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Power Of Black In Graphic Design

Henny Kel by Henny Kel Tweet - in Graphic Design


There is no denying the fact that we are living in a colorful world. Colors are splashed across the web and people today throng websites where everything is painted in colors except most of the text. So, at first talking about use of black in graphic design seems to be a waste of time.

But a little scratching of the surface reveals that this otherwise neglected color has a power to convey the message where multicolor design may fail.


In fact, usefulness of black, and also of its contrasting color white, is still very much evident in the newspapers advertisements. Many reputed newspapers take pride in being printed in black and white and so they even print advertisements without colors. Many of us have seen very effective and impactful poster campaigns launched in black ranging from rock concerts to social causes.

And, do not think that posters and newspapers are exception to the use of black and white.

Take for instance what Ben Terrett in logo design love has to say about the importance of black in logo design. ‘’If your logo can work in b+w it can work in any situation, ever. It’s the mark of a good mark that it can be stripped of colour and still work.’’

Professional graphic designers from their experience know that clients would, at some stage, print their logos in black and white. On many such occasions, clients rush back to the designers complaining about the design not working well without colors and demand redesigning of a logo. Experience of a logo designer comes handy to tackle such a situation in advance and the designer will wisely create the logo first in black and white.

A designer must be aware of the impact black color of a logo or any other graphic design will create on the viewers or targeted audience. Legendary designers have acknowledged the power of black on the minds of people.
Paul rand a well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, summons up the importance of black in these words,

Paul rand a well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, summons up the importance of black in these words,

‘’In nature, black and its companion color white are dramatically juxtaposed in the contrast between day and night. The monotony of uninterrupted darkness or light would be intolerable. Black in the trunks of trees subtly sets off the brilliance of green or autumn-colored leaves. Throughout nature we find the equivalent of black and white in shadow and light—there are caves and canyons as well as fields and meadows’’

To illustrate his point, Paul Rand describes ‘a building designed by Mies van der Rohe in which black is a crucial aesthetic factor’

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Henny Kel

I am a graphic, web designer and blogger with over 6 years experience. I am very passionate about anything related to design and spends copious amounts of time hidden behind a book or a screen and reading about design. Twitter | Google +