Colour in branding

Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2016

 A logo that differs in colour from its competitors stands out in the market. Simple colours can simulate the senses and instantly convey a meaning.

We all know the basics, bright bold colours make us feel happy and uplifted where as soft, cool pastels have the opposite effect and calm us down, but can colour really influence our buying decisions? Well, in a nut shell, probably not. I have never purchased Coca-Cola over Pepsi simply because it’s red, I buy it because I’m engaged in the wider brand, I’ve succumbed to the advertising and ultimately I like the taste!

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Colour theory in branding uses this basic idea that a simple colour or colours can stimulate the senses and instantly convey or recall a meaning, message or brand.


Colour in branding serves two key purposes:

1 - It is essential, when designing a logo or brand, to not only make the logo iconic, but to consider peoples interpretation of colour, how they might react and how the subliminal messages we get from colour impact our thoughts.

2 – A logo that differs in colour from its competitors stands out in its market. We remember brands not only on their shape, wording and icon but the colour itself. 

Even the most simple logos will have a long thought process behind them, with as much consideration taken over colour selection as there is in the design. 

Colour meanings

Here are a few common colours, and the emotions they evoke.
See how they work with your favourite brands

RedJoy, passion, sensitivity, love, romance, friendship, vigour, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage
OrangeDeceit, distrust, desire, pleasure, domination, aggression, prestige(Gold)
YellowCaution, decay, sickness, jealousy, intellect, freshness, joy
GreenAmbition, greed, jealousy, emotional healing, protection, peace
BlueHealth, healing, tranquillity, understanding, softness, knowledge, power, integrity, seriousness
PurpleRomantic, nostalgic feelings, royalty, gloom, sad feelings
WhiteLight, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity, perfection, safety
BlackPower, elegance, formality, mystery

It would be nai?ve, however, to think that one colour and one logo design can convey a message at a simple glance. But with strategic and skillful planning and execution of a brand and its advertising, the rewards can be huge. The biggest brands with the largest advertising budgets can effectively ‘own’ a colour.

As soon as a colour is recognisable to a brand, the company gains a major advantage against its competition, standing out in a crowded market with the ability to subliminally promote the brand without displaying its logo or even mentioning its name. 

Lets take a look at a few colours you might recognise to see this theory in action.

So next time you look at your favourite brand, ask yourself does it matter what colour you see?

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