The Psychology of Colour

Credits: Sharon McCutcheon

We are one of the few animals blessed with a full view of colours. We are able to invoke and feel emotions by virtue of colours. Colour has been an integral part of our cultures, especially in India. Every colour has a significance- national, religious, celebratory, or even in mourning.

Colours are an important part of a brand’s identity. It becomes the first-ever interaction of a brand with a consumer. It becomes your perceived identity before you as a brand try to communicate. Also, it’s the first thing you recall when you speak or think about a brand.

Meticulous efforts and planning go into deciding upon the colours to choose in the making of a brand’s logo. It is what you want to be resonated with your brand. Marketers and brand managers usually go through a colour wheel before narrowing down on their colour of choice.

INSIGHTS for this article were taken from Brand Color Psychology: The Power of Color in Branding, by Brian Lischer

The Martian Colour Wheel
Picture Credit: Pinterest

Colours are a cumulative reflection of your brand’s personality. It is essential to pick your brand colour that suits your brand well and will be perceived accordingly by your audience.

RED: Coca Cola
Credits: Logo & Taglines

RED: Red is the colour of love, passion, romance and even danger. One of the most impactful colours on the colour red features across several brand logos and country flags. Being an impactful colour it associates easily with both positive and negative connotations.

Credits: Nice PNG

ORANGE: Orange stands for creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and fun. It stands for excitement, enthusiasm, sportiness, and even immaturity. One of the most attention-seeking colours, its vast usage is observed in the brands that want to stand out as ‘unconventional’ or ‘changemakers’. It is strongly associated with citrus, freshness, and Halloween & fall for Americans.

YELLOW: McDonald’s
Credits: Canva

YELLOW: Yellow is not a regularly used colour, as it may come across as overly bright and not pleasing to the eye. But if used well, as in the case of McDonald’s it creates instant brand recall. Only a dew would disagree that McDonald’s golden arches had become synonymous with the colour yellow. Yellow stands for friendship, naivety, joy, happiness, frustration, anger and alertness.

GREEN: Spotify
Credits: 1000logos

GREEN: Green is the easiest colour to register for the eye. It is a mix of yellow and blue which is easiest for the retina to catch and discern from a distance. It stands for prosperity, freshness, veganism, vegetarianism, eco-friendliness and envy. Best associated with healthcare and environment.

BLUE: Oral B

BLUE: Blue is one of the most widely used colours across logos and flags throughout the world. Blue stands for trust, reliability, serenity, calmness and tranquillity. Blue also can mean coldness and sadness. Best used with banks, financial institutions, and hospitals.

PURPLE: Cadbury
Credits: Foundr

PURPLE: Purple signifies royalty, bravery, and wisdom. It is one of the rarest colours to obtain since ancient times. The only way to obtain this colour was from a Lebanese Sea snail-a luxury only the royals could afford. (Source: Nas Daily) This is why purple does not feature on any national flag.
However, these days it is easy to procure and
use the colour and most used to signify sophistication and luxury.

PINK: Cosmopolitan
Credits: Logos-World

PINK: It is the colour of luxury, imagination, love, beauty, and feminity. It also stands for good health, like the phrase, ‘In the pink of health…’
Pink is majorly used in lifestyle brands, luxury magazines, cosmetics, and female beauty products. Though this colour has positive associations, can even come across as childish/girlish sometimes.

BROWN: Hershey’s
Credits: Freelogovectors

BROWN: It is a warm, brown hue with a softer tone. Brown is reflective of seriousness, dependability, nature, earthiness, and utilitarianism. A mixture of yellow, red, and black it is the perfect colour for brands for footwear, work wear, and sometimes used for eatables like Hershey’s (image to the right)

BLACK: Adidas
Credits: 1000logos

BLACK: Black is a timeless colour that essentially is an absence of any colour. Black lends dimension, effortless style and sophistication to a brand’s logo. It is an impactful colour that absorbs heat and also personality. Mostly used in technology and sports brands.

Credits: Looka

WHITE: White is a combination of all colours. It symbolizes peace, cleanliness, purity, and piety. Must be effective in conveying class, simplicity, and chic style. Ineffective usage can make it come across as sterile, cold, and lonely.

Logos are a visual image of the brand’s personality. The right choice of colours and design can help a brand place itself aptly in the eyes of its customers. They can be easily recognizable and associated with, which works effectively in the interest of the brands. Logos are powerful, and purposeful for brands. Therefore, it is essential for brands to make the right choice of logos.

Author: Digital Onca

Digital Onca is a blog that documents the concepts of Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Digital Onca is the effort to stay with the times, understand more deeply, more closely the working of a digital space that is steadfastly emerging around us.

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