Understanding the Role of Color in Brand Design

by Josh Biggs in Startup on 24th October 2021

If you have ever consciously recognized that your favorite colors are likely to lead you in product purchases, you are not alone. Color is a dominant influence on our consideration of product purchases. Research has shown that as much as 90% of the decision of whether we invest in a product or not is related solely to its color. Colors are powerful in evoking emotions, and therefore are such a pivotal guide in our purchasing choices. 

However, in terms of brand design, simply applying our favorite colors is not always the most effective methodology to use as our guide. Choosing a stain must be carefully considered to correlate it to the values and attributes of your business.

The competition in the branding industry is hot and heavy, which is why any business working on developing their brand must enlist the assistance of experienced professionals from credible branding services. Not only is the cumulative experience of branding experts invaluable, but these experts also stay on top of all of the latest trends and are up to date on the latest industry standards. 

While you entrust your brand design to the professionals and will not need to do any of the actual design work, you will still be an integral part of the branding process, so you must have a firm grasp on brand design’s core concepts. This knowledge will help you become a more active agent in your project regarding idea contribution and design literate communication.

This particular post will focus on the influence of color and its utilization in brand design.

Colors Trigger Emotions And Generate Associative Links

Colors have a universal and natural ability to evoke emotional responses, making them a key component in fostering any brand’s identity. The color combination on your company’s logo communicates certain perceptions and feelings to those who see them. This is just part of the conditioning of the human mind. As it takes in colors, it responds on an emotional level. More than that, however, combined effectively, colors can tell a story.

As an example, the color red, most closely linked to fire, the most pivotal aspect of humanity’s survival and longevity, evokes feelings of warmth, energy, danger, intense desire, love, power, and passion. Therefore, the color red is widely utilized by brands that represent fast-moving, extreme products such as cars, video games, and energy drinks. 

Yellow draws its comparison to a sun-shiny day, evoking feelings of happiness, joy, and intellect. The yellow sun promotes plant growth, and plants are a huge source of our nutrition, linking the color yellow to food. Because of its relaxing and playful nature, the color yellow is commonly utilized in leisure products and those products geared for children.

Orange is another sunshine-associated color, but as it is closer to red than yellow in its tint, it correlates more to joy, creativity, determination, attraction, enthusiasm, stimulation, fascination, and success. Like yellow, it is also widely used in food-based brand designs.

Green, nature’s most prominent color, symbolizes fertility, growth, freshness, and harmonious existence. Because we are also conditioned to proceed on the roads when the light turns green. We associate green with security and safety, both natural and financial, linking yet another symbolic trait of green: money.

As the color of the vastness of the sky and the broadness of water, blue represents many of the things associated with both of those aspects of the world. This includes depth, confidence, loyalty, trust, intelligence, truth, wisdom, and faith. Many brands that deal with either air or water tend to make some level of use of blue colors in their branding design. Its use is also every day for the promotion of advanced tech products. The sky, after all, is the limit.

Many children’s and feminine products make use of the color purple. Its natural association to prestige, royalty, power, and nobility lends this color an attribute of extravagance. 

Two other commonly symbolic colors are black and white. Black represents formality, power, and elegance. It also empowers different colors around it to be more prominent. White, on the other hand, represents purity, goodness, light, perfection, and innocence. These mental triggers are why white is used in charitable organization logos, hospital and medical device insignias, dairy or low-fat foods, and high-tech gadgetry brands. 

Linking Colors To A Brand

Brands need to be able to convey their message without using words. Because colors call triggers people’s associations to a particular brand, the color selection is pivotal in representing a brand. Consider FedEx’s dual color scheme as an example. The green in the brand’s logo represents ground delivery, and orange speaks to deliveries made by air. 

Think about laundry detergents as another clear example of the power of colors to convey messages. You may have noticed that most detergents utilize some form of orange and blue, with orange representing dynamic energy and blue symbolizing cleanliness and water. Together, the combination evokes an idea of “industrial-grade cleaning power.”

A brand that leveraged color in an industry formerly not big on color utilization was Apple when introducing the colorful iMacs. This was a move that came on the heels of two straight years of revenue losses, and the use of colors helped to breathe new life into the whole brand.

But colors do not need to be on a brand’s logo to evoke a response. Take Tiffany’s, for instance. Their logo is a simply refined serif expressed in a black letter name type, nor do Tiffany’s stores have blue paint adorning their outside. And yet, Tiffany blue is one of the world’s most recognized colors. Essentially, the brand has transcended the need to use robin egg blue (their signature color) to have the brand name be associated with the color intrinsically. This goes to prove the adage: less is more.

Color plays a vital role in brand development programs on both integrated and holistic levels. While there may not be a significant psychological component in choosing the brand’s color, there is most certainly an emotion-charged component involved. Reactions to color are visceral, but because the color is also loaded with meaning, it can paint a picture in the minds of prospective clients before they even find out more about the brand. 

So how does one decide what colors to use for their brand? Here are a few helpful things to do (and not to do) when engaging in the color selection process:

● When too many bright colors are used excessively or spread liberally over a wide area, it becomes less of a colorful depiction and more of an eyesore. Instead of overwhelming the viewer with bright colors, use neutral colors to balance the overall tone. 

● When you display your store signage with colors or present your brand to many people, always utilize high contrast colors to improve their visibility.

● Do some research around the web for ideas of what colors you want to combine, and most certainly don’t settle for the first combination. Testing various color schemes is essential to finally find the variety that looks and feels like the most potent way to convey your brand’s messaging.

● Avoid using complementary colors all at the same time. These are the colors found against each other on the color wheel (red and green or purple and yellow.

The type of shopper you are looking to appeal to is also essential. People respond differently to different colors based on what type of shopper they are. Red, orange and blue are attractive to impulse buyers, while purple, green, and yellow are more akin to budget consumers.

Final Thoughts

When you determine what type of personality you want your brand to exude, what is appropriate in your line of business, and what emotions you wish to evoke from consumers introduced to your brand, you can get a better idea of what colors to choose. Another essential element of your decision would be to look at the brand colors associated with your competitors. After all, you want your brand to stand out from the rest and not be viewed as a replica. 

The colors you choose should complement or match your brand’s desired personality. Your choices will have ramifications in how they influence your consumers’ feelings, moods, and approaches when considering your particular brand.

While many experienced researchers have dedicated a lot of time to decipher the feelings and emotions evoked by particular colors, color is ultimately a very personal device, so there is no way to exude a universal effect on every person. Of course, this is in no way an attempt to downplay its importance in influencing consumers’ psychological and emotional response to a particular brand.

When you work with a qualified and experienced brand design company, you will get a lot of insight into how colors influence consumer behavior and attitude, as well as the overall view of your brand. They can help you find the appropriate color combination to cement your brand’s notoriety in your consumers’ minds.

Categories: Startup