Your branding says a lot about your business. It’s not just your logo, but also your brand name, the fonts you use, the tone of voice you communicate in, and your brand colours. Colours play a hugely important role in your branding. They communicate the values and personality of your business and help customers recognise you across various media.
You might not be able to recall which colour is used for each letter in Google’s logo, but if you saw a version of it with the wrong colours, you’d definitely notice something was wrong. The colours that Google chose for their logo so many years ago are a big defining factor for their brand. So, choosing the right brand colours for your business is important, too.
Designing a logo and branding isn’t just about what you think looks good. It takes research and experimentation to get the perfect logo to represent your brand. Firstly, you need to understand your brand and what it represents, since your logo and brand colours should reflect exactly that.
Here are some factors you should take into consideration when choosing your brand colours:
On top of all this, you need to ensure your logo and the brand colours you choose are memorable and recognisable. Repeatedly associating your brand with the same colours will help to strengthen brand awareness and recognition amongst your audience. Think of Twitter and the colour blue immediately comes to mind, and the same with red and Coca Cola.
Once you understand your brand and its customers in terms of the above factors, it’s time to start thinking about which colours best pair up with your brand. Colours spark emotion and invoke connections in your mind, whether to a feeling or a memory. Emotions motivate a lot of buying decisions, so you need to make sure your brand colours are sparking the right ones.
Let’s look at some popular colour choices and what the psychology of colour says about them.
Blue is a calm and peaceful colour, and brands often use it to invoke feelings of trust in them. This is why you see so many financial brands, tech companies, and health brands predominantly using blue in their logos. They want you to see them as reliable and trustworthy.
Red is a bold colour that grabs attention. It is associated with love and passion but also with anger and danger. This shows that the meaning of colours can be perceived in different ways, so it’s all about how you pair them with other colours and accompanying words.
We mostly associate yellow with the sun, so it’s a colour that makes us feel happy, optimistic, and positive. Brands can use that to their advantage to invoke happiness in their customers, like McDonald’s do so successfully.
Like yellow, orange is a cheerful and optimistic colour. Brands use it to communicate creativity and enthusiasm. When used as a secondary colour in branding, it can add bold and bright splashes of colour to a logo.
Purple can be associated with royalty. So, it gives off a wise and authoritative image. But brands also use it to give a sense of luxury from their products. A lot of creative brands also use purple in their branding.
Pink is most often associated with femininity, so you might see it in make-up and toiletries brands. It can also evoke a sense of fun, youth, and playfulness. This makes it ideal for companies marketing to children, and especially to young girls.
Green is heavily linked to nature and, especially today, eco-friendliness and sustainability. So, a lot of natural products and companies focused on the environment utilise green in their branding.
Grey is generally a neutral colour, but it can invoke feelings of balance, calmness, and authority. As a result, you often see it in branding related to knowledge, such as Wikipedia. It can also evoke a certain expertise and sophistication.
Black goes well with minimalist logos, which is a popular trend in modern design. Brands trying to appear as modern, sophisticated, and even luxurious may opt to use black predominantly in their branding.
Another thing to consider is the shade of the colour you choose. A dark blue logo could appear more professional, serious, and trustworthy compared to light blue, which might come off as more playful, calming, and innocent. Experiment with different shades of your chosen colour to see how even small differences can change the way you view it.
Most brand identities aren’t just made up of one colour. Even if your logo is purely red, you might always pair it with white text or often place it against a black background. So, the next step is to determine which colours complement each other well and express the right message when you combine them.
Generally speaking, the main colour you use should reflect the values and personality you want to project based on the colour analyses described above. Other accents in your logo and brand materials should complement and contrast this colour in a way that stands out and is memorable to the audience.
Make sure that the colours you choose for any text in your logo and branding makes it easy to read. You don’t want the name of your company or the message your conveying to blend into the background. For example, Coca Cola’s red and white colour scheme successfully makes each element stand out against the other.
There’s no exact science to it, but the psychology of colour can help businesses choose the right ones to reflect their values and personality. What do your brand colours say about your business? Get in touch if you need support with branding or rebranding for your company.