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The Role of Color Psychology in Brand Design

Choosing a strategic color palette is one of the most vital aspects of designing your brand. Appearances are the first thing consumers notice about your product, with color at the forefront. Colors tell a story, evoke a feeling and develop a brand personality. Capturing a brand’s essence through color psychology is one of the most exciting, and crucial, parts of the design process.

Why the psychology of color matters


Consumers need to trust the brand they’re buying a product or service from, with brand recognition being the first step in fostering that relationship. A color palette increases brand recognition by up to 80% and directly impacts consumer confidence. Recognizing the visual aspects of a brand allows them to know what to expect; it evokes emotion.


A color palette speaks to more than just emotion––it plays on cultural association and demographics. Colors can dictate which consumers you’re primarily targeting.


You have to think about what colors appeal to your audience. What will they relate to the most? Does your color palette need to inspire passion or functionality? These are all things to consider when designing your palette.


Breaking down their meaning


Nonetheless, our emotions are not objectively fixed for each color. Culture, context, and experiences all affect what people feel.


Did you know that red boasts the longest wavelength on the color spectrum and the most attention-grabbing color we can see? Red is one of the most stimulating colors, invoking urgency, boldness, and passion. Negative perceptions include anger, pain, and rejection. Imagine stop signs, clearance sales, and even Coca-Cola.


In contrast, green invokes feelings of relaxation, cleanliness, and health. It can also inspire envy or sickness. Green is also the color people tend to trust the most––going back to a primitive level, it assured us that we were in a bountiful environment, promoting a level of ease.


Yellow can suggest happiness, youth, and optimism. Iconic brands that use this bright color include McDonalds and BestBuy. On the other hand, it can provoke feelings of anxiety and caution, so it's important to make sure it makes sense and presents the right way in the context of your brand.


Orange is a fun, vibrant color that elicits warmth, excitement, and confidence. It can be a great tool to market to children, such as the network Nickelodeon, but can also be used in situations that require caution or high visibility.


We often see blue used by banks or social media platforms, associating the color with security, communication, and trust. However, it can also communicate gloominess or coldness.


Lastly, we have purple. A charming, luxurious, and creative color that is commonly used by brands that aim to exude imagination. However, purple is often associated with femininity, which can heavily influence the targeted demographic when designing your brand.



Eliminate the guesswork


Choosing your brand colors is an important step in designing your dream brand. Personal favorites can easily influence what colors you naturally sway towards, but these colors may not be the most optimal for relating to your target audience. Remember that your color palette will be a foundational piece of your brand, and make decisions based on what will best resonate with your target market.


Need more direction in identifying your target market and brand direction? Download our our brand direction workbook!


Cheers to building your brand!


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