28 Sep Color Theory for Brands
Color Theory for Brands
In our previous article, we showed the Importance of Colors. Now it’s time to show the meaning behind some of those colors. It’s necessary to fully grasp what each color represents and understand how they affect a brand’s images.
If branding isn’t your specialty, it could prove to be difficult to understand what colors to choose or when to acknowledge that it’s time to change. Of course hiring a professional agency such as Blue Helium Concepts ensures that your brand is heading in the right direction.
Jump to your favorite color:
Faber Birren, a 20th-century color researcher and author of Color Psychology And Color Therapy, discovered that bright light colors promoted ``big muscle`` activity as well as slowed the passage of time, while softer and deeper colors promoted mental and visual activities while speeding up the passage of time.
As we already know, color is an essential tool because it has an impact on how we think and behave. Color directs our eye where to look, what to do, and how to interpret something. It puts content into context. It can help us decide what’s important and what’s not.
While color psychology has been studied and analyzed over time, the psychological impact of color is still moderately subjective.
We don’t all react the same way to colors, as we all have previous experiences with colors from significant events, cultures, people, and memories. However, there are a few generalities about how people respond to color, and that’s what we’re going to look at.
The Psychology of Red
Overall, if you’re looking to have a really powerful presence or get someone’s attention fast, red is your go-to color. Just remember to use it sparingly to avoid the extreme negative reactions it can so easily awaken.
Red is a very powerful, dynamic color that reflects our physical needs whether to show affection and love, or to portray terror, fear, and survival. Red is also a very energizing color that can portray friendliness and strength, but can also be demanding and show aggression depending on its context.
Psychology of Orange
Overall, orange is great for bringing comfort in tough times, and creating a sense of fun or freedom in your visuals.
Orange has a very interesting psychological meaning as it combines red’s power and energy with yellow’s friendliness and fun. The mix makes orange a good representation of physical comfort in our warmth, food, and shelter.
Orange is also known to be a color of motivation, lends a positive attitude, and general enthusiasm for life.
Psychology of Yellow
Did you know yellow is the first color infants respond to?
Yellow is the epitome of joy, happiness, cheerfulness, optimism—you name it. Anything happy is almost always yellow. The wavelength of yellow is particularly long, making it have one of the most powerful psychological meanings, while also being the easiest color to visibly see.
Whenever you need to lift someone’s spirits, increase their confidence, or provide inspiration, use yellow. However, avoid using yellow too much because it’s also known to make us more critical causing self esteem issues, fear, or anxiety. Find the right balance of yellow to motivate rather than bring others down.
Psychology of Green
Overall, if you’re looking to portray health, rest, and to relieve stress, green is your color. While green does have minor negative aspects like over-possession and materialism, it has a more positive affect than most other colors.
Green is a color of balance and harmony. It lends us a clearer sense of right from wrong since green incorporates a balance of both the logical and emotional. Green is one of the most-seen colors in nature reflecting life, rest, and peace. It is also a sign of growth, whether that’s in a physical object like plants or in our income and wealth.
Psychology of Blue
Overall, blue is a well-liked color that can bring a sense of calmness and trust when building relationships, especially in marketing.
Blue is known for its trust and dependability. It’s reliable, responsible, and mentally soothing. For that reason alone, it’s one of the most-liked colors across the entire world.
Unlike red, blue lends a more mental reaction rather than physical that allows us to destress, calm down, and think of the most ideal situation. Unfortunately, it also is one of the last colors to be seen, and can be perceived as distant, cold, or unfriendly if used it great amounts.
Psychology of Purple
When using purple, avoid using it too often as it can also cause too much introspection or distraction as thoughts begin to wonder.
Purple is most commonly known for its imagination and spirituality. It possesses the energy and power of red, with the stability and reliability of blue, making it a perfect balance between the physical and spiritual. Purple is often used to show luxury, loyalty, courage, mystery, and magic.
Psychology of Pink
If too much pink is used, it can be very draining, show a lack of power, and even immature. Overall, pink can be a great counter-option to the color red when used appropriately.
Pink is a sign of hope. Pink is a softer, less intense version of red that creates a sense of compassion and unconditional love. While it’s a very physical color, it soothes rather than stimulates, making it a perfect color for caring, understanding, and nurturing those in need.
Psychology of Brown
Brown can be very serious, down to earth color you can use where black might be too intense. The downfall to brown is that it’s the most safe color and can seem reserved, scheduled, and boring. Overall, use it when necessary, but don’t depend on it too heavily.
Brown, while maybe not the most visual stimulating color, is a great sign of structure, security, and protection. Whether it’s family, friends, and material possessions, brown offers constant support.
Psychology of Gold
Similar to colors like brown and black, try to use gold more sparingly to highlight rather than be the main attraction.
Gold has quite a few different meanings depending on your culture. Across the world, though, gold consistently represents some variation of charm, confidence, luxury, and treasure. It also can have an element of friendliness, abundance, and prosperity that is naturally attractive. Too much gold, however, can seem egotistical, proud, and self-righteous.
Psychology of Black
Black is a great color for high contrast and easy legibility. Unfortunately, since its a very powerful color, too much black can cause sadness and overall negativity so use it sparingly and in your text more so than the visuals itself.
Black is a color of sophistication, seriousness, control, and independence. Although, it can also be used to show evil, mystery, depression, and even death. Black is a very reserved color that completely lacks any light as its an absence of all the colors. It likes to stay hidden, in control, and separate from others.
Psychology of White
White is a great color for simplicity, cleanliness, and idea creation; however, avoid using too much white as it can cause isolation, loneliness, and emptiness.
White is color that is complete and pure, making it a perfect example of purity, innocence, cleanliness, and peace. White can also represent new beginnings, providing a blank slate, and gives refreshment for new ideas. Since white has an equal balance of all the colors, it can exemplify several meanings, with equality outweighing them all.
Colors and Cultures
Color also means different things in different cultures. According to researcher Joe Hallock“Eskimos use 17 words for white as applied to different snow conditions, where in the Northwest United States there are only 4 or 5.”
Every culture understands a color differently. It has a role to play in religion, politics, ceremony, and art. The culture your audience is in affects how they understand deeper meanings of color. Even the context you use the color in affects the meaning of color. For example, in India, red means purity, while in the U.S. it denotes passion and specific holidays.
A professional branding agency will help you soar with flying colors. Blue Helium Concepts, a full-service advertising agency in Central Florida that specializes in delivering a strong, unified visual and verbal presence through branding and messaging. Your branding goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 321.300.6658 or [email protected]