Color and Meaning In Business Branding
When you are trying to build a brand image, you want to have colors and shapes that the consumers can connect to.
Here’s a question for you: How does the color red make you feel? What about green? When offered these colors, did a specific logo come to mind? Design is interwoven into the significance of the color spectrum, meaning that your brand depends on color too. When you are trying to build a brand image, you want to have colors and shapes that the consumers can connect to. But what happens when the color doesn’t have the message you hoped it would?
Color is a powerful tool in developing your brand image. By understanding how color psychology plays a role in building brand recognition and furthering your business success, you can create marketing tools like a logo and signage that help drive people to you.
What is Color Psychology?
Interestingly, color psychology isn’t new. Experiments regarding color and how it plays on human emotion have been going on since the late 1600s. That said, it wasn’t until the concept of using color in marketing, branding, and signage came about that the psychology of color truly started to catch on. Since then, researchers and color experts have been making hundreds of discoveries about the effect of color on mood, behaviors, and feelings.
Importance of Color
A study titled “Impact of Color on Marketing” found that 90% of snap judgments consumers make are based on color alone. Others studies have revealed like results, such as decisions being based on the level of “perceived appropriateness” of the color and the product. For example, the consumer might choose one brand over another because the color of the product matches their perceptions of what the product should do.
The Power of Shape and Color
Brands deliver their messages to the world through more than content. Within human culture, there are symbols, shapes, and colors that every human can look at and understand. For example, if you see something circled with a line through it, you immediately understand that whatever has been crossed out is prohibited. Wherever you are in the world, this doesn’t need explanation.
The same happens when color is applied to a shape. If you see a red flame, you know it will be hot, just like a blue snowflake is cold. A yellow sun is daytime, while a silvery-gray moon evokes a sense of nighttime.
Therefore, it is not just the color you use but the shape that it is paired with that evokes your brand image.
Meanings of Different Colors
Let’s have a look at the meanings of different colors and how these meanings can be reflected upon your business:
- Red – The color of passion, energy, anger, and strength. Red is a daring color that demands attention and action.
- Orange – The color of optimism, warmth, adventurous spirits, and inspiration. Orange is enthusiastic, sociable, and can even suggest more affordable prices or experiences.
- Yellow – Since yellow is the color of the sun, people affiliate it with happiness, joy, illumination, and clarity. Yellow is stimulating (in both good and bad ways), and it can attract a lot of attention when used correctly.
- Blue – For whatever the reason, blue feels safe, honest, dependable, and transparent. Blue reminds people of the ocean and the sky. It can be used in a number of applications and is thus extremely flexible. Some shades of blue are more sophisticated and proper, like navy, while others, like cyan or sky blue, can be bright and cheerful.
- Turquoise – The color of the Caribbean. Turquoise is exotic, free, expressive, and beautiful. People are attracted to turquoise because it is relaxing and leads to calm communication.
- Indigo – Like navy, indigo is a color that is rooted in sincerity, integrity, honesty, and structure. The depth of the color makes it ideal for exuding a regal image.
- Green – Most people associate green with either nature, money, or envy. For branding purposes, green is the color of affluence, health, compassion, emotion, and healing. You will find green in many health-related business logos for this reason.
- Purple – Many cultures think of purple as the color of creativity, fantasy, superiority, and wealth. Rulers through the world have been draped in purple. It is also mysterious and works well with other colors.
- Pink – Feminine and caring pink is known to be a non-threatening color. Businesses aimed at women and children often utilize pinks.
- Magenta – Similar to pink, magenta is seen as a more feminine color and has a balance of vibrancy and softness. It works well in designs to develop depth.
- Silver – A modern color that is more contemporary than gold, more sophisticated than gray, and yet calming like blue. Silver pairs well with multiple colors but also works well in monochromatic scales.
- Gold – Designs and signs that utilize gold like prestigious and luxurious. Gold is seen as prosperous, generous, and warm.
- Black – The depth of black gives it two connotations. On one hand, black is seen as sleek, sophisticated, elegant, and polished. Those who yield black well command authority. Conversely, black can also be seen as intimidating, unfriendly, and cold.
- White – A blank canvas. White is the color of expansion, possibilities, and simplicity. It promotes order and balance. Businesses focused on efficiency and transparency often choose white.
- Brown – Perhaps its the affiliation with chocolate, but most people see brown as earthy, outdoorsy, calming, and reliable. Depending on how brown is used, it can promote hiking or sports, or it can be used for healing, vintage or retro themes, and the like.
- Gray – Although seen as industrial and depressing in some applications, gray is far more subdued than its metallic counterpart, silver, and is more reliable and secure than black. Dark grays are especially pleasing to the eye as backgrounds.
Imagine how powerful color can be when paired correctly with shapes and symbols. Knowing this, you can start to make connections that help you not only develop a brand but lend more influence to everything that shows up in your services, merchandise, website, and philosophy.
Color Coordination and Conversions
If you are having trouble selecting colors for your brand, consider the psychological principle called the “Isolation Effect.” You might call it “sticking out like a sore thumb.” It’s the reason why the McDonald’s sign is such a winner. In other words, research has found that the more something sticks out from the competition or on a page, the better recollection they have it. In fact, consumers largely prefer color patterns with complementary hues, but when there is a vibrantly contrasting accent color, like red and gold, they are even more attracted to it.
This can be applied to interior decorating, logos, and even the hyperlink text on your website.
While additional research is still necessary, it is obvious that color plays an important role in branding and design. Color is just another way to communicate a message to your target audience because of its unique effect of human psychology. Depending on the colors you choose for your brand, you can evoke certain impressions that can either hurt or help your business. That is why you should pay attention to the colors you’re selecting, because you want to choose the hues that attract the right people to your store.
The bottom line is this: Color influences consumer thoughts and actions, so use color psychology wisely with all your marketing!
Now that you know more about choosing color, let’s talk about the next steps to promoting your business. Fill out the contact form to get more information delivered right to your inbox!