Color psychology in branding: what different colors say about your business
You know those posts that tell you what your favorite color says about you? It’s not all just a bunch of made-up silliness — there’s psychology behind it. The same concept applies to branding; the colors you choose to represent your business affect the way customers and clients perceive it. We talked about this a bit in our tips for creating a brand logo, but let’s take a deeper dive into color psychology in branding and some examples.
Red: passionate and excited
Red is most often associated with excitement, passion, and anger. It’s energetic and attention-grabbing. The emotions that red brings out are very strong and powerful, so many big corporate brands like Netflix and Coca-Cola use it in their logos. It’s also often seen in health brands like Walgreens and CVS. A lot of fast-food chains feature red, too — some say that the color red makes you hungry (via Insider), but that hasn’t been proven.
Orange: playful and energetic
Orange is a middle ground between red and yellow in both the color spectrum and psychology. Like red, it signals energy, but in more of a playful sense — not so urgent. It’s also attention-grabbing in a “keeping you safe” sense, like orange traffic cones or vests. As Branding Compass notes, Home Depot uses orange in its store to call attention to the workers and easily let customers know they can help.
Yellow: happy and friendly
Yellow is often seen as one of the happiest and friendliest colors. It often signals positivity, which is why many companies who strive to portray optimism use it in branding. Cheerios, for example, often evokes a happy feeling with its bright yellow background. Meanwhile, Bumble uses yellow because it’s meant to be a friendly space for people to meet others.
Green: natural, tranquil, or wealthy
Green can have a few different meanings in branding. On one hand, it’s often a symbol of nature, tranquility, and an overall fresh feeling. Therefore, agricultural brands like John Deere and USDA often flock to green. Starbucks says it uses green because it’s “fresh and inviting.” On the other hand, green can also symbolize wealth, which is why financial institutions like H&R Block and TD Bank use it.
Blue: loyal and secure
As Adobe’s Marketo Engage notes, blue is the most common branding color, showing up in “33 percent of the top 100 brands.” Blue is often calming, as it’s associated with things like the ocean or a bright blue sky. It also offers a sense of loyalty, trustworthiness, and security. Brands like PayPal and Venmo, whom customers rely on to be secure, use blue in their logos. You’ve probably noticed that many social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn use blue, for all the same reasons.
Indigo: sincere and authoritative
Indigo (or dark blue) isn’t quite as relaxing as light blue, but it does evoke a sense of sincerity. It’s also a bit more authoritative and powerful. Bank of America, for example, might want to signal that they are a reliable authority when it comes to money.
Violet: truthful, royal, and luxurious
Violet (or purple) often portrays elegance, royalty, and luxuriousness. It’s also a bit mysterious. Hallmark, for example, has leaned into the sense of royalty by using crowns in its branding. Purple can also signal creativity and truthfulness, which would make it a good choice for Hallmark’s greeting card products.
Pink: loving and warm
Finally, we have pink, which is often associated with love, romance, and warmth. It’s also cheerful and welcoming, which could be why brands like Lyft and T-Mobile have flocked to pink. Plus, many people associate pink with femininity, making it a perfect choice for female-focused brands like Victoria’s Secret and Barbie.
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