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The colours associated with your brand is one of the first things that will be visually noticed by your customers and will go a long way in forming a positive or negative impression of your brand.

A brand’s colour can be intrinsically linked to the business’s identity and contributes to brand recognition while communicating the desired image. Consumers are hit with hundreds of visual cues daily and therefore become fatigued to observe everything they see carefully. However, your brand’s colours can send them an unconscious message on what they’re being sold and by whom. Successful brands use their logo colour to position their business to be more appealing to their desired customers. You might have noticed every time you’re at a retail store, the colour used on the packaging plays a significant part in selecting a particular product from the set of options available.

When studying the colours used by the major brands of the world, we can see a clear pattern. 75% of credit card logos are blue, which is a colour that symbolizes trust and stability. Red, a colour representing excitement and passion, is used by 60% of Retail brands. When you study the branding of Fortune 500 companies, you’ll observe that Blue is the most popular choice. Blue is widely used by Tech, Finance, Insurance and Healthcare companies as it is a colour which represents trust and intelligence. Red is the 2nd most popular colour.

Supporters of theories on colour psychology believe that colour, when used correctly, can help trigger particular behaviours in customers. Marketers should be mindful of the context and the intended audience when picking colours, as how each colour is perceived can vary amongst different niches. How colours are perceived can vary based on factors such as culture, gender, age and geography. While some colours are bold and catch your attention immediately, others are more subtle and gentle on your eyes. The bright yellow arches of McDonald’s is an example of how colour is used to grab customers’ attention and make it more inviting for them to visit the fast food outlet.

Below is a diagram which shows the preferred colours by different industries

The colour chart comprises of primary colours, secondary colours and tertiary colours. Let’s explore each of them.

Primary Colours

What separates primary colours from other colours on the colour chart, is they can’t be created by mixing 2 or more colours

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow 

Secondary Colours

A secondary colour is achieved by mixing 2 primary colours

  • Orange
  • Green
  • Violet

Tertiary Colours

Tertiary colours are combinations of primary colours and secondary colours

  • Brown
  • Olive
  • Slate
  • Rose
  • Azure
  • Chartreuse
  • Spring Green

Different colours on the colour spectrum mean different things, and understanding what each colours mean would be a good starting point for those who will use colour in their branding and marketing.

The following chart contains some of the positive and negative connotations of the major colours that designers use. Whether a colour is perceived positively or negatively can depend on the shade of that colour used as well as its relevance to the brand.

ColourPositive ConnotationsNegative ConnotationsBrands
YellowFriendliness, Optimism, Self-Esteem, ConfidenceSickness, Fear, Depression, CowardiceSubway, Snapchat, Lays, Maggi, Flipkart
BlueIntelligence, Infinite, Trust, Serenity, CalmSadness, Cold, DepressionHP, Facebook, OralB, Nivea, SAP, Ford
RedExcitement, Power, Security, Speed, CourageDanger, Aggression, Pain, DefianceCoca Cola, McDonald’s, KFC
OrangeWarmth, Comfort, PlayfulnessDespair, Discomfort, Sense of being lostJBL, Mastercard, Dunkin’ Donuts, Fanta
GreenNature, Fresh, Restorative, Eco-friendly, PeacefulBlandness, Boredom, Sickness, GreedWhole Foods, Spotify, Heineken, Land Rover, Starbucks
VioletRoyalty, Creativity, Spiritual, HealingSuppression, Moodiness, IntroversionFedEx, Cadbury, Monster.com, Avid
PinkComfort, Happiness, Warmth, Love, SexualityEmotionally overwhelming, Emasculating, Physically drainingBaskin Robbins, Instagram, Airbnb, LG
WhitePurity, Cleanliness, Simplicity, ClarityEmptiness, Isolation, Sterility, ElitismApple, Gucci, Nike, Mini, Burberry
BlackElegance, Wealth, Sophistication, GlamourFear, Evil, Oppression, MourningAdidas, Prada, Sony, Loreal, Louis Vuitton
BrownEarthiness, Seriousness, ReliabilityDirtiness, Heaviness, Lack of SophisticationHershey’s, UPS, J.P.Morgan, M & Ms
Gold, Silver, BronzeGlamour, Elegance, Sophistication, LegacyLack of design sense, CheapnessToblerone, Lindt, Mercedes Benz, Lexus

Here is a diagram from Canva which shows the colours used by some of the big brands in the world

If you’re a brand looking for assistance in creating a brand guideline, including picking the right colour schemes for your business, do mail us at sales@ladderglobal.com or book a free consultation with our Creative Director.

Resources

https://www.canva.com/logos/color-psychology-the-logo-color-tricks-used-by-top-companies/

You can get diagrams on this by visiting above website

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