According to research complied by WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgement about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on colour alone. In fact, 80% of people believe colour increases brand recognition.
Now, we all know there’s more to a brand that the logo alone, however, the identity you assign yourself might be the first visual representation that a customer sees and therefore associates with your company.
First impressions count and with certain colours potentially increasing the effectiveness of your branding methods, it’s vital to give some consideration to colour in your branding. The choice of brand colours might have more bearing on your customers’ perception than you think.
Our minds are really responsive to visual stimulation with colour playing a big part of what makes up a visual. We have been programmed to perceived colours in certain ways. Take a look at the array of famous brands below. The golden yellow of McDonalds is synonymous with encouraging an appetite and friendliness and recognised globally.
On a top level, bright and bold colours are attention-grabbing where as muted tones convey a more serious feel. However, society also has a deeper perception on the meanings behind colours which is further explained below:
- Red: passion, energy, danger, aggression, warmth, appetite stimulant
- Orange: innovation, modern thinking, youth, fun, affordability and approachable
- Yellow: sunny, warm, friendly, appetite stimulant
- Green: natural, ethical, growth, freshness
- Blue: professionalism, serious mindedness, integrity, sincerity, calm, authority, success
- Purple: royalty, luxury, wisdom, dignity, wealth, creativity
- Black: power, sophistication
- White: purity, cleanliness, simplicity
- Brown: masculine, rural
- Pink: fun, flirty, feminine
- Multiple: diversity, inclusivity
Just like fashion, colours also go through trends. World-renowned authority on colour, Pantone, released a Colour of the Year with 2016 sited as the year of ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Serenity’, shown below. This the first year the blending of two shades has been used, with Pantone stating this combination challenges traditional perceptions of colour association:
“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has, in turn, impacted colour trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to colour is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using colour as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to colour usage.”
Colour associations are not concrete rules, of course, but they’re worth bearing in mind when considering a new logo design or re-brand of a current company. The overall impact of your logo design will not solely depend on the colours themselves but upon how these interact with the other elements and fonts used.