While a certain color won’t make or break your brand, it may help to initiate a certain impression at the very first time a potential customer comes into contact with your product or service. The basis of color psychology stems from our pre-conceived notions, emotional responses and historical associations. For example, if you see a red circle you think stop. If you see a green circle, you think go. This is all thanks to our association of color with traffic lights. You may also notice that many brands in an industry use similar colors in their logo or branding. For example, many social media networks utilize the color blue in their platforms.
The following relationships between color and brand characteristics are generalized, though you should consider how the color connotation may affect the impression of your brand.
White most often represents simplicity, purity and cleanliness. It can also have an angelic or faith-based connotation as it sometimes represents perfection. A clean, modern look can be achieved using white and other neutral colors.
Logo example: Apple
Black often gives the opposite reaction. While it historically represented death, mystery and fear, its modern day branding connotations often suggest luxury, sophistication and authority. While white can be uplifting and light, black is often heavy, formal and prestigious.
Logo example: Nike, New York Times
As another neutral color, brown is a harmless, welcoming color that sits somewhere in the middle of the neural range. Its hue generally promotes dependability and warmth.
Logo example: UPS, Hershey’s
Red is one of the most attention-grabbing colors in the spectrum. It is seen as powerful, passionate and urgent. Not only does it appeal to the psychological side of our brains, but its physiological features can raise heart rates, blood pressure and sometimes signal danger.
Logo example: Target, Coca-Cola
Orange is a mix of red and yellow, both literally and psychologically. It combines the energy of red hues and the cheerfulness of yellow to create a feeling of enthusiasm and adventure. Brands using this color are seen as playful, affordable, energetic.
Logo example: Nickelodeon, Hooters
Yellow is often associated with happiness and joy. Because of its association with the sun, it portrays a feeling of warmth and energy. Similarly to red, yellow grabs attention, which is why highlights are most often yellow. Brands with yellow elements are seen as fun, friendly, and optimistic.
Logo example: McDonalds, IKEA
Green, both symbolically and literally, is tied to nature and environmental issues. Like Mother Nature, it is nourishing and calming. It can also be associated with money. Brands who use green branding are perceived as youthful, growing and sincere.
Logo example: Whole Foods, Girl Scouts of America
Blue is one of the most widely liked colors, therefore it’s one of the most popular colors used in branding. It is calming and inoffensive. Brands who use the color blue are seen as caring, stable and trustworthy.
Logo example: American Express, Ford
Purple is most often associated with royalty. Because of this, it is associated with wealth and extravagance, yet it also portrays magic and creativity. Luxurious and rich brands use it to portray noble power.
Logo example: Hallmark, Vosges Chocolate
Due to gender roles in the Western world, pink is often seen as girly and feminine. Therefore, it is often used to denote gender in children’s toys. Outside of gender specific products, pink can be seen as optimistic, playful and delicate.
Logo example: Barbie, Cosmopolitan
How do we interpret this color psychology into our own Clementine Creative brand? Orange is enthusiastic, just as Clementine Creative is energetically creative and passionate. Our teal color, a mix of blue and green, promotes our sincerity and trustworthiness. The color turquoise (close in hue to Clementine’s teal) promotes clarity of the mind, representing our focus on taking the burden of your business to put you at ease.
Do you agree with the color meanings above? Tweet us your best color-logo associations at @cca_creates!
Sources: Color Psychology