The importance of colour in the design of your brand identity.

As branding and design experts, we know how vital it is to create and maintain the right image.

So surely choosing the colour[s] to include is a simple process?

Maybe, it should be, but here’s why there’s a little more to it than throwing arrows at a colour wheel dart board with a blindfold on!

At the early stages of the design process – whatever the job is – identifying how a company, business or product appears to potential customers is crucial and colour plays an important part of this.

When thinking about brand identity projects, we carefully consider what it needs to achieve, who it should attract, what it should say and how the finished identity needs to make those interacting with it feel.

Colour speaks to people, it delivers an instant impact with the audience and is a crucial element of design communication. However, take it for granted or overlook it at your peril.

When you consider that people more often than not make up their minds on whether to purchase, use or be involved in something within moments of seeing it, it’s vital that people’s imagination is captured.

With this in mind, one of the most important decisions we can make as brand identity design experts is the colours to use.

Real Life Examples

Whether you like it or not you are subconsciously affected every minute of every day – simply by the way things are coloured. You wouldn’t drink green tap water or drive through a red traffic light, now would you?

Shoppers are said to be attracted by the sight of colour first before any other sense – including touch and smell – and this is often a leading reason for buying a certain product. It is also affected by the type of person buying the product – colour choice is strong enough to alter consumer behaviour.

It may come as no surprise that the colour red is believed to represent anger, danger and passion, but why is it widely used in the food industry?

Well, red is believed to increase appetite and is thus is used in fast food outlets and restaurants – so when you see reds or colours from the red family on a menu, you now know the reason.

What about blue then? Well, blue has a very different impact than red. Blue is a calming colour, is refreshing and imaginative. Darker blues can be traditional and formal, whilst navy blue specifically appeals to shoppers on a budget – think of why Ikea and Aldi have blue in their branding.

It can also characterise calmness, dependability, trustworthiness and security – think of how many banks and large corporations use blue. There is method to the madness.

So, What Does This Mean For Me?

When choosing a colour or a comprehensive colour scheme for a branding identity or marketing communications project, we don’t just randomly pick colours on a whim.

Rather we carefully consider colour psychology, our application experience along with your objectives, your target market, your product and / or service, your competitors and what you want to achieve.

In creating your branding, we consider your messaging and the impact and impression you are looking to create and what you want to say about yourself.

Do you want to exude luxury, calm or youth and vibrancy, for example? Colour is amazing – it really can do this.

Think of famous brands and the colours they use and try this quick exercise…

Think of say Coca Cola – what colour comes to mind?  American Express? McDonalds?  Tiffany?  Chances are you already have the colours of each of these brands in mind just by reading their name – subconsciously, it’s already had an effect on you.

So as you look through your existing brand materials, consider the impact and importance of the colours used.

Trust that as brand identity experts with over two decades experience create brand identities with unique colour palettes, we will carefully plan every element of the colour scheme to suit your individual requirements and those of your target market.

Carter Branding Founder Daniel James
Daniel James is the founder and creative lead at Carter Branding.
With over twenty years’ experience, he is equally at home working on branding and design projects for major international PLC’s as he is supporting ambitious businesses and innovative start ups.
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As an award-winning boutique branding  agency, we create brand identities for ambitious organisations.