The Colors Behind Brands

Posted June 26, 2017 by

Everyone remembers the hierarchy in a kindergarten classroom. The most admired classmates were always the ones with the largest selection of Crayola crayons stashed in their pencil pouches. Those with the standard eight-pack remained forever in awe of the “cool kids” with their epic 50-pack, including multiple rows of colors where every shade of the color wheel imaginable was present. In the coveted 50 box, there was a color for every emotion and every situation. How can a Brand tap into the vast array color to better utilize them as an accent to their overall branding strategy?

Human perception is greatly affected by colors. While in kindergarten it may have been the basis for a rudimentary social structure, according to a study called “Impact of Color Marketing,” 90% of initial consumer judgments about a Brand are made from color alone. Color perception has become one of the most important issues related to branding.

The color chosen for a Brand’s logo is crucial because it is the key visual representation of the Company, product, or service and has a strong initial impact on how consumers perceive it. Brands meticulously select certain colors and combination because of the emotions they evoke. Red for example, is a potent, high-energy color that evokes power and necessity. Brands like Target, Frito Lay, and Coca-Cola use red to create a sense of urgency for its consumers. Orange is a color associated with playfulness, adventure, and enthusiasm. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that companies like Nickelodeon, Harley Davidson, and Fanta – all of which encourage consumers to take action – use orange as one of their primary colors. While the color pink holds a feminine association in companies like Victoria’s Secret and Barbie, it can also be recognized as a color aligned with warmth and sweets when joined with other colors, such as Dunkin’ Donuts and SweetFrog.

Whole Foods Market, or “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” is known for its fair-trade, locally sourced, high-quality products with a more expensive price tag. The green logo evokes nature, wealth, freshness, growth, and the environment. Not just any green, the earthy shade induces a natural and healthy quality that many of their all-natural, elite consumers crave.  Green is generally associated with many other eco-friendly and outdoor stores that are harmonious with the Whole Foods’ target consumer.

In meccas for advertisement and consumer messaging like Times Square in New York City, Brands use color to vie for consumer’s attention and the result can be overwhelming.  The world famous commercial intersection is full of colorful logos that all strive to evoke a specific reaction or emotion to catch consumers’ attention from all over the world. While there are no clear guidelines when choosing the color for a brand, but it is without a doubt a key element for any brand identity, especially when trying to differentiate from competitors. Various colors can evoke distinct emotions, so choose wisely.


Branding | Logo Design | Visual Branding

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