National Color Day – Yellow


I was pleased with myself when I discovered that sunlight, for example, could not be reproduced, but that I had to represent it by some other means… by color.

-Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

About Yellow:

  • The first pigments of yellow are traced back to the first cave painting more than fifty thousand years ago in a cave found in the northern part of Australia.
  • In India, the color yellow is connected to marriage (as indicated by the expression “to yellow the hands”) and conjugal happiness, and the pigment extracted from turmeric plays and essential role in this context.
  • In the Fiji Islands, when a daughter of a Lau noble reaches 16, she is forbidden from the sun, remains in at home for a period of time covered in a blend of turmeric and old so her skin becomes more dazzling.

Famous Logos Using Yellow:

Post-it, McDonald’s and Best Buy

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

No one wants to be disappointed, to have a bad experience. Everyone wants to be delighted, happily surprised. It’s the little things that add a smile in the every day journey we as customers experience. Every. Single. Day.

We expect more from brands. We want to be heard and be part of the story. The user experience is central to a brand-led experience. Brand loyalty must be earned. Create that branded user experience so fantastic that it knocks the socks of your customer. Gain momentum by empowering your customers to tell their friends, family, co-workers, teachers, baristas, Uber driver just how awesome the experience was. And then do it again.

National Color Day – Gray


“The fundamental gray which differentiates the masters, expresses them and is the soul of all color.”

–Odilon Redon

About Gray:

  • The New York Times was nicknamed “Gray Lady” because gray represents non-involvement, giving it formal authority.
  • The human eye can distinguish about 500 shades of gray.
  • Gray is achromatic, meaning it’s a color without color.

Famous Logos Using Gray:

Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., Apple, Inc and Wikipedia

Gray is an effective color to pair with brighter, energetic hues. It provides the eye a moment of pause, as if taking a breath. It’s a default color for many applications which is especially helpfully for e-commerce solutions. Your product should stand out. Not the technology driving it.

National Color Day – Orange

Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow”

–Wassily Kandinsky

About Orange:

  • Orange is the only color whose name was taken from an object.
  • Nobility were the only ones during the Elizabethan Era would were allowed to wear orange.
  • Originally, carrots weren’t orange. The most common color was purple until 17th century Dutch growers crossbred white rooted mutated yellow and wild carrots.

Famous Logos Using Orange:

The Home Depot, University of Illinois and Nickelodeon

Whether attempting a home remodeling or getting a degree, the process is perfect. Process is something we think about when designing a user experience for our clients. Building a 360 degree user experience and affecting how your customers experience your brand – orange or not – is what we do best. Own the experience. Get ideas how.

National Color Day – Brown


“I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”

–Winston Churchill

About Brown:

  • The Japanese do not have a specific word for brown. Rather, they use more descriptive names such as “tea-color,” “fox-color,” and “fallen-leaf.”
  • Brown is the color of security, protection and wealth.
  • If you dream of the color brown, it means you will be lucky with money.

Famous Logos Using Brown:

A&W Root Beer, United Parcel Service, Inc and M&M’s

How do you break through – in awareness, messaging and engagement? UPS provides a great example of how a brand can literally own a category. Capitalizing on the strength and omnipresence of brown through their trucks, uniform, branded packaging UPS’ 2002 campaign “What can brown do for us?” upped the ante from just a service delivery to all of the steps in the process.

“At UPS, brown is more than a color — it’s a tangible asset that people associate with all the things that are good about our brand.”

said Dale Hayes, vice president for brand management and customer communications, in a news release. “This campaign extends that association to the scope of new, and perhaps lesser known, capabilities we offer the marketplace.”

Does your organization ‘own’ a color? See how color can build preference and loyalty.

National Color Day – White


“The white canvas-it’s like a layer of dust that covers up the real painting. It’s just a matter of cleaning it. I have a little brush to clear away the blue, another for the red, and another brush for the green. And when I’ve finished cleaning, the picture is all there.”

-George Braque (1882-1963)

About White:

  • In 1669, Isacc Newton demonstrated that the color white results from the synthesis of the six colored rays that compost the spectrum.
  • Many cultures have many perceived variations on white. For example the Inuit have 7 variations of white, Japanese use 6 distinct terms to evoke whiteness and in India Sanskirt texts describe whiteness by object (example: whiteness of a tooth, whiteness of a pearl or whiteness of an autumnal moon).
  • The whiteness of milk and it’s symbolism is important in many cultures, for example in Muslim Egypt, they refer to milk to describe a beautiful day.

Famous Logos Using White:

Metallica, Cartoon Network and Uber Technologies, Inc.


Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

National Color Day – Purple


“I see the red flag outside me window: the shadow, in fact, appears violet and dusky to me: it has an orangish glow, but why isn’t there any green? First of all because red needs to have hints of green, but also because of the presence of orange and violet, two tones that introduce yellow and blue, which make green.

-Eugene Delecriox (1798-1863)

About Purple:

  • Purple is among the most complex dyes to extract and, there, the most expensive, and was reserved for the clothing of nobles.
  • Kalasha women and young girls in Afghanistan make themselves up for the Feast of Flowers by drawing thick violet circles around their eyes. Before cosmetics, they would have used powder make of ground partridge leg.
  • Pope Paul II (1417-1471) decreed that cardinals would wear purple, and in the Roman Catholic Church, purple is still reserved for cardinals.

Famous Logos Using Purple:

Hallmark Cards, The Willy Wonka Candy Company and Yahoo, Inc.

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

Strategy Leads the Way

You know where you want to go but don’t know the way. Luckily, most women will stop for directions. Men: get a roadmap. Strategy projects provide the foundation of understanding for everything. Determining your organization’s position in the marketplace or how to get the most from your social media plan and channels. You need a plan.

At McKenna Design Group we believe that above else Strategy should precede tactics. A home builder or remodeler depends on blue prints. They define the project and provide cues as to the order in which the project will be done. Starting without a plan is no different that driving in circles. Don’t be lost: Get a Strategic Roadmap.

National Color Day – Green


Green: said of many things which have green in them. People speak of an evergreen oak because it is green all the time. And certain cabbages are called green cabbages because their leaves do not whiten like those of white cabbages.

-Antoine Furetiere (1619-1688) From his Dictionnarie universel (Universal Dictionary), the publication of white cause his expulsion from the Academie Francaise.

About Green:

  • No plant contain pigments capable of dyeing fabric a vivid green resistant to sunlight and repeated washing. Humans learned that adding yellow and blue they could create it.
  • To dream of green is a sign of good fortune in China: the sleeper can rely on his vitality. But if the color pervades the entire dream, it signifies that he is subject to savage forces.
  • Interior designers recommend using green to create a soothing atmosphere.

Famous Logos Using Green:

BP (British Petroleum), Starbucks Corporation and The Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration.

Starbucks has spent endless hours to create sticky relationships with customers. Brand loyalty and consumer advocacy is the end game. And a cup of joe.

McKenna Design Group helps Associations grow. More members. More engagement. More Green. Learn how Loyalty and Advocacy make it happen.

National Color Day – Blue

Blue Water with Swimmers
The Rarest Color – Blue


The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.
They said, “you have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.”
The man replied, “Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

-Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), The Man with the Blue Guitar

About Blue:

  • The word for blue didn’t exist in many cultures. The ancient Greeks had no term for the color blue.
  • Until the invention of synthetic color people only had a few substances to create blue paint. Blue does not appear in a prehistoric rock paintings.
  • Today blue can be a positive color, however in ancient Europe it was despised and often feared.

Famous Logos Using Blue:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Ford Motor Company and Facebook



Thank you to Anne Varichon’s Book – Colors, What They Mean and How to Make Them, for supplying content and inspiration. See what McKenna Design Group has been up to.

National Color Day

October 22 #NationalColorDay

Color Burst Photo
National Color Day Kicks Up a Storm

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture in color is worth millions.

Color has an important role in our daily lives since it has the power to communicate without words. Humans also naturally associate color with a mood since it can be hard to put words to what we are feeling. The most recognizable brands in the world rely on color as a key factor in their instant recognition.

Color engages and increases participation more than something in just black and white. Tests indicate that a black and white image may sustain interest for less than two-thirds a second, whereas a colored image may hold the attention for two seconds or more1. Color can improve readership by 40 percent2, learning from 55 to 78 percent3, and comprehension by 73 percent4.

Color is rooted in human history and culture. Color can have a big impact on User Experience. It is important to know the deeper meaning of color so you know how and when to use it appropriately. The next 2 weeks follow us to learn fun and interesting facts about your favorite colors.

(1) The findings were reported in the May 2002 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, published by the American Psychological Association (APA) “The Contributions of Color to Recognition Memory for Natural Scenes,” Felix A. Wichmann, Max-Planck Institut für Biologische Kybernetik and Oxford University; Lindsay T. Sharpe, Universität Tübingen and University of Newcastle; and Karl R. Gegenfurtner, Max-Plank Institut für Biologische Kybernetik and Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen; Journal of Experimental Psychology – Learning, Memory and Cognition, Vol 28. No.3., 5-May-2002
(2)”Business Papers in Color. Just a Shade Better”, Modern Office Technology, July 1989, Vol. 34, No. 7, pp. 98-102
(3) Embry, David, “The Persuasive Properties of Color“, Marketing Communications, October 1984.
(4) Johnson, Virginia, “The Power of Color”, Successful Meetings, June 1992, Vol 41, No. 7, pp. 87, 90.


Chicago Cubs’ Power Branding – the W Flag

“W” might stand for the women’s room, a hotel or something more powerful. In the month of October, W can be seen throughout the city of Chicago. The “W” flag flies high, in the window of office buildings, atop cupcakes and sundaes, as baseball hats and even on pizza. Chicago Cubs’ fans are an w_flag_flying_highexcellent example of the power of branding. Even though the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 108 years, the fervor and passion their fans demonstrate shows how a brand can capture the hearts and minds of customers.

The Chicago Tribune published an article about how American Airlines, the official airline of the Cubs, is advocating, supporting and living the Chicago Cubs’ brand by flying the W flag – literally – in their airplanes. A pilot has flown the “W” from the cockpit. A drink has been created to fuel fan enthusiasm. The Cubs have an airline and a city cheering them on.

Powerful brands create emotional connections with audiences. Brand Loyalty is the foundation of building brand Advocates. Chicago Cubs’ fans literally “live the brand” whether it’s a tattoo, a car license plate or the food they eat. Fans believe.


Not Only for Ball Players
Seeing W flags in lobby windows of office buildings lining Wacker Drive, reminds me of the 1994 movie, “Miracle on 34th Street” where New York City bands together in solidarity showing “We Believe.”

The Chicago Cubs are primed for success in 2016. Forget about the curse of the goat, black hat or other. If the energy of the Chicago fans was enough to make it not only to the World Series but then to win then the Cubs would emerge successful. Chicago Cubs’ fan believe with the energy and fervor reserved for the truly faithful. The ultimate loyalists…and advocates.

After two wins in LA, the Cubs are up a game. Games 6 and 7 are scheduled for Wrigley Field. The timing might just be right for a “W” pizza, blue and red layer cake and a sundae with blue sprinkles and a cherry on top.

What happens when the Cubs win? The “W” flag will fly…even higher.

Giordano's W Pizza
Chicago’s Giordano’s pizzeria embraces the W flag and reinterprets for pizza.

McKenna Design Group is a full-service marketing communications and technology firm in Chicago. Hire us and we'll develop integrated, results-driven solutions. Our promise? Return on Experience.® We build a brand so customers advocate for you.

GSA NAICS Codes 541430, 541511, 541613, 541810, 541910