The Psychology of Color: How to Choose a Brand Color Palette

01-Oct-2019 02:55 PM Graphic Design

While the primary reason behind their purchases of a product is color for 85% consumers, 90% of the snap judgments about purchases are made based on the color of products. And, according to 80% consumers, brand recognition can be improved by choosing the right colors.

Color is one of the biggest factors that influence our emotions and state of mind. Our mind is attracted to different colors and we associate them to different things all the time. The right color sets the right tone for the message you want to convey.

While the right colors can enhance a design, the wrong colors can take away the beauty of it. Marketers and branding experts have recognized the power of color. The color can influence the purchasing decisions of their customers and as a result of this, a lot of research is being done on brand color psychology.

Color is important and plays a very crucial role in the identity of a brand.

Does Color Branding Matter?

Emotions are powerful and play an important role in driving our decision making. A brand must build a strong emotional connection with its customers. However, it is not easy to narrate your entire story through a logo or storefront. But, brand colors provide a shortcut straight to your client’s heart.

Each color elicits different human responses. At the same time, same colors might create similar responses in different people. This psychological connection can happen as a result of various factors.

With mountains of evidence, nobody can ignore the science between the psychological effects of brand colors. So now, it is not a question of whether brand colors work or not but how do I make brand colors work for me?

How to Choose the Right Colors?

It is obvious that there is no such rule that explains which color combination is good for your brand. Every brand is unique and has its own market, competitors, and personality. If you ask two different graphic designers to the same project for your brand, they might come up with two different results where both could fit your brand perfectly.

A mood board can help you here. A mood board is like a collage (or an inspiration board) where you can incorporate images, texts, and samples of objects in a composition. In our case, you can incorporate whatever you have in mind that you like and what you think defines your brand. This mood board will help you illustrate visually the style and personality of your brand.

You may start extracting colors once the mood board is done. Then you can build a color board by using the extracted colors. Some colors might not work together, but you may use any online tools to quickly build color schemes based on color structure. Analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound, and shades are the color structures.


Meaning of Different Brand Colors

As mentioned earlier, each color provokes different human responses. Let’s dive into the hard facts of color psychology. This brief summary of brand color meaning will explain the effect of different brand colors on people:

Red – reflects passion, excitement, and anger. It signifies importance and commands attention.

Green – stands for stability, prosperity, growth, and connection to nature

Purple – signifies luxury, royalty, and creativity

White – evokes cleanliness, virtue, health or simplicity

Orange – reflects playfulness, vitality, and friendliness; it invigorates and evokes energy

Light blue – stands for tranquility, trust, and openness; it signifies innocence too.

Pink – signifies youth and innocence

Gray – evokes a subdued, classic, serious, mysterious or mature look; it also stands for neutrality

Yellow – reflects happiness, youth, and optimism;  it may also indicate attention-seeking or affordable

Dark blue – stands for professionalism, security, and formality; it reflects maturity and trustworthiness

Brown – signifies a rugged, earthy, old-fashioned look/mood

Black – evokes a powerful, sophisticated, edgy, luxurious, and modern feeling

Keep in mind that this is a shortened version and our connection to color goes deeper than this. The effects of your branding color depend on many things – the style and design they are used in and the color combinations you choose.

How to Choose the Right Brand Color Palette

Now that we have discussed color branding and the meaning of each color, it is time to think about how to choose the right color palette for your brand. Since every business is different from each other and possesses a uniqueness, there is no one right way to pick the brand color theme for all brands in general. The process of dealing with abstracts like brand identity and brand coloring can be daunting and confusing. But a little guidance can be helpful.

1. Know Your Focus

You should have a clear idea about what your brand’s goals are and how you want your target audience to feel. This will help you come up with the most impressive colors to choose for your brand.

2. Think Psychologically

Understanding color psychology can help you reflect the feelings you want to evoke from your customers. The color meanings added above will help you think psychologically regarding your brand color.

3. Experiment More

Experiments sometimes can result in disaster, true. But, experiments result in some of the greatest successes too. Make sure you experiment with at least five options so that you ensure you find a color palette that is most relevant to your brand.

4. Research

It is always advised to have a thorough research on the logos, websites, and color schemes of other brands in your industry. You should also research and study your customers and marketplace. It will help you decide if you want to compete or stand out.

Finally…

Just as we mentioned before, there are no clear-cut rules for choosing your brand colors. You may treat this article as a guideline or an educational resource to help you make proper decisions. But above all, follow your instincts and don’t neglect your guts. Colors are strongly associated with human emotions. So, follow your emotions while choosing your brand color.

Verbinden Communication has designed websites and logos for clients worldwide, drawing on the most appropriate colors to translate the business goals. For any assistance regarding brand coloring, feel free to contact us.