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How to Choose Your Brand Color Scheme

December 7, 2018 In Design,Inspiration

When you think of a warm summer day, which colors first come to mind? What about a hike through the forest, or swimming in the ocean? We associate colors with nearly every feeling and experience we have without fully realizing it. Brands like Coca-Cola, Nickelodeon and Tiffany & Co. have been incredibly successful at tying their products directly to a brand color and feeling. Can you even picture a Coke bottle without automatically seeing the color red?

Choosing a strong brand color scheme is one of the best ways to make a lasting impact on your audience. Nearly 93 percent of people say color is the number one influencing factor in their purchase decisions, according to New York Times bestselling author and Forbes Top 10 Marketer Neil Patel. Read on to find out exactly how colors can increase your brand awareness and change the way people perceive your business.

Color Psychology

Over time, our human brains have evolved to associate certain colors with certain emotions based on our collective experiences and cultures. While every person’s perception of each color will not be exactly the same, there are general guidelines you can consult when considering your potential brand colors.

  • Red is often associated with passion, power and attention.
  • Yellow is connected to optimism, warmth and warning.
  • Blue communicates security, peace and responsibility.
  • Orange is linked to feelings of friendliness, confidence and fun.
  • Green is associated with reliability, growth and health.
  • Purple is commonly connected with creativity, luxury and wisdom.

Our perception and judgments go beyond just the base color, though. The tone, tint or shade you select for your brand colors communicate a message to your consumers as well. A darker shade can add mystery, intensity and masculinity to the color, while a lighter tint feels softer and gives a more peaceful energy to your brand.

The personality and values of the people who make up your ideal audience will also have a large influence on the color palette you select for your brand. A brand targeting young women may not choose the same brand color as a business targeting middle-aged men, because different demographics have different preferences. Blue is a favorite of both men and women, and younger people tend to prefer brighter colors while older audiences like soft, cool tones. Using colors your particular audience are receptive to can quickly grab their attention and make a lasting first impression.

How Does That Help My Brand?

We’re glad you asked. Now that you know how color affects the brain, you can use them to create a brand that will send your desired message to your audience. When making your decision, consider your customer’s personality, your business industry and the kind of action you want your brand to inspire.

Consider the overall industry you operate in and what brand tone will be appropriate. Finance and security brands like ADT, Brinks and Chase Bank use blue to promote security and competence. In fact, one-third of the overall top 100 brands use the color blue in their logo, according to a study from The Logo Factory design studio. On the other hand, brands in the entertainment and food industries, including Nickelodeon, Fanta and Reese’s, use orange to promote fun and adventure.

When choosing your brand colors, consider the colors’ connotations for your industry and what makes sense. If you were to start a gym or athletic apparel store in the fitness industry, you might consider using green in your branding because it communicates trust and health. If you were a high-end bakery hoping to promote a luxurious image, you might choose a shade of purple instead. Decide what your company’s most important values are and let them shine through with your color scheme.