Colour/ Urban Farming (Sustainable Produce)

‘The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative’ logo, a good example of the use of colour.

The Michigan Farming Initiative is a non-profit, sustainable agriculture urban farm in Detroit. It provides unique opportunities, education in sustainable farming methods and acts as an example of redevelopment for other communities. As reported in The Cambridge University Press 2021 “food insecurity has become the nation’s leading health and nutrition issue.” The farm seeks to challenge this idea with it’s community agriculture collective.

The logo is bursting with vibrant colours, which individually have their own meanings and representations. They work together in a symphony directly relating to the project’s goals and are drastically contrasted against the black cityscape. The use of black represents the bleak state of Detroit’s access to fresh produce; “Black is like a broken vessel, which is deprived of the capacity to contain anything. (Leonardo da Vinci)

In colour theory, green on the colour wheel has strong visual representation linking it to growth. As suggested in Colour Meaning: Meaning of The Colour Green (Jennifer Bourn) “Green is the colour of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment.” The two tones of green used are lush, vibrant and distinctive. The direction of the two greens is similar to that farmed rows of crops, another clear visual representation of farming.

The yellow rectangle surrounding the text is a primary colour and highlights the farms logo in contrast to the heavy black buildings in the background. Yellow is the most luminance colour in the colour wheel, it complements the green harmoniously, which are next to each other on the colour wheel, creating an aesthetically pleasing combination. The sunrise colours display warmth and positivity. The tones are welcoming, with a mixture of orange, yellow and subtle gradient fade to lilac. The orange in the sunset represents positive energy, is associated with the earth and harvest.

‘Taunton Urban Farm’ logo does not take advantage of the use of colour to represent urban farming.

Taunton Urban farm is a UK based farming project, using volunteers to work on reclaimed land in the village. It provides fresh produce grown in an urban environment and trains volunteers to gain qualifications. There is a distinct lack of colour in the monochrome logo, it does not evoke any emotions via colour theory that would reflect positively in line with their community objectives.

Below is the design process for a more colourful logo;

Initial sketch and ideas for the new ‘Taunton Urban Farm’ logo with labels.
First design concept, using spades as buildings and green stems as roots as in the original logo, the typeface is textured to give a gravel effect similar that in a city.
‘Taunton Urban Farm’ second revision, experimenting with watercolour pens in graffiti style loose colours.
The final revision, displaying a clear use of colour to effectively represent the Taunton Urban Farm. The top leaves of the carrots grow to subtly show the silhouettes a city scape in the background.

This logo is a mixture of warm tones and the colours of nature. The carrots are coloured specifically to liken them to heirloom carrots, with a wide range of tones and are some of the vegetables that are produced on the farm. In colour theory warm tones are associated with evoking emotions such as calmness, determinations and success. The ‘Taunton’ letters are shades of orange and brown, which are warm colours too. The letters display the colours of autumn, or crops in harvest. The ‘Urban Farm’ text in a mild tone of orange can be linked to nature and the colour of earth and wood, and supports the colours relating to nature.

Green contrasts with the colour of the carrots, it is the most noticeable colour relating to nature, there are a range of greens used to symbolise the different types of plant foliage colours. There are many positive connotations in green, which is why it is one of the main focal colour points. Working alongside the colour of the carrots, it aids to solidify emotions relating to creativity, success and motivation, which is what the volunteers will experience when working at the farm.


Food insecurity in Detroit. 30 July 2021 Exploring the relationship between patient-reported food insecurity and proximity to healthful grocery stores. Cambridge University Press [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 October 2021]

Food insecurity and health outcomes. Gundersen, C & Ziliak, JP (2015) Health Aff 34, 1830–1839 [Accessed 27 October 2021]

Colour meaning. n.d. Color Wheel Pro-See Color Theory in Action. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 October 2021]

The Color Psychology of Green. n.d. Theories, Cognitive Psychology. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 October 2021]

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. n.d. About MUFI. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 October 2021]

Taunton Urban Farming Project. n.d. About. [online] Available at [Accessed 25 October 2021]

Draw Paint Academy. n.d. Inspirational Color Quotes By The Masters. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 October 2021]

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