Why your brand’s colors matter

By: Carson Elm-Picard

As cliche it might sound, first impressions are important. 

The first time a prospective customer lays eyes on your logo, advertisement, website or social media can determine whether or not they visit your business. Every detail of your visual branding must effectively communicate your message. 

One aspect of visual branding often undervalued by those starting a business is the set of colors  associated with the brand.

Put your message first

Before you choose your brand’s color scheme, you need to know your message. 

  • Who’s the intended audience? 
  • Do you want your branding to communicate a message of calmness and tranquility, or do you want to invoke energy and youthfulness? 

Once you decide on the general message and emotion you want to communicate, you’re ready to choose a color.

Color theory is a psychological field based on the link between colors and the feelings they evoke. Not everyone reacts to colors the same, but certain colors are associated with the same emotions across cultures. 

Colors and their meanings

Here are some common colors and the general emotion associated with them.

  • Red: Passion, Excitement, Anger, Importance, Attention.
  • Orange: Playfulness, Vitality, Friendliness.
  • Yellow: Happiness, Youth and Optimism, Affordable.
  • Green: Stability, Prosperity, Growth, Nature.
  • Light Blue: Tranquility, Trust, Openness.
  • Dark Blue: Professionalism, Security, and Formality.
  • Purple: Royalty, Creativity, Luxury.
  • White: Cleanliness, Virtue, Health, Simplicity.
  • Black: Sophisticated, Edgy, Luxurious, Modern 

Number of Colors

Choosing one color for your brand is always an option, but having at least three allows you to experiment. This allows you to have variety in the content that you make and keeps customers from getting overwhelmed. 

Your colors will include a base, an accent, and a neutral. 

  • The base color is the most important. This is the color that should represent your brand and its message. The other colors will be based around it. 
  • The accent color will be the second most-used after the base. An accent color must complement the base and assist in creating a message. 
  • Your neutral color will be more in the background. Some examples of good neutral colors are hues of gray, beige, white, or off-white. Black is also an option, but it tends to dominate when paired with lighter colors. 

Break the Rules

While colors do have common associations, this doesn’t mean you have to follow them exactly. The intent behind your color decisions is more important than the colors themselves, so you could theoretically use any color for your branding and be successful. 

If you put enough thought into your brand, you can make an association between your message and whichever color you prefer. In the end, the most important aspect of choosing a color is the emotional impact. Think: how is the customer going to feel when they view this piece of branding?

Whether you are making a logo, designing a poster or creating a website, an established color palette helps your business communicate authority. Associating a color with your image will make customers think of your brand whenever they encounter that color, so if you’re successful, it could become free advertising. 

1893 Brand Studio can assist your company in all your branding needs. We have designers, copywriters and strategists ready to make your business the best it can be.