Colours & their meanings in Business Branding

colour & their meanings in business branding colour splash

How important is colour for your business brand?

Just like choosing the correct typeface/font for your business so colour is even more important.

And when it comes to creative design especially for social media, we know that colour attracts attention.

Brands are forever evolving and so with it would their colours & typeface evolve along as well.

Colour is something that follows us wherever we go. So should your colour (brand) follow you for one branded social media design to the next. Quite rightly so, from one social media platform to the next.

Colour Psychology

Did you know that colour psychology goes back thousands of years to the Egyptians? They studied colour’s effect on mood and used colour to accomplish holistic benefits.

Colours go in and out of style, exactly the same with certain design trends. Have you noticed these changes? In the 1970s, earth tones were popular, then gave way in the 80s to turquoise and mauve. Later still saw the appearance of pinks and blue-greys.

Colour meaning and the psychology of colours can impact our behaviour and decision-making. We tend to make subconscious judgments about a person, environment, or product within a few seconds or minutes. Colour plays HUGELY into this initial impression.

This is not lost on brand managers and advertisers. They know certain colours, tints, hues, and shades evoke emotions and will move people to action. This effect is both subtle and powerful.

And when you’re having visual content created for you, it’s perhaps wise to consider the psychology colour has on your ideal audience.

Let’s take a look at some colours and their respective perceptions.

Red

Attention-getting, warmth, power, passion, action

Red raises blood pressure and induces hunger. I doubt Mc Donald’s want to raise blood pressure but look at how well the colour red is doing for their brand. It might not have been the same ridiculously big chain it is today without using the colour so effectively.

Red also adds warmth to your environment, so your office is perceived to be slightly warmer if accented with a red wall!

Red is all about emotions and passion.

Yellow & Orange

Joyful, curiosity, happiness, warmth.

Did you know that yellow can make babies cry? I kid you not! Perhaps when planning your nursery, steer clear of yellow. Or maybe keep the creative accents to a minimum.

Orange can be associated with warning/danger as well. But look at this … at the same time, that discomfort can be used to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers.

Green

Healing, tranquillity, environmental, fresh.

Starbucks is a major global brand that uses green quite effectively. It shows that they hope to promote a sense of relaxation in its cafes, inviting customers to come in for a coffee break during a stressful day.

Blue

Calming, confidence, dignity, loyalty, trustworthy.

Blue is popular with men and therefore it is no surprise that male political figures would often be seen with a blue tie when they are entering into negotiations or sensitive talks. It’s just as popular in medical companies for its authoritative appeal and ability to evoke success and security.

When asked what colour people generally prefer their offices – blue is picked. It is the colour of intelligence, communication, and trust. It is also the colour most associated with communication in colour schemes.

Purple

Expensive, nobility, regal, sophisticated, and spiritual.

It is also seen frequently promoting beauty and anti-ageing products. Please don’t think that it’s just the rich vibrant purple I’m referring to here. Look at the pleasing variations of the colour, such as lilac, violet, or fuchsia.

As the colour is associated with royalty and wisdom, it should come as no surprise that the Hallmark logo is depicted with a crown. (And just think of all the wisdom contained in the sayings in its greeting cards!)

Black

Distinctive, serious, and authority.

Black is technically not a colour it’s more a hue.

It is associated with authority, power, stability, confidence, and strength. Often a symbol of intelligence, it can become overwhelming if used too frequently. Black is tricky to use in marketing & visual content design, but some have done it successfully.

Grey

Practicality, old age, and solidarity

Too much grey can lead to feelings of nothingness and depression, however. Gray can be uninspiring if it is used too often.

Lexus has used grey quite successfully in their marketing. It suggests high-end, luxury, elegance balanced with stability. It also represents the maturity of those who have achieved in life.

White

Peace, purity, cleanliness.

White shouldn’t be underestimated. It can be used to project an absence of colour or neutrality.

Lego’s brand spells out the company name in white on a red background. This represents the fun and excitement children have in playing with a product that provides infinite opportunities for building and creating anything the mind can imagine.

Gold

Elegant and prestigious.

It adds an element of power purple can’t match.

In combination with purple or green, gold is a powerful colour that symbolizes wealth and pedigree.

Pink

Feminine, innocent, and gentle.

Pink is often used to add female appeal and represents innocence and delicateness.

A fun fact – some sport teams paint their opposition’s locker room pink as it is believed to be draining them of energy. Most notably Iowa’s football team did just this back in 1979.

The fact that pink often has a calm and passive effect on people played a huge role in the coach’s decision to have the locker room painted pink.

Brown

Natural and earthy, rough, and utility.

Brown is used to represent construction and depth. It is also a relaxing colour.

How to Use Colours in Business

Now that you are more educated on colour psychology and colour meanings, how do you go about using colours effectively in your business for marketing and advertising?

Remember colour reflect the personality of your brand. And while your brand is more than just your logo and your company name, colour plays a huge part of it.

Which colours best represent your brand image?

In colour theory, red is the colour of power.

Pink is ideal for reaching the female demographic but usually is not ideal if you want to be gender neutral.

Green is warm, inviting, and denotes health, environmental-friendliness, and goodwill. (It’s also the colour of money, so it creates thoughts of wealth.)

Purple is the colour of royalty and adds a touch of elegance and prestige.

Orange is energy.

Brown is relaxing.

Gold is opulent.

White is peaceful.

Blue is productive.

Gray is practical.

Black is authoritative.

And so on and so forth!

How many colours to pick!?

I would suggest picking two colours (not including black or dark grey, which you might use for type).

Picking more than two colours may leave your audience confused if you switch between too many colours. Your designer will be able to help you out in this aspect.

This idea is especially important when considering the design your logo. Think about the colour scheme of major brands. Ikea, Amazon and DHL limit their logos to two colours and built their entire colour brand around them.

Conclusion

With all this information at hand, now is the time to go and see what that colour wheel looks like and possibly get yourself started down this rabbit hole of colour!

If you’re new to design and want to start using Canva as your platform for design, you can sign up here and use the Pro features (the same I use for my designs) for 30 days absolutely free of charge.

If you want to go ahead and try your hand at design and need some guidance, you can download my free guide to the perfect social media design here. If you need a little more help, I can assist you using Zoom – which we’ll record so you can keep referring back to our session. This link here will get us connected for an hour to walk you through your challenges.

Otherwise, simply drop me a mail and let’s get you going with all of your social media visual content!!

Enjoy picking your colours!

Stephanie

ps: The Canva link is an affiliate link. While you do not pay anything extra for the Pro feature, I do earn a small commission when you sign up using the link I provided.

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