What’s your favourite colour?

Everyone has one, and most of us choose our favourite colour when children, and have never considered changing it.

That’s because we very quickly assign emotional meaning to colours, even when we think about static words such as ‘calm’ or ‘peaceful’. Anyone thinking of blue?

Colour psychology is a powerful force and you need to bear it in mind when it comes to creating or re-designing your logo. It’s built into our very DNA, and that means you can utilise it to tap into the unconscious minds of your target audience. This starts the brand dialogue with them before they have read a single word of your website, brochure, or Twitter.

Getting this headstart is critical in a highly visual world, and your competitors are likely already taking advantage of this. So where should you get started?

Firstly, by considering which countries globally you are going to operate in over the next ten years. Yes, it’s time to brush off that ten-year plan and see what you could be doing around the world, because your colour choices could have international repercussions.

For example, red is a very positive colour in China, denoting luck, joy, and happiness. But in other cultures, such as some countries in Africa, red is associated with death – and in Nigeria, it suggests aggression.

Next, you need to look at the values of your brand. It’s all very well choosing a colour that you hope suits your brand, but it needs to be authentic and ring true for your intended audience. If it doesn’t match your team’s experience in the business, that inauthenticity is going to jar.

Last but by no means least, consider the widely accepted colour psychologies of the colours, and decide where your brand best fits:

Yellow: Optimism, warmth, clarity

These brands often prioritise customer service, access to information, and food.

Example logos: Best Buy, McDonalds, Sunway, IMBd

Orange: Friendly, cheerful, confidence

These brands are more likely to be operating in the educational or entertainment space.

Example logos: Fanta, Blogger, Nickelodeon

Red: Excitement, youth, brashness

With a sense of play, these brands are usually highly focused on their own brand and are happy to out-brand their competitors.

Example logos: Lego, Virgin, CNN, Coca-Cola

Blue: Trust, calm, strength, dependable

This colour is chosen for brands that need to be relied on by their customers and are typically service or health based.

Example logos: Dell, hp, WordPress, Oral-B

Green: Peaceful, growth, health, calm

Not just gardening centres, these brands focus on experience services and positive customer service.

Example logos: Holiday Inn, bp, Land Rover

Grey/Silver: Balance, neutral, intellect

Beloved by technology brands, this colour balance is often used by brands who wish to remain neutral politically.

Example logos: Apple, Wikipedia, Honda

There may be a few colours that speak to you as a founder or C-suite, and there is no reason that you cannot choose more than one – but the most successful brands out there have firmly picked one to centre their graphic branding within.

Which seems right for you?

Disagree with me? Email Claire now!