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LCF: back to black

Last night I took the radical step of transforming the London College of Fashion's web colour scheme from pink to black. I'm awaiting either a storm of protest, or a standing ovation - or probably a bit of both. This is what happened.


LCF's online colour was pink since before I arrived in 2006. It had its place in the 6-way University of the Arts London colour spectrum - alongside blue, red, gold, green, orange, and the base colour, a slate blue-grey.

[caption id="attachment_612" align="alignnone" width="628" caption="Pink version"][/caption]

Truth be told, I never personally disliked the pink - it worked better than some other College colours in providing contrast against the base colour. However, it seemed that many people here didn't like the pink. They felt it was dated (since we had long ago abandoned pink in our offline publications), and no longer represented the LCF brand. Occasional grumbles found focus at an afternoon meeting in early November - so I did a quick on-the-spot mock-up in Firebug, and hey presto, people loved it.

More detailed samples followed. We experimented - in fact we're still experimenting - with which tints to use as highlight and rollover colours. But the 'key stakeholders' were on board with party streamers and paper hats, so we went for it.


[caption id="attachment_616" align="alignnone" width="628" caption="Black version"][/caption]

So far the response on Twitter is 3:2 against the switch. Clearly we need more data - please @LCFLondon your thoughts.

Update @ 22 Dec 2010

So... as you can see the LCF website is no longer black. Despite a lot of support within the College, the black scheme was thought by certain members of the central University communications team to be too out of keeping with the existing brand identity. Our response was that, if we couldn't develop our design any further, we were better off reverting to the original.

Hopefully at some point in the future we will be able to assert our own College brand identity independently of the University's federal structure. However, this will require a culture shift throughout the organisation and probably a reappraisal of the entire website architecture.