• Katie Harris

Using Color Theory for Branding

Color theory is used everywhere. It is used in art, design, branding, marketing, the list goes on. Color theory is important in the design world because color can cause reaction and sway your thinking. Color is a powerful form of communication because it influences our emotions and actions. Color theory is used in marketing/advertising due to trying to grab attention and cause a reaction. I will get more in depth with this later.


Color theory is the guide to color mixing and pairing and the visual effect colors/color combinations have on us. Color theory also involves the color wheel and how colors on the wheel go together. For example, orange and blue are complementary colors because they are opposite from each other on the color wheel. These colors complement each other best, hence the name, complementary. Another example of a color scheme is triadic colors. These are colors that sit at a triangles point away from each other on the wheel. An example of triadic colors is orange, green, and purple. There are many more color schemes to know about and they are all shown in the infographic below.



What Do The Colors Mean?

Each color conveys an emotion. Red shows excitement, passion, or danger. For example, stop signs are red to grab our attention and show danger if passed. Yellow shows optimism. It is bright enough to grab the attention of consumers from a distance. White shows purity. It denotes cleanliness and peace. However, this might not be true for all people. Everyone has a slightly different perception of each color. Color is too dependent on personal experience to be translated into specific feelings. With this being said, I still believe that colors and color combinations do affect people in similar ways. Maybe just not all people.


“It’s all about what you want the customers to feel when looking at your brand. First impressions are everything so choose your colors wisely. ”

When looking for colors for a brand or advertisement, think about what you are trying to convey to the consumer and what it might make them feel at first glance. If you want your brand to show freshness, or serenity, you might try using green within your design. Maybe you have a marketing company (like POP MKTG) try using a blue in your logo! Consumers usually view this color as trustworthy and dependable. It’s all about what you want the customers to feel when looking at your brand. First impressions are everything so choose your colors wisely.


Really, It's All Psychology.

Color psychology is the study of the effects hues have on people. Color influences perception of all things, even the taste of food! Influencing people’s thoughts and feelings using color is not as difficult as it may sound. You just have to find the right color(s). Studying the color wheel and the effect each color has on you is a good place to start when selecting colors for a brand or ad. The visual effect color has on an individual plays a huge roll in what the first impression of a consumer will be.


How Is Color Theory Used In Branding?

Most of the assessment a consumer makes on a product or service is based on color alone. We have to make sure the color(s) used fit the personality of whatever we are designing. Choosing the right color for your brand is everything. It has to fit the personality and description of your brand. If you are unsure of where to start when choosing colors for your brand, take a look at the color wheel. Try playing with those complementary colors I talked about before. Maybe try going for a monochromatic color scheme for a more relaxed look. It is essential to play with colors when building a brand. Personally, I love monochromatic brand colors. I’ve noticed that I gravitate more towards grayscale monochromatic brands. A few examples of brands I like are shown below.


Urban Outfitters Logo

asos Logo

Lush Logo

How Is Color Theory Used In Advertising?

Think about the last advertisement you saw on social media, TV, or in a magazine. What colors did you see most? Did it grab your attention? How did it make you feel? When choosing colors for an advertisement, you want to be bold and stand out. You want to grab the consumers attention immediately and make a lasting impression. When scrolling through social media, an individual makes a judgment on what they see in less than a second. The colors used in an ad can interest, bore, repulse, or excite a consumer quickly. That is why it is important to take your time choosing your colors. It is also a good idea to see what others think before putting an ad out there. Ask around, give options, and find your best option.


It’s all about knowing who your target audience is.

Colors are perceived differently by different people. Men might like more bold colors while women like pastels. It’s all about knowing who your target audience is. Do research and see what intrigues your target audience most. Stay away from colors your audience might not gravitate towards. For example, ads that use pink or purple do not draw the attention of men, so if you have an ad that is highly directed towards men, you should probably stay away from those colors. It might make more sense to use a red or blue in the ad. As I mentioned before, get opinions from others. Ask people that are in your target audience and see what their first impressions are.



If you are needing assistance while choosing colors for your brand, contact us today! We have a team that is always willing to help brands grow and evolve. Are you getting enough attention?



Katie Harris

Project Manager

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