top of page
  • Writer's pictureannette steiner

Branding with color, why it isn’t a black and white decision.

Updated: May 24, 2022


Choosing the right colors for your brand image is a matter of psychology. Have you ever wondered why most fast food uses reds and yellows as their main colors? Maybe not but your brain made a psychologically connection. The color red has been shown to stimulate appetite which is why fast food uses reds and yellows.

You have heard the saying that in business “image is everything”.

That includes your color palette and picking the wrong colors ca hurt if not destroy the perception of your brand.


Here is a quick reveal of what color means to a brand.

The Psychology of the Color Red

From Target to Netflix, Red strikes a chord with the psyche. Positive associations:

  • Power

  • Passion

  • Energy

  • Fearlessness

  • Strength

  • Excitement

Negative associations:

  • Anger

  • Danger

  • Warning

  • Defiance

  • Aggression

  • Pain

The Psychology of the Color Orange From Home Depot to Nickelodeon, orange stimulates the eye, conjuring up feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, and fun.

Positive associations:

  • Courage

  • Confidence

  • Warmth

  • Innovation

  • Friendliness

  • Energy

Negative associations:

  • Deprivation

  • Frustration

  • Frivolity

  • Immaturity

  • Ignorance

  • Sluggishness


The Psychology of the Color Yellow From McDonalds to Post-It, yellow is a considered to be a cheerful color, but used too widely it can conger up feelings of anger and anxiety.


Positive associations:

  • Optimism

  • Warmth

  • Happiness

  • Creativity

  • Intellect

  • Extraversion

Negative associations:

  • Irrationality

  • Fear

  • Caution

  • Anxiety

  • Frustration

  • Cowardice


The Psychology of the Color Green

From Starbucks to the Girl Scouts green is seen as pleasing and calming.

Positive associations:

  • Health

  • Hope

  • Freshness

  • Nature

  • Growth

  • Prosperity

Negative associations:

  • Boredom

  • Stagnation

  • Envy

  • Blandness

  • Enervation

  • Sickness


The Psychology of the Color Turquoise

From Pampers to Siemens turquoise is often found in brands centered on communication, including education and computer technology.

Positive associations:

  • Communication

  • Clarity

  • Calmness

  • Inspiration

  • Self-expression

  • Healing

Negative associations:

  • Boastfulness

  • Secrecy

  • Unreliability

  • Reticence

  • Fence-sitting

  • Aloofness


The Psychology of the Color Blue

From Intel to Ford blue it is one of the most trusted colors of corporate logos because it evokes calming, clarity and communication. It is a color we find all around us from the sky above to the oceans and lakes.


Positive associations:

  • Trust

  • Loyalty

  • Dependability

  • Logic

  • Serenity

  • Security

Negative associations:

  • Coldness

  • Aloofness

  • Emotionless

  • Unfriendliness

  • Uncaring

  • Unappetizing


The Psychology of the Color Purple

From Yahoo to Hallmark purple is the color of royalty, wealth, luxury, and sophistication.

Positive associations:

  • Wisdom

  • Luxury

  • Wealth

  • Spirituality

  • Imaginative

  • Sophistication

Negative associations:

  • Introversion

  • Decadence

  • Suppression

  • Inferiority

  • Extravagance

  • Moodiness


The Psychology of the Color Magenta

From T-Mobil to Barbie pink is brings support, kindness, compassion and is associated with feelings of self-respect.


Positive associations:

  • Imaginative

  • Passion

  • Transformation

  • Creative

  • Innovation

  • Balance

Negative associations:

  • Outrageousness

  • Nonconformity

  • Flippancy

  • Impulsiveness

  • Eccentricity

  • Ephemeralness


The Psychology of the Color Brown

From UPS to M&Ms Brown is the color of reliability. Brown is the color of the dirt beneath our feet it keeps us grounded.

Positive associations:

  • Seriousness

  • Warmth

  • Earthiness

  • Reliability

  • Support

  • Authenticity

Negative associations:

  • Humorlessness

  • Heaviness

  • Lack of sophistication

  • Sadness

  • Dirtiness

  • Conservativeness


The Psychology of the Color Black From Apple to Sony black is the total absorption of all color. Black is a symbol of power. It is a barrier color: it absorbs energy and enshrouds the personality.

Positive associations:

  • Sophistication

  • Security

  • Power

  • Elegance

  • Authority

  • Substance

Negative associations:

  • Oppression

  • Coldness

  • Menace

  • Heaviness

  • Evil

  • Mourning


The Psychology of the Color Gray From Mercedes-Benz to Wikipedia pure gray is the one color that’s been shown to have no dominant psychological characteristic but can be used as sophistication in luxury brands. Positive associations:

  • Timelessness

  • Neutrality

  • Reliability

  • Balance

  • Intelligence

  • Strength

Negative associations:

  • Lack of confidence

  • Dampness

  • Depression

  • Hibernation

  • Lack of energy

  • Blandness


The Psychology of the Color White

From Chanel to NIKE the color white embodies all color and is the reflection and absence symbolizing innocence and purity. It implies a blank slate.


Positive associations:

  • Cleanness

  • Clarity

  • Purity

  • Simplicity

  • Sophistication

  • Freshness

Negative associations:

  • Sterility

  • Coldness

  • Unfriendliness

  • Elitism

  • Isolation

  • Emptiness


Your brand’s visual identity strongly influences how the world perceives your company. Color is one of the most essential components of your visual identity.


Choose a color that is authentic to your brand, embodies your brand personality, appeals to your audience, and differentiates your company from the competition is one of the best ways to create a powerful and meaningful visual identity.


Which color is right for your brand?

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

コメント


bottom of page