Color says a lot about your brand. Choosing a color scheme that will appeal to your audience is one of the most exciting aspects of launching or redesigning a brand.
Today, color psychology is a growing area of research that examines how various colors influence human behavior. Researchers have made many interesting finds, such as “which colors are shared most often on Facebook”, “which color results in the most money spent in eBay auctions”, or “which football jersey color results in the most penalty points”.
If you’re looking for insight on branding decisions, here are seven of the most popular colors that can affect audience perception and opinions.
Red is associated with love, passion, as well as strength and power. It is one of the most popular and influential colors that can quickly grab your attention. That makes red an excellent choice for motivating your audience when it comes to urgent and bold actions. This particular research came to a fascinating conclusion that eBay auction competitors spent more money when the webpage background was red.
It supports the idea that red drives excitement, passion, and calls to action. But be cautious. If your brand is calm and soothing, overusing red can be too overwhelming and counterproductive.
Companies that use red in their branding include YouTube, Netflix, Target, Mitsubishi, CocaCola, Virgin, Lego, UBS, Red Cross, and Harvard.
Green is another color that’s gaining popularity in branding (no wonder, the world is trying to go green). The color green has many positive connotations, including prosperity (it’s the color of dollar bills!), health, and harmony. And, of course, green benefits from its connection to nature, symbolizing growth, freshness, and fertility. This makes it a clear winner for brands tied closely to nature. Green is also often associated with healing and calming powers.
Companies that use green in their branding include Land Rover, Starbucks, John Deere, TD Bank, Green Giant, Lush, The Body Shop, Air Lingus, Fidelity, and Whole Foods.
Like sunshine, yellow cheers people up whenever they see it.
With an obvious connection to the sun — it is generally a warming and cheerful color. People link yellow with summer and happiness. It is an obvious choice for brands that want to be associated with a fresh start, positivity, and optimism.
Companies that use yellow in their branding include IKEA, Caterpillar, Pennzoil, Hertz, Shell, Ferrari, Sprint, Post-it, and National Geographic.
Blue is another primary color used by many brands worldwide, and there’s a reason for that.
The color blue has strong associations with traits like stability, authenticity, and peace. Customers find blue to be a calming color, and brands utilize this color to showcase their trustworthiness. By reminding us about deep blue seas and skies, blue acts as a great “relaxator”. According to a recent study conducted by G.F. Smith and The World’s Favorite Color Project — dark blue is the most relaxing color in the world.
Blue can be a safe and smart choice for your brand, but make sure you’re using it for the right reasons. It might be harder to stand out from the crowd.
Companies that use blue in their branding include Pfizer, Ford, JetBlue, Citi, AXA, GE, GM, Intel, Maytag, Walmart, KLM, Pillsbury, Nokia, and IBM.
For a long time in history, purple has been the color of royalty. It’s still associated with nobility, power, and luxury. People often think of purple as a magical and mysterious color. This is how purple received other prominent features — dignity and wisdom. If you’re building a rich, iconic brand, and plan to engage with an ambitious audience, then this color is a smart choice.
Companies that use purple in their branding include New York University, Welch’s, Stop & Shop, Cadbury, Hallmark, FedEx, Asprey of London, Thai Airways, and Los Angeles Lakers.
White is associated with new beginnings, cleanliness, and purity. In many cultures around the world, white also symbolizes “goodness” and innocence.
Although some people find white too pristine and boring, in recent years, realtors have been recommending home sellers to paint their real estate white.
White can be a perfect neutral color for brands looking to highlight their products or services digitally — most modern websites have white backgrounds.
But be careful with white designs in Asian cultures, where this color is considered a “mourning” color.
Companies that use white in their branding include Tesla, Facebook, Skype, Intel, Channel, Volkswagen, Virgin, WWF, TheNorthFace, CocaCola, and KFC.
Black is a color with mixed associations. It has some negative connotations for being the “darkest”, but it’s also associated with power and elegance. Black is all about prestige and strength.
Black can be an ideal choice for luxury brands, but be aware of its “mystic” powers. A study showed that football players with black uniforms received more penalties, so this color “can” cause adverse reactions.
Companies that use black in their branding include Sony, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Loreal, Uber, Yamaha, HBO, and TheNewYorkTimes.
Choose your brand colors wisely
You might not think that color is crucial when it comes to successful business, but it is — according to some studies, 90% of subconscious judgments about your product or company are made on color alone.
When choosing a color palette for your brand, it’s important to remember that it can greatly affect the perception and actions of your audience.
Develop a strategy for using color as a powerful branding tool. If you want to know how to identify your brand’s true color — here’s an article that might come in handy.
And if you want to know the best colors to use on the most popular social media platforms, check out this guide.
To learn more about colors, check out VistaCreate’s Colors project. On the pages of this comprehensive project, our seasoned experts in the field of design discuss different colors, the meaning behind them, and how they work together.