When I was young, I always picked colour over black and white. For me, monochrome was dull and lacked personality.
In my mind, a world without colour would be a miserable place. Colour has the power to cheer us up as much as calm us down. And vibrant colours reflect my bold personality – I don’t hold back, and I’m ready to try most things. (Yes, some might find me a little intimidating, but I always mean well – promise!). And when I relax, I feel cosy when surrounded by dark greens, dark wood, gold and heritage, and appreciate old art and architecture over modern styles.
A friend of mine in Sweden has an entirely black and white house, inside and out – which even extends to her wardrobe. It’s super cool from a design perspective, but not my personal style. If she were a brand, I would never approach her (lucky for me, she is already a wonderful person and friend, so it doesn’t matter!).
So why do we feel this way about colour or lack thereof, and how can we use the psychology of colour in our business and brand? Simply googling ‘the meaning of colour’ unleashes a million answers. However, in general, they all say the same thing.
Colours trigger emotions, and your brand colours convey feelings and experiences more than you might think. They have a stronger effect on our feelings than shapes and sizes. Studies point to facts suggesting that colours influence 60% to 80% of a customer’s purchasing decision. So it makes it worthwhile to give it some thought, right?
MY BRAND COLOURS
My brand colours have warmer tones, so my clients feel they are in safe hands. I’ve been in business for a long time, so a minimalist and modern look doesn’t seem to fit either my business or me as a person.
My colours are bold, just like me and the way I do business. I also have pink, which I believe expresses my desire to take care of my client’s best interests and reflects me as a helpful and feminine person. I also want my traditional tastes and aspects such as quality and craftsmanship to be evident in my style.
Let’s take a closer look at the psychological significance of some colours so you can evoke the right emotions in your brand and that your colours send the right message to your audience.
WHAT DO COLOURS MEAN?
A popular and classic colour option for brands, it’s classic and sophisticated and makes a brand identity stand out. It works well with luxury products and is a colour that combines with others to create a stronger emotion without losing the classical appeal.
It’s associated with prestige, value, timelessness, sophistication and power. Depending on how you use the colour, ensure it stands out with enough air around it (also called white space) and is supported by other elements to work best.
Evoking a passionate and visceral response, this colour increases your heart rate, makes you breath faster, and is generally associated with energy, excitement, and passion. It’s attention-grabbing, and while it can also be provocative and excitable, it’s sure to catch the eye.
Therefore, use it strategically. Also, bear in mind that many perceive red as the colour of anger and frustration, which are two emotions that you might want to avoid!
Royalty, intrigue, and spirituality are the three most common meanings for this striking colour. Purple tends to be used with higher-end products due to its association with elegance. Also linked with spirituality, it can bring a magical element to your branding.
However, due to its vibrancy, you need to be careful you use the right shade not to cheapen the brand.
Probably the most popular colour choice for top brands, blue is thought to put people at ease, as it reminds them of the sky and ocean, peace and calm. It triggers a sense of tranquillity and serenity. It’s also associated with trust, security, and confidence.
In some cases, blue can even signify loyalty, reliability, and authority. However, some may view this colour as being cold and depressing. So, be sure to select a shade that features warmer tones if you want to stay upbeat.
Green is a colour synonymous with calmness, safety, and freshness. Its various shades can create a unique brand identity for your company. Tending to be associated with health and the feelings of peace and serenity, it also symbolises vitality, life, and personal growth.
However, the tricky thing about green is that every shade can hold an entirely different meaning. For instance, a deep hunter green can signify wealth. In contrast, lime green can make one feel more energetic and more environmentally caring.
This is a popular colour choice for brands wanting to evoke feelings of happiness and energy, with its association with the sun bringing out hope and optimism. It also signifies intelligence and mental focus.
Standing out among other colours, yellow as a colour for brand identity is creative and appealing – but make sure you don’t overuse yellow as it may overwhelm and distract from the key takeaways.
This is an ideal colour choice for brands wanting to blend the optimism and brightness of yellow with the passion and energy of red. Orange is a creative and cheerful colour that evokes a friendly, energetic and adventurous feeling.
Thanks to citrus fruits, it also symbolises health and rejuvenation. However, it’s not an easy colour to pull off, so ensure the subject matter is aligned with its youthful and casual connotation.
Representing earthly simplicity, it’s commonly used to reflect stability and strength and often associated with nature, simplicity, and honesty. It’s comforting in its simplicity and is preferred by brands that want to be classical and trustworthy.
However, it needs to be used carefully at times. It can be associated with dirt, especially if it stands out as the primary brand colour. It doesn’t have a big wow factor, but that’s what makes it so dependable. Many people perceive brown as being grounded and organised. Make sure to use a warmer shade, such as deep chocolate browns, instead of duller hues.
White represents simplicity, purity, and also cleanliness. These three make it extremely popular in the healthcare sector, with cleaning companies, and in child-related businesses.
White can also bring out a feeling of trust as it taps into purity and simplicity.
Often associated with femininity, pink evokes feelings of compassion. It’s also the colour of understanding. Unlike its big sister red, pink is usually more subtle and cheerful.
As a result, it’s ideally suited to convey a sense of openness and friendliness. Darker pink tones signify passion (as it’s closer to red) and energy, while lighter hues are more soothing and tranquil.
So now you know a bit more, it’s up to you to ensure your business gives off the right vibes and triggers the emotions you want your audience to have. The question is.
What do you think your brand says about you? Has anything changed in your mind?