What Colours mean for your brand

What do they represent? Choose the right one for your brand!

The Meanings of Colours

There are deep meanings behind colours that can invite people to feel certain emotions. In creating a brand identity, we typically design the logo, select the fonts and choose a colour palette that provides a compelling visual and together with the supporting colours, helps your brand differentiate itself among your competitors and create a cohesive brand identity. 

How important is the colour of your brand? Imagine being able to pick out your favourite soft drink or brand of shoes out of a lineup just based on its shade of colour. It’s easy to see just how powerful the right colour can be, especially if you can claim your unique pantone colour.

Colours have meanings of their own, that inspire and evoke different emotions when we look at them. There are (+) positive and (-) negative connotations associated with each colour so think carefully about what your audience, product and brand identity is trying to convey.

Red

+Power, love, passion, assertiveness, appetite, action

-Aggression, anger, danger, instability, pain, desperation

The colour red is a very popular one for logos, as they encourage action and passion for the brand. This is coupled with the alertness it inspires and attractiveness of Red in the natural world, where our eyes have evolved to be drawn to bright colours. However thanks to its high visibility, many animals and plants do use red colorations as a warning signal to tell us that it’s poisonous or venomous.

The colour red has also been known to increase the appetite in many studies, Effects of Coloring Food Images on the Propensity to Eat: A Placebo Approach With Color Suggestions – PMC (nih.gov) given that red is the colour of fresh meat, lots of sweet edible berries and so on in the natural world. This also leads to many food brands and restaurants successfully utilising this phenomenon to boost consumption, whether it’s by using red in their brand logo or inside their establishments.

Blue

+Peace, security, serenity, calm, trust, wisdom

-Boredom, coldness, distance, stagnant, old-fashioned, suppresses appetite

Commonly thought to be the opposite of red in terms of emotions, (it also suppresses the appetite), blue is a calming and assuring colour that brings out a feeling of trust in the viewer. Banks and financial institutions seem to rely on blue coloured logos to garner more trust. Some studies have scientists believing that the colour blue is not only an effective enhancer of work productivity but also contributes to us thinking more deeply about certain things. 

Remember all the times you’ve relaxed at the seaside or stared up at the blue sky? There’s a calm and expansive feeling that blue inspires, leading you to reduce your impulsive thoughts and reflect more deeply, utilising more of our prefrontal cortex and allowing us to perform higher level tasks.  Exposure to Blue Light Increases Subsequent Functional Activation of the Prefrontal Cortex During Performance of a Working Memory Task – PMC (nih.gov) 

Yellow

+Energetic, cheerful, youthful, alert, brightness, attention-grabbing, appetising

– Critical, impulsive, frustrating, hard to read, anxiety-producing

Yellow is also another colour in nature that whets the appetite, it’s not nearly as popular yet it’s more energetic and cheerful than the colour red (or their child; orange). However, the attention magnet that it is, yellow can help you attract attention especially if your brand needs to stand out amidst competitors with less glaring colours. The few companies that DO use yellow, tend to be really successful at differentiating themselves.

Yellow is bright, youthful and full of life; but that can be annoying for long periods of time. Like the glare of the sun, you can’t stare at it for too long before you need to rest your eyes. It’s usually a good idea to combine yellow with another colour to add the effects of the other. Since yellow is so creatively appealing, it can enhance the secondary colour’s effectiveness. Yellow and blue? It’s brilliant, warm yellow and cool blue color creates a sense of creative calm. 

Yellow and red? Really appetising, it’s a mixture of 2 powerful warm colours of many foods.

Green

+Peace, balance, nature, harmony, calming, positivity

-Boredom, sickly, stifling, stagnant, toxic, suppresses appetite if NOT vegetable

Green is an interesting and versatile colour with some big pros and cons. On the one hand, it has a definite psychological effect in making a brand seem eco-friendly, natural or fresh, it can also quickly become boring, or if the shade of green just isn’t right, it can be outright repulsive to some. However, it’s definitely an interesting mix of a cool blue and cheerful yellow that puts customers at ease.

The reason why it’s so calming is because it is the colour of trees and nature. It’s been proven that the colour green is relaxing to our eyes because that colour’s central placement in the spectrum we can see (red, green, blue) as trichromats doesn’t seem to tax our eye muscles as much. Why we all need some green in our lives | CNN

Purple

+Magical, creative, royal, mysterious, imaginative

-Depression, bruising, sadness, unrealism, hard to connect with

The colour purple is definitely a strange one in branding; with some of the most interesting connotations in the psychological effects on people. Traditionally, purple is a mix of fiery red and cool blue, so these opposing colours both clash and yet merge harmoniously into its own new creation. Brands that utilise purple in their logos evoke feelings of uniqueness, truly standing out from the crowd by having a lot of creativity and mysterious excitement inherently built into the colour. 

This purple colour is so rare in nature because it appears only at very special occasions, sometimes during a sunset, or perhaps in a field of blooming lavender flowers. Its probably why we associate it with magic and mystery, which might make some people hesitate, but it’s a truly aspirational colour that shows introspection, wisdom and the integration of opposites (the red and blue spectrum) which is also why it’s the colour of royalty. 

In any case, your choice of brand colour is best decided when you know your product, your audience and your identity all align. Then, a strategic, scientific approach to choosing your colours according to their psychological effects on people (like the one we outlined above) can be just the edge you need to push your brand to the next level of consumer awareness and adoption that your brand deserves. 

Visit our Facebook page or check out our website for more information on our services at AnyMeta. We can help your company reach new customers and achieve the goals you desire in 2024~! 


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