Public Interest

Color Psychology in Branding: How Colors Affect You and Your Brand

by | Oct 18, 2019 | Branding, Creativity

Colors can affect the way your brand is perceived by the customers. Whether you are in the beauty business or medical field, studying color meanings can help you better attract and connect to your ideal customers.


Color psychology can build a strong, relatable image for your brand. If you’re not familiar with color psychology, it is the study of colors and how it affects human behavior. It aims to determine how color affects our day to day decisions including items we want to buy. 


Color meanings can tell us a lot about why we prefer certain colors over others. A person’s gender, values, location and upbringing are among the factors why people place different meanings on the same color.


Why is Color Psychology Important in Marketing?


Having a data-driven branding strategy is essential to showing the world who you are.  Graphics, fonts and colors are all elements to consider in design. Today we are focusing on how choosing the right color for your marketing efforts can make or break your brand. Either it helps your brand stand out from, or blend in with your competition. Choosing colors strategically can get your audience to see your brand exactly how you want it to be perceived. This makes it a crucial factor that should influence your marketing efforts. 


On the other hand, poor color selection can damage your brand’s image. The wrong color for your logo or content can make it less readable and difficult for your audience to understand, or be ignored all at once. 


Marketers can use color psychology to influence how people think and behave towards a brand and also influence the way they interpret information. Color choice can help people decide what’s important. This is exactly why it’s a must for marketers to understand the meaning behind different colors. 

Colors and Their Meanings


The Red Color


The psychology of the color red

Red captures attention. It is associated with passion, excitement, energy, danger, and action. Some brands choose to color their call-to-actions red. Some businesses use red for their packaging so their products stand out from the shelf.

Coca Cola and fast food businesses are known for using the iconic color red. Red tends to encourage appetite. Coca Cola uses it to build excitement. Fast food chains like McDonalds uses red for their iconic fries packaging.


YouTube uses red due to the excitement in watching videos online. They used red in their logo and the play button, which encourage people to want to watch the video.


The Orange Color


The psychology of the color orange

Orange represents creativity, enthusiasm, adventure, and success. It also adds fun to any marketing material. Though it’s an attractive color, it’s not as powerful as red. Still, marketers use orange for website areas or call-to-actions they want to draw attention to.


A famous brand that use the color orange is Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon’s logo accurately represents enthusiasm and creativity. A children’s show would benefit from the playful orange color. 


The Yellow Color


The psychology of the color yellow

Yellow revolves around sunshine. It evokes the feeling of positivity, happiness, optimism, and summer. Yellow can also mean warning and deceit. Some brands use yellow as a background or border for their website’s design.


Ecommerce websites can use the color yellow for your ‘free shipping’ bar at the top of the website if it matches the overall design. A touch of yellow helps give a positive impression to your website visitors.


Ferrari is one of the brands known for using the color yellow. It associates the luxury brand with this feeling of happiness, summer, and carefree lifestyle.


The Pink Color


The psychology of the color pink

Pink is a popular color associated to serve a female audience. Pink revolves around femininity, unconditional love, playfulness, and immaturity. It’s not surprising that beauty brands like that of Victoria’s Secret use this color heavily. 


On their website, Victoria’s Secret used a combination of black and pink to highlight any marketing details. Their logo and certain texts are in pink as well.


Most toy brands for girls, like Barbie, also use pink for their packaging. 


The Green Color


The psychology of the color green

Green is highly connected to money and nature. It’s also associated with growth, fertility, generosity and health. On the negative side, green can be a sign of envy.


Fitness businesses can benefit in adding more green in their online store. Brands like John Deere are known to use the color green in their brand. Their products revolve around nature, which are mostly used for landscaping, lawn care, agriculture and more. Green is deeply ingrained into their brand and products. Even their line of equipment is colored the same shade as their logo.


The Blue Color


The psychology of the color blue

Blue is closely tied to the sky and the sea. It injects the feeling of peace, calm, harmony, and trust. Blue may also carry negative portrayals such as depression and a sense of coldness.


Use this color for your logo and on your website’s top navigation. Some retailers use blue to highlight guarantee, trust certification or free shipping icons to strengthen the trust aspect, which is what blue is known for.


Famous brands that use blue are Twitter, Skype, Facebook.


The Purple Color


The psychology of the color purple

Known as the royal color, purple is associated with luxury, nobility, power, wisdom and spirituality. However, using too much purple can also inject feelings of frustration or arrogance. You can add this color to your logo, free shipping bar, and as an accent color in your graphics.


Yahoo is famous for using purple as well as Hallmark.


The White Color


The psychology of the color white

White is often associated with innocence, cleanliness, goodness, and humility. While this is what white means in American culture, this color has a different meaning in other parts of the world. Negative connotations associated with white are sterility and cold.


White is greatly used by most brands. Ecommerce websites use white as a background for their products. Using black font against a white background is a great combination for readability.


The Black Color


The psychology of the color black

Black is a popular color in retail. Black is symbolic of mystery, elegance, power, and sophistication. It is the most commonly used color font as it is easy to read. Many fashion retailers use black in their logos.


Some brands use black and white images for lifestyle banner images to create consistency on their website. A great example of this is Chanel.They used several black and white images on their websites to maintain a consistent look.


The Color Gray


The psychology of the color gray

Gray represents neutrality and balance. However, it is also linked to depression and loss. For websites, it can be used for font color, headers, graphics, and products to appeal to a mass audience.


A good example of a brand that used gray effectively is Apple. From their products to their website, the color gray is very evident. There is balance between white, black and gray used which can help maintain a clean, neutral look.


The Brown Color


The psychology of the color brown

An earthy color, brown is linked to earth, wood, and stone. The color relates to comfort, security and down-to-earth nature. In marketing, brown is often used for natural products and food. It is also used in logos, banners, and text due to its contrast on a white background.


UPS is a great example of a brand that uses brown effectively on their website. The brown their logo is emphasized in the navigation and drop down menus. They also made use of complementary colors,yellow and green, which all have natural elements to them.


In Conclusion


Learning about color psychology and what each color means can greatly benefit your business in terms of marketing. Consider choosing colors that represent your brand’s story or what you want your customers to feel while interacting with your brand, products, and your website. If you need help branding your business, Public Advertising Agency can help.


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