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How To Choose The Right Color For A Brand

I think everyone who are reading this article has already been through a situation like this: branding a company and/or creating a logo design. But how have you chosen the color palette for that company? Have you picked the right one? Well, doesn’t matter! What you should know is that there is a way of choosing the right color for a brand so you guarantee the company’s success in terms of visual and design aspects.

And why is that? Because color is one of the first things our brain processes when we look at an image. CCIColor proved that people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds and about 62% to 90% of the perception is based on color alone. That’s why choosing the right color for a brand is essential for recognition, credibility and to stand out on the market among competitors.

The color you choose will establish the way the company is noticed. For example, luxury brands usually pick silver, gold, black and white colors for a sophisticated image. And restaurants like Pizza Hut and Burger King abuse of red color as a stimulation to hunger. The Loyola University in Maryland showed that 80% of brands are more recognized because of their colors and the way they evoke emotions. 

That is the reason why we have to look for color meanings when we are deciding the branding pallette. Each color evoke different emotions and we want to stimulate the right feelings on customers. But colors doesn’t always have the same meaning. A strong yellow, for example, may bother a 60-year-old woman and send energy to a teenage girl.

Determining the right color for your brand

So your first step is to get to know by a deep briefing of your client's target audience: age, gender, profession, hobbies and color preferences. Then, gather material on the field and market the company is in. Get to know what are the usual colors in products, packaging and the competitor’s colors in logos and branding.

You also need to understand the context of the company. For example: you would buy green glasses or nail polish, but I doubt you would have a car or a computer with the same color. Different contexts have different color influences. It’s not just about like and dislike, it’s also about habit. Some colors are better adapted to some areas than others. You don’t need to be attached to that, just keep that in mind to make a conscious decision.


Understanding brand objectives

So after this huge briefing research, you also need to understand the company itself. What is the brand about? What is its objective and values?  The branding is most effective when consumers believe that the brand’s color correspond to the concept of the company, according to a study called The Interactive Effects of Color.  So if we are working for a organic food store, it makes more sense to use green or brown than a cheddar orange.

Now that you have all the information you need to start working on the logo or branding palette, you could check out Cymbolism to help you out with color meanings. I also have this infographics I did myself and use a lot when deciding colors.


Image source: OnlineLogoMaker

Guide yourself through the tips above to define your color palette. Always taking into consideration the personality of your brand, as earlier spoken. What are the qualities in the DNA of this company? Innovation,  sustainability,  quality,  security? The answer will reflect in the color choice.

Then, inside the range of colors defined by the company's characteristics, try as many options as you feel like. For example, if the main attribute of the company is happiness, you could use orange (vibrant, intense colors). But where? Try on the background, inside the image, on the text and save all your options. Later on you can analyse each one and exclude the bad ones based on your aesthetic sense.

And if you are thinking global, do a research to check if the chosen color has the same meaning in different countries with different cultures. Just to give you an idea in America white means peace and purity, while in some regions in Asia white is the color of death. But don’t worry, for that matter Google is always there for us. However for the color choice, we rely on research, data and great briefings to guarantee the brand success.

How do you feel about colors? Does it have a significant impact on your brand? What do your customers feel about the colors on your logo? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Thank you for reading!


Luanna Hedler

Do you find this article useful & inspiring? It's written by Luanna Hedler

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