Color design speaks volumes when it comes to brand identity, and for some brands, it is the basis of their identity. If I said “the golden arches” or “the red bullseye” you immediately know what companies I’m referring to. Effective branding with color can also speak to your brand's mission and purpose. In this blog we’ll examine color psychology— the different moods, emotions or consumer experiences each color identifies and how it speaks to a brand’s staying power.
Red is a bold, blaring and upfront color that can elicit excitement, while expressing danger at the same time. Because of it’s attention grabbing blatancy, red is also often used for sales. Brands like Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Target employ the eye-catching nature of the color in their logo designs and brand marketing.
Orange is a friendly, universally likable color. It is eye-catching, but not overwhelming. It appeals to a range of business types from restaurants, children’s stores or even hospitals. Brands like Food Network, Nickelodeon and Home Depot effectively use this color to appeal to a wider audience with their singular color branding.
Yellow is a bright, bold and optimistic color. It attracts the most consumer attention and engages viewers. McDonald's utilizes yellow in its distinctive golden arches to create brand awareness, keeping consumers engaged and making their brand recognizable with or without the complete branding identity.
Green is easily processed by the eyes, making it a go-to choice for many brands that want to keep customers engaged. It is also associated with freshness, brightness and money, making it a widely used choice for banks, grocery stores and hospitality. Brands like BP and Whole Foods use green to promote their all-natural, organic and fresh perspectives in their market.
Blue is secure, trustworthy and dependable. As a commonly used and liked color, it has a universally appealing, calming effect. Brands like GE and Intel use blue to express a sense of reliability for their products and brand initiatives.
Purple is a royal color that portrays brands as wise. Commonly used for beauty products, purple is calming and lighter shades of lavender are soothing. Brands like Aussie and Hallmark use purple to appeal to a wide variety of consumers, keeping their brands gender neutral with an appeal to sentimentality.
Pink evokes a variety of feminine undertones with feelings of fun, youthfulness and romanticism. Brands like Baskin Robbins and AirBnB use pink to engage a younger, whimsical audience, while Victoria’s Secret and Barbie use the gender-based undertones of pink to appeal to a predominately female audience.
Brown, while not the most appealing of colors to most, represents a sturdy, dependable and simplistic brand identity. A rustic, warm and generally dirty looking color, makes brown appealing to many trucking and home improvement brands. Brands like M&Ms and UPS use brown to signify their reliability and long standing dependability.
Black is serious, powerful, and bold with a sense of drama and sophistication. It can make brands look bold and heavy, and is often used for luxury brands. Upscale brands like Mercedes, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel use black to create a bold statement, while SquareSpace and Apple use their bold one color brands to stand out among the rest.
White is simple, clean and pure. It is eye-catching, so many companies use whitespace as a means to help other branding stand out. In contrast to their use of black, Apple uses white to evoke openness and assuredness. Brands like Nike and Adidas use white in contrast with a variety of colors to establish their brand in both digital and print, and physically on their products.
What colors do you think make the best brand statement? What brands do you think effectively employ color to develop their identity? Let us know in the comments below.