October 22nd is National Color Day!
Most people cannot imagine a world without color. For many of us, we notice color all around us every day. But, did you know that there’s actually a lot of psychological research that goes into the colors chosen for branding and advertising? It’s true! Businesses choose colors not at random, but in an intentional way.
Although research shows that individuals view colors and their meaning based on many person factors, most basic colors have standard, broad meanings attached to them.
Here’s a quick run through:
Red is very powerful and can evoke strong feelings. Red is often seen as very passionate and energetic. Be careful when using red because it can make the product appear angrier, or in contrast, more romantic than intended.
Orange is very cheerful and friendly. It can also be energetic like red, but it has a much less aggressive energy.
Yellow is also a cheerful color. It represents new ideas and optimism and captivates an audience. However, it can be overwhelming if there is too much yellow used or it is too bright of a shade.
Green typically is used to represent health and nature. This color can also have a calming effect if lighter shades are used. Green also can represent luck, think St. Patrick’s Day.
Blue is very calming and positive. It instills trust and responsibility, making it a very popular color for many businesses.
Purple has been shown to balance the mind and calm fears. Purple is often used to signify royalty, wealth, exclusivity and femininity.
White is very clean and represents purity and innocence in some cases. White can be very enticing and works well with other colors, but too much white space can turn people away.
Brown is a very earthy and can be used to elicit simplicity and stability.
Black is a very serious, clean and sophisticated look for a brand. It can be used to create drama in an ad, think of luxury car or watch advertisements. Too much black, especially in the background, can be harmful as it makes marketing materials difficult to read.
All colors can be manipulated to have different meanings than what is listed, especially depending on the shade used. But, it’s helpful to have some background information before choosing at random for your brand.
It’s also helpful to consider these factors before finalizing your branded color scheme:
Audience- Who is the target audience for your brand? Knowing exactly who your audience is and what they hope to get out of your product or service is a great first step. In order to understand what color(s) would best convey their expected value, you have to really understand your audience.
Culture- If your brand will be advertised outside of your home country, then this step is especially important for you! Perceptions of color meaning can change with race, age, social class, gender and religion.
Consistency- Keeping your color scheme consistent across all platforms helps increase brand awareness in the market. Consistency can also gain the trust and familiarity of customers.
The bottom line is that your brand’s color scheme should not be chosen on a whim of trendiness. Your team should think about what exactly the message is that you want to convey to your audience and what color would best represent that message. Do your research, but choose what feels best for you. If you are looking to create a new brand for your business, we can help you create theme that your team and your customers will love. Learn more about our branding services.