9 January 2020
Think of all the popular brands that you know of that you have been buying from for years. Now close your eyes, and visualize the colours that you associate with each of those brands. That is the power of colour branding. In today's world, visual stimulation is a major focus for consumers, therefore your first impression on them will probably be your visual appeal. A 2007 study showed that correct colour use could increase brand recognition by up to 80%. Colour is the first thing to register in the human brain before typography or any other images. This makes it a key component to help your brand stand out and appeal to your customer base.
Colours on a website, logo design, or physical extension of your brand (such as business cards, brochures, storefronts, etc.) can be non-verbal forms of communicating to customers. Website text should be dark and clearly visible, easy for customers to read without straining their eyes. The colours you choose for your brand should make sense and complement each other. Different colours can be associated with different moods and emotions, so tap into that as you design the face of your business and what message you want to portray. Another thing to keep in mind is that brighter shades are generally more energetic, while darker shades tend to give off a more relaxed feeling.
The most popular tool for designers when choosing colours is the colour wheel. The colour wheel organizes colour hues in a circle and shows the relationships between primary colours, secondary colours, and tertiary colours. For a sure way to successful branding with colour, here are 5 different basic colour palettes that are used in the business world, and really help brands to stand out - because not all colours are created equal in the branding world!
This palette uses different shades of one specific colour. It makes it easier to stack your different components and by using lighter shades of the colour for the background and darker shades for the text, it really helps to make the words "pop" off the page.
This palette uses colours that are directly opposite to one another on the colour wheel. The idea is a kind of "opposites attract" colour love story. One is a more cold colour and the other is warm, this effect helps the colours bring out the best in each other.
This palette features colours that are directly next to each other on the colour wheel. The colours usually share a ''warmness" or "coolness" and go together very well.
This palette features colours that are equally distant from each on the colour wheel. This palette can be the trickiest to work with because without careful use the look can become very "busy". The trick is to choose one main colour and let the other two act as accent colours.
This palette features mostly neutral colours as the backdrop with one colour standing out. The pop of colour is great for attracting the consumer's attention to what you really want them to focus on.
Think of the companies that stand out to you based on certain colours. Youtube's red and white, Facebook's famous for its blue, and apple with its sleek black and white. Some company's colours are so vital to their brand that they have even gone as far as trademarking the colours that are associated with their products such as Tiffany's "Robin's egg blue" and UPS's "Pullman Brown". Standing out in a world filled with brand colours isn't easy, but with the right research and expertise, you can find colours that help your brand drip with visual appeal.
Content in your branding should be clear and legible to the viewer. Avoid using colours that are difficult to see or that make objects indistinguishable from their backgrounds. For example, red appears more brilliant against a black backdrop, while somewhat more dull against a white one. Colour hues and saturations can also cause noticeable differences in colour perception. Colours should complement each other and be appealing to the eye. Colour harmony engages the viewer and gives off a sense of balance and order.
One important factor to think about when choosing colours for your brand is "Does this colour match what I'm trying to sell"? Before just looking for colours that complement each other, ask yourself if the colours you are choosing fit the personality of what you are trying to portray. Who is the audience you are trying to reach? Different demographics may lean towards certain colours rather than others. For example, studies show that women on average are more attracted to the colour purple, while men on average prefer the colour blue. If you are a company who's main demographic is women, you might choose purple to appeal to your customer base. Sometimes there are multiple traits you want to portray but there is usually one dominant one, try focusing on that.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that many consumers may be colourblind and unable to focus on certain colour combinations. Typically highly contrasting colours can help people with colour blindness differentiate the difference between two colours. Symbols and icons included in your content may be very helpful in sending visual messages without relying on colour. Another trick is to add texture to your images to help with differentiation as well.
Colour, when used correctly can be a powerful branding tool. The goal is to invoke emotion and recognition for your brand, which will keep you in the mind of the consumer even after they've clicked away from your page, or walked past your storefront. Choose colours that help you to feel confident and positive when presenting your brand to the world!
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