Pass the branding test with flying colours


21st August 2017
So you have a budget for a neat logo and strapline that visually exemplify your business aspirations and philosophy. And of course, we take for granted that you wouldn’t present your company literature with a spelling mistake, wood you? (Oops). So why would you want to compromise on the colour you choose for your branding and messages. What you may not know is that 90 per cent of snap judgements can be solely based on the colour of a product or service. Think about it, would you spend an inheritance on a brand new, shiny Harley Davidson if the logo and branding was pink and green? Might you think twice about the iconic Cadbury’s Dairy Milk if the branding was a bright red? And would you stop at a Shell garage if the yellow/red combo suddenly presented itself as turquoise and black?
Our minds are respond to visual prompts and the first thing a potential customer sees is a logo or brand. Graphic designers learn about the psychology of colour choice early on in their courses. It’s a crucial box that needs to be ticked in understanding a client’s aspirations. Whatever the collateral, brochures, flyers, packaging web design, colour is a crucial element (even if that colour is only black). And it is also really important that that brands are consistent with their colour message as customers do not respond well to change (as Royal Mail found out when they changed their brand to the absurd Consignia).
So to help you get a better understanding of the psychology of brand awareness, here are some colour associations to consider.
White: Cleanliness, simplicity, faith, purity and innocence (iPhone, Dove creams, all white goods (!) and most training shoes).
Black: Luxury, elegance, formality, mystery and power (Chanel, Jaguar, Jack Daniel’s)
Blue: Calm, stable, trust, smart (Facebook, NHS, Nivea)
Red: Excitement passion, action, strength  (Coca Cola, Heinz, Canon)
Green: Soothing, natural, balance, hope (BP, SpecSavers, Asda and even McDonalds who occasionally take a left turn from the yellow/red combo to show people want more fresh produce that they are with them)
Yellow: Joy, optimism, energy, enthusiasm, confidence (Selfridges, McDonalds, AA, Fosters beer (note their usage of blue with yellow)
Orange: Happiness, attraction, friendliness, fun (easyJet, Fanta, Sainsburys)
Pink: Caring, love, emotional, sensitive (London 2012 Olympics, PinkNews, Victoria’s Secret)
Purple: Luxury, creativity, individuality, opulence (Cadbury, Fedex, NatWest)