Choosing The Right Color For Your Brand

Have you ever thought about why most of the fast food logos are red and yellow, or why most of the American banks' logos are blue? Is it a coincidence or do they have a reason behind it? The simple answer is all about the relation between the color theory and the application in brand. There is a color theory which says that there is an effect of color to human perceptions. Every color has its different meaning from one to another and color could be said as the one that people would see for the first time before trying the product itself. Color alone may provoke people how they feel about the brand. Therefore, all those same colors applied are not a coincidence, they know about the color theory and they know how to combine it with their businesses.

First thing first, let’s try to identify each color's meanings that may affect people's perceptions.

  • Red is associated with anger, excitement, love, and energy.
  • Pink stands for feminine, romantic, youth, and innocence. 
  • Orange means playfulness, full of vitality, and fresh.
  • Yellow is for optimism, happiness, and comfort.
  • Green is associated with sustainability or nature friendly, and also aligned with prosperity and growth.
  • Blue is associated with trustworthiness, reliability, professionalism, and tranquility.
  • Purple is about royalty, majesty, spiritual, and mysterious.
  • Brown usually represents the earthy, honest, and old-fashioned sense.
  • Black stands for sophisticated, elegant, firm, and luxury.
  • White means purity and simplicity.
  • Multicolor could represent the spirit of diversity in unity.

From those brief explanations, now you know that choosing colors for your brand matters. You couldn’t just choose color because you like it, but you need to consider how the color you choose represents your brand and how it would influence people’s feelings toward your brand. Further, let’s talk about the steps that you could take to decide which color that may match your brand best.

  • Identify the brand identity

Before choosing color for your brand, make sure that you have defined your brand clearly. In the previous article we’ve talked about the branding guide deeper where you can find it on our website. In short, determine your brand personality first. Essentially, determine what the brand is, what the goal is, and how the brand wants to be engaged with the customers. Always include customers’ perception as a consideration since they are the one who would buy the product or service. For example, is your brand luxurious or affordable? Does your brand want to be known as a serious or playful brand? Is it a modern or classic style? And so on. By answering some of those points you may be easier to determine further branding strategy including to choose the right color for your brand.

  • Look at the competitor brand color

After you’ve decided what your brand personality is, you can continue to the next step. Look at the competitor brand color. To be recognizable, your brand color should be different or at least stand out. However, it’s common if the color happens to be the same, moreover if the product often appears. To solve it, you can take a step by thinking about the other things of your brand. For example, it’s common to find fast food businesses in red color but you want to build a new one with the value of being known as a healthy fast food. Then, you may choose green as an alternative since green is associated with nature and health. The core is finding the value of your brand that can be highlighted. Another option is trying to combine color so that your logo could be separated and look different among the competitors. 

  • Create the brand palette

The further step is creating a color palette for your brand. Even if your logo only consists of one color, it’s still necessary to choose the other colors for at least three colors since it may need more color for the entire promotion such as for website, social media, or any other advertisement. Brand palette is important to keep one to another board connected and look in harmony. Make sure the color combination works together in harmony and make sure to choose them carefully since it would be used in the long term. Once your color brand is known and people have been aware of it, it may need more effort if you want to change it. If you find it hard to decide what color combination would be most suitable, you can use the color scheme generator or the website that serves color palette recommendations.

For more consideration, make a list where your brand color could appear. By using a color palette for all elements in business, it may strengthen the color with the brand and at the same time may strengthen the brand awareness. Here are the possibilities where your color brand could be used:

  • Logo
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Banner
  • Store design
  • Stationery
  • Staff uniforms
  • Event decoration, etc.
  • Create the brand guideline

After all the steps are over and the brand palette has been determined, the last thing should be created is the brand guideline. The brand guideline contains how the brand should appear so that it can create consistency wherever it would be. Maintaining the consistency of your brand to be looked at may make the brand recognizable and remembered, it may build loyalty and trust from the customers. 

The brand guideline not only contain what color palette that should be used, it’s necessary to include the brand overview, the tone of voice (the way how the brand wants to communicate with the customers), the preferred logo usage (position, size, etc), the preferred image styles, typography, and design style as a whole. All of those would be helpful to create the future design, it may be easier to create the design in case you need to partner with ad agencies or other businesses. The brand guideline would be very useful to keep the brand identity, the way the brand wants to appear across the board.

For the summary, choosing the right color for your brand matters. The brand color could affect people’s perception of the brand where it provokes how they feel toward the brand. You can determine the color for your brand by identifying your brand thoroughly and connecting it with the color theory. Choosing the right color and using it consistently may generate brand awareness, therefore it’s important to keep it organized.

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