery. If pink by itself might say, “men, seek elsewhere,” and I think you’re right, I will stay tuned to see how this works itself out. Certainly, there are far weightier issues than this going to institutional growth, but someone at 25 thought it important enough to spend a lot of time and a lot of money on this, so I will also take it seriously.

  3. The colour gradient looks nice, but I agree with the need for a single colour option. We have to think about mobile/tablet internet compatibility, where graphics and symbols will be smaller, but they still need to be distinct. I think a logo with a colour gradient may hinder optimal visibility and recognition.

  4. Steve, I don’t the stats actually support the 90% older white women number. I think that is in the same level of accuracy with the claim that the Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness.

  5. I finished watching the VUU episode yesterday. Parsing Terasa Cooley’s sentence, you get “90% white” and many of these are older women.

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