Posts Tagged ‘color’
Starting your own small business is very exciting, but with so many factors to consider it can be overwhelming. Business branding might be an afterthought, however your choice of color scheme for branding and logo design is one decision that should not be overlooked or hurriedly decided.
It might be tempting to pick a pretty combination of colors for your business and think no more about it, but without even realizing it color psychology has a big effect on the way brands are perceived. Therefore it is important to pick appropriate colors to suit the nature of your business.
A color’s powerful subconscious effect gives us an invaluable tool in marketing, which can be used to strengthen your business. Luckily, there are generally a number of colors you can choose from to convey your message so that it isn’t necessary to pick one that you don’t like or respond to personally.
Choosing the right color
No matter how great your service or product, if your color scheme is poorly chosen your potential customers might be put off. The 60%-30%-10% rule is a good ratio if you use three colors and a study has show that most top brands use blue, at 33%. Blue is seen as trustworthy and serene, reflecting nature like the sky and sea.
Most companies choose the color appropriate for the industry they’re in. When you think of red and yellow McDonald’s is of course the first restaurant that you think of, but combinations of red and yellow are also used for fellow fast food brands KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut.
This is for various reasons; yellow is the easiest color to see in sunlight as well as being the happiest color. Red, yellow and orange all also trigger hunger and induce excitement. Fast food restaurants want to be easy to spot, with customers eating a lot and quickly. Therefore a combination of these colors makes perfect sense.
Blue, black and purple all suppress appetite, perhaps because we associate these colors with food that is rotten and inedible. Therefore these colors are rarely used for food products, and don’t work as well as warm colors for restaurant decor.
Green is seen as healthy and fresh, so is often used for organic, eco-friendly and health products. Blue is popular for cleaning products as it is seen as a ‘clean’ color. Purple is powerful and a color of royalty, so is a popular choice for luxury brands. Black is powerful and sleek, so also used to market luxury products such as cars.
Exceptions to the rule
Most brands are successful when they follow conventions for their brand’s color, however bucking the trend can also be very effective. This isn’t to say go for the ‘wrong’ color deliberately, but use a color that conveys the message that your competitors haven’t thought to use.
Garnier Fructis is a good example of this. Amongst the sea of blue and white competitors its bright green colour stands out. This isn’t to say it’s inappropriate however; green is a fresh and healthy color, perfect for a shampoo; it is merely that when they launched the majority of the brand’s competitors were using the most obvious colors to represent the product. This shows that while it is important to bear in mind the message each of your chosen colors conveys, it isn’t always necessary to follow the crowd. You can think of ways to use alternative colors to represent your new business.
Emily Bradbury is writing on behalf of Superdream, a digital marketing agency based in the West Midlands. They offer a full range of services including SEO, graphic design, copywriting and PR.
Our memories and mental associations can drastically alter how we feel about a particular color. Some hues have an intense power to recall sounds, smells, textures, and other sensations. These sensations can cause feelings of intimidation, comfort, happiness, nostalgia, and just about anything else. Often, these associations lead individuals to choose favorite and least favorite colors and/or combinations. Common color preferences and interpretations have led to the following affects of colors on people and their moods.
Red is the color of expression and stimulation. It’s exciting, dramatic, and emotional. Red has the power to warm and stimulate the body and mind, and creates a lot of energy. Red has been known to raise blood pressure, make breathing more rapid, and enhance brain activity. Red is widely considered to be the boldest color choice as it demands visual attention. Passion, fire and romance are all linked to red. It’s the color of the ego and life. Depending on its placement and the environment in which it is present, red can feel youthful, impulsive and intense or grounding and secure.
Rage, confrontation, blood, aggression and ferocity are also associated with red. Appetites are sparked by this color, so it can be a good choice for a dining space or reception. Red also affects motor skills and concentration levels, so it can be a good decor choice for a dance hall or an event at which you’d like to keep guests up, active, and mingling. Historically, red is a color associated with kings and other forms of royalty, and can be combined with certain other colors to create an elegant, formal, and opulent effect.
Orange represents warmth, nature, richness, and excitement. Orange is associated with decision-making, realism, and optimism. Orange is related to the circulatory and nervous system. It is a warm color that generates upbeat group gatherings and is one of the most fun and invigorating colors of all.
Orange has a tendency to make people feel hurried or rushed, so it may be a poor choice as the primary color for an event at which you’d like guests to feel at ease and stay for a while, such as a wedding reception. However, it can be used as an accent color in order to leverage its upbeat effect without causing feelings of restlessness.
Yellow is a happy, joyful color and is commonly associated with the positive feelings of a bright, sunny day. Yellow is associated with hope, energy, and positivity. Yellow has the power to dispel the gloom of winter weather or the dreary darkness of rainy days. Yellow slightly raises the pulse rate and blood pressure, but not nearly to same extent as red.
Yellow helps people feel more open, and encourages conversation and mingling. These traits make it a popular choice for parties and dinners so conversation lasts the whole event. Yellow can be one of the most fatiguing colors for the eye to see, especially brighter versions such as lemon yellow and neon. For this reason, it’s often used as an accent color rather than a primary color, or at events with a younger crowd so as to avoid as much eye strain as possible.
Green has strong associations with growth, spring, nature, and renewal. It fosters feelings of balance, nurturing, support, and is also associated with freshness, beginnings, and peace. Green is a fresh, vital, lively, youthful, and renewing color overall. It has also long been the color primarily associated with healing and health, hence its popular uses in hospitals. While green is often used when speaking of envy, it’s not actually associated with such a feeling within color psychology.
Green can cause or amplify inspiration, feelings of fulfillment, and happiness. It can be use within a space to calm personal anxieties, encourage openness, and promote active listening and great conversation. Green is the easiest colors for the eye to see, so it’s a good choice for an event at which guests will be for a long period of time – such as a conference, banquet, or other reception.
Blue represents wisdom, trust and loyalty. It encourages guests to recall the tranquility of water and intense depth of the ocean. Blue is often associated with spirituality and religion. People tend to feel that blue is clean, crisp, and airy – making it a good choice for a smaller space as it will make it feel larger. Blue is the color of relaxation and is widely known for its dreamy, soothing presence when used in an interior space. It lowers the heart rate, pulse rate, and breathing rate, so it can make people feel cooler. This is great for a hot, summer day but may feel too cold at a winter event.
Lighter blues can be soothing, calming, and airy whereas darker, more saturated blues can create feelings of intensity, depth, and strength. Depending on the event you’re decorating and the intended goal, you may wish to use a light, less saturated blue or a dark and full bodied blue.
Violet, often referred to as “purple”, is commonly associated with wealth, royalty, dignity, luxury, sophistication, magic, and imagination. Lighter shades of purple can easily create a feeling of whimsical mysticism, where as darker, moody purples can create a dramatic and warm environment. Violet tends to be a color favored mainly by artists and more creative types, but also caters to those looking to achieve a regal and luxurious setting. It has a place in nearly any event’s color scheme, from showers and birthday parties to weddings and product launches. Violet can become overwhelming in large doses, but rich and luxurious when used in moderation.
White can be viewed as crisp, clean and cool or as sterile, cold and distant. It can incite feelings of freshness and energy, but can also make people feel closed-off, less talkative, and even anxious. White’s most popular association is likely with snow, leading it to feeling cool – particularly when paired with blue, grey or purple. Pairing white with green, yellow, or orange will give a warmer, brighter effect. In many cultures, white is associated with goodness, faith and purity – hence its choice as the most common wedding dress color.
Black is most famously known as the color of death, mourning, oblivion, and mystery. It is also known to be a solid, grounding, and stabilizing color, and has become very popular in recent decades within events’ color schemes. In large amounts, black can feel heavy and oppressive. As an accent or in moderation, however, black can lend a feeling of formality, sophistication, and class. Black easily creates a sense of drama and interest, making it a popular choice for evening events, masquerades, and other romantic yet intriguing environments.