Is colour important for your brand?

The effect that colour has on all of us is more powerful than most people realise. It affects many aspects of our lives, including our moods, how we behave and even how we make decisions. This impact makes choosing the right colours to represent your brand vital to success.

Used effectively, colour is a very powerful tool, but it needs to be used sensitively in order to become a recognisable part of your brand. According to studies, colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%*. You can achieve instant recognition from your primary colour, sometimes even without the support of a logo or mention of its name. This is demonstrated through well-known brands, for example Coca-Cola red and Cadbury purple.

When picking a primary colour for your brand, it is important to understand the meanings behind them. Here are some examples:

  • Red – energy, power, love. It has been shown to raise heart rate.
  • Yellow – happiness, optimism, light-heartedness. It has been shown to release serotonin, the happiness chemical.
  • Blue – trust, loyalty, calm. It is many people’s favourite colour.
  • Green – growth, nature, harmony. It also has associations with money.
  • Purple – prosperity, royalty, luxury. It has been shown to stimulate problem solving.
  • Orange – fun, ambition, invigoration. It has high visibility so is great for call to actions.

While primary colour is important, you will also need to create secondary colours which support the core brand colour. Without these to support, certain colours easily become over-used, which leads to a brand which comes across as repetitive.

As well as helping with flexibility, a range of colours in your palette can also be used to demonstrate brand hierarchy. If colour is used consistently across areas, you are able to use this as non-verbal communication to reinforce messaging.

Our approach is to create a palette of colours that, when used consistently, allow you the flexibility to create varied, but coherent marketing materials.

This process can be quite instinctive. But if this is something that doesn’t come naturally to you, there are numerous colour theories that can help you pick colours which complement each other, while showing your brand in the best possible light.

Complementary colour wheel - colours that are opposite in the colour wheelTriadic colour wheel - colours that are equally spaced on the wheel

Analogous colour wheel - colours that are adjacent in the wheel

So next time you are thinking about your brand, remember the importance of colour and how it can be used to influence your audience.

If you want help choosing the right colours for your brand, pop in to see us and we'll put the kettle on.


*University of Loyola

Posted by: Catherine Appleby

Date: 20 February 2018

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