Effective branding is strongly associated with picking the right color palette for your logo and brand assets. Apart from the aesthetic appeal, the right color choices help businesses establish a deeper connection with consumers on a psychological level.
How is that possible? Well, it all comes down to color psychology and the powerful effect colors can have on our emotions and reactions.
What is Color Psychology?
The psychology of color suggests that our brains react with diverse ways in different colors, affecting our emotions and consequently, the way we behave as consumers.
These emotions may differ based on our gender, cultural background and personal experiences but there are some general guidelines formed by countless psychology researches.
As the famous color theorist Faber Birren wrote in his book “Color Psychology and Color Theory”, there is a link between colors and different emotional states – a link that has a profound similarity for people all around the world; meaning that the same colors provoke similar emotions to different people regardless of their gender or cultural background.
Another research by Colorcom suggests that “consumers make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone”.
When it comes to branding, the power of color has a double meaning; on an emotional level, it affects how consumers feel about a brand while, on a practical level, the right color combination can help a brand stand out of the crowd.
The Importance of Branding Colors
So, it is only natural that the theories of color psychology will be an important part to consider when building your brand’s identity.
Choosing the right color palette for your logo and visuals will affect your trust and familiarity while it will also affect your total sales.
Several studies have shown that a product’s color influences almost 60% to 80% of a customer’s purchasing decision while another study shows that 90% of snap judgments can be based on color alone!
Apart from sales, colors have the power to convey a deep meaning about your brand’s values, identity, and overall image as they are sending a certain message to the audience and consumers. On the other hand, the wrong choice can be potentially harmful.
All of the above really highlights the importance of colors in building a successful and profitable business. While the theory is important when it comes to colors and emotions the best way to learn is through facts and examples.
In this article, we have gathered and analyzed a few famous examples of color branding and how it can influence brand awareness.
What Different Branding Colors Mean
Red is one of the strongest colors in the spectrum when it comes to psychology; it is one of the primary colors and a universal symbol of love, passion, anger, excitement and it can signify attention or danger.
A few of the most successful and recognizable brands around the world use red in their logos and various visual assets with McDonald’s and Coca Cola being two of the most prominent.
McDonald’s widely known logo with the red backdrop is almost instantly recognized when encountered from their signage, restaurant walls and various merchandise. Red is scientifically proven to increase heart-rate and kickstart digestion, making it the most appetizing color in the spectrum.
The world’s most instantly recognized brand though is one – Coca Cola. The signature red it uses for its packaging along with the subtle white details have become legendary.
Vodafone’s speech mark white logo on the red background was created in 1997 and updated in 2017 with red representing passion and communication.
Target, one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States of America, uses a shade of red in its logo that has been registered as a trademark. Being the main rival of Walmart – which uses blue in its logo – it was only natural that it will use its complementary color; red.
Green has different emotional perceptions based on the shade. While yellow-greens appear more energizing and healthy, deeper green hues are often seen as more relaxing and calming. Generally speaking though, green is a reassuring, pleasing color and the easiest to the eye.
The California-based company is one of the leading in its field offering thousands of natural products, vitamins, and supplements. Its yellow-green logo oozes with freshness and energetic power, complementing its products the best way.
The relaxed nature of the blue-green shade on the Starbucks siren logo and its popularity across the world showcase the effect of colors in branding. The cool green shade signifies the rich, welcoming nature of the brand.
The luxury department store based in London uses another cool- toned green shade that it is associated with wealth and prestige. This shade of green is a trademark of the department store, exuding sophistication and elegant class.
There are several different shades of blue and they all have different meanings, much like green. Blue is one of the most-used colors in technology and motoring brands thanks to its strong association with intelligence, confidence and security.
The rich blue shade the technological giant is using in its logo offers a sense of calmness and reliability – blue is the color of the ocean and the sea and it is thought to put people at ease.
Another great example of the use of blue, as the National Health System in the UK uses a dark blue shade that promotes the feeling of security and reassurance.
Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany’s iconic shade of blue has been trademarked as “Tiffany Blue” and is widely recognized around the world – it has become a symbol of quality and elegance.
Pink has been used for years in branding with different shades offering different messages; hot pink is girly and feminine while dusty pink is sentimental and familiar. Pink in general is considered a youthful, modern, and luxurious color.
The iconic American brand uses two different shades of pink in its striped logo background. As a womenswear and lingerie retailer’s message is clear; pink stands for innocence, feminine vibes and youthful energy.
Another unique shade of hot pink which has been trademarked is the one used by Mattel’s Barbie. Hot pink is girly and modern while it never loses its appeal to the romantic side of every girl or woman.
Yellow is the ultimate symbol of positivity and optimism and it is, without a doubt, the color of youth. It is usually used to catch the eye and create feelings of happiness. Color Psychology says “it is the brightest color of the visible spectrum and it is the most noticeable of all colors by the human eye”.
Nikon’s bright yellow symbol was created in 2003. According to Nikon, the white rays represent future possibilities while the yellow background symbolizes expansion and passion.
This was a simple explanation of the color psychology theory. We hope that gave you some insight on the topic. If you’re intrigued and would like to read further, you can refer to these books:
Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A Factual Study of the Influence of Color on Human Life
Color Psychology: Profit From The Psychology of Color: Discover the Meaning and Effect of Colors