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Brand colour psychology

The power of colour in branding and the importance of removing bias and subjectivity when it comes to your colour palette and intended audience.

Although established brands use colour to elicit recognition, there is more to brand colour psychology than a company's signature colour. The use of different colours inspire powerful feelings and emotions in us that help to communicate values and intentions. Brand colour psychology, therefore is the study of how colour impacts the way we perceive a brand.

Colour psychology is a powerful tool when reviewing and updating your visual identity or embarking on a rebrand, understanding how to utilise this tool can help shape the perceptions that drive potential clients' understanding of who you are and how you wish to be known. Not only can the type of brand or industry be conveyed, specific values can also be communicated. Assigning words that describe the values and personality of your brand can have a direct correlation to how the branding should be represented visually through colour, style and aesthetic.

There may be several considerations when selecting your primary brand colour, like choosing a colour that embodies your brand, product or services, choosing a colour that appeals to your audience or choosing a colour that differentiates you in your industry, but the most important consideration is that the colour feels authentic to your brand.

colour psychology vs colour palette

While brand colour psychology helps to evoke certain emotions and feelings in your audience, the seasonal tone of the colours used within a palette determine the type of company you are. For example, a business in the health food industry may decide that green should be their primary colour as it promotes feelings of health, nature and freshness - the type of green, however should then be determined by the values their business represents. If it is important to convey the organic, environmental and earthy nature of the business, the type of green should be selected from an autumnal colour palette using intense and warm shades. If it is important to distinguish the brand as a market leader, with high end and specialist products, the green should be selected from a winter colour palette using purer hues that are strong, clear and cool in tone.

Our brand colour associations chart illustrates the implications of specific colours that have been used by well known brands, this is a good starting point when choosing your primary brand colour, but to create a working palette that speaks to your audience, a more in-depth approach should be explored that considers the brand values and personality which utilises seasonal knowledge of brand colour psychology.

Colour is only one part of brand psychology, the use of thoughtful typography and shape of the logo mark itself make up the sequence of cognition. This refers to the three pillars of a logo and how the mind unifies these visual elements to form a whole, which conveys significantly more meaning than the sum of it's parts.


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