The Power of Color & How It Impacts Your Branding [GUEST POST]

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I'm so excited to welcome Lisa Rubin to the blog today! She is an incredibly talented graphic designer and founder of Henderson Rubin Creative Design, a design studio specializing in developing cohesive, beautiful brands for small businesses. 

Without further ado, here's Lisa's fascinating explanation of color psychology and how we can apply it to branding!


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How Important Is Color Anyway?

Let's talk about the power of color and how it impacts your branding!

Color influences mood, behavior, emotion, and perception. Individuals have their own preferences on color and there take on what it means to them. In addition, we also have to take into consideration the cultural connotations. For example, in some cultures, red is associated with mourning or symbolizing marriage.

The term color psychology refers to the study of hues as it relates to human behavior and can alter perceptions.  Color works at a subconscious level, faster than words or images. Color creates a gut response.

Knowing how to use this knowledge in branding your business can help you focus on your core audience to attract them. The way our brains work is fascinating to me! The way in which we observe color matters, and understanding how best to pick your color palette for your brand is essential.

Creating a coherent design begins with color psychology, which will provide insight, guidance, and structure to your branding. As designers, we use our knowledge of color psychology to help our clients capitalize on effectively conveying a message or trigger action.


RED is associated with intensity and power.

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Red is also known to increase your heart rate!

As it relates to branding, using a power color like red can help you connect with your audience.

Red can convey passion, action, boldness, energy, confidence, ambition, and/or power.

Brands: Target, Red Bull, Nintendo, Pinterest

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Power
Energy
Fearlessness
Strength

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Anger
Danger
Aggression
Defiance


ORANGE is a color associated with freedom, optimistic outlooks, warmth, and extroverted personalities.

Orange is a mix of the power of red and the cheerful nature of yellow. 

Generic or low-cost brands often use orange to signify that their products are a good value.

Brands: bitly, Nickelodeon, Fanta

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Courage
Confidence
Friendliness
Energy

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Deprivation
Frustration
Immaturity
Sluggishness


WHITE is the reflection and absence of color.

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White is a symbol of purity, cleanliness, and innocence, but it's also considered to be a blank slate.

White can bring to mind coldness and isolation.

Brands: Apple

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Cleanness
Clarity
Purity
Simplicity
Sophistication

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Sterility
Coldness
Unfriendliness
Isolation


BLUE has a calm and tranquil effect on the viewer, but it also has associations with ambition, control, and goals.

According to studies on color psychology, blue is the most common favorite color among the world's population.

When businesses choose any shade of blue for their brand identity, there is no mistaking them for being risk-takers. The blue hue is associated with stability and reliability.

Brands: Skype, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Trust
Loyalty
Dependability
Security

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Coldness
Aloofness
Uncaring
Emotionless


GREEN conveys freshness, renewal, nature, and energy. 

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Green is known to be most comfortable on the eyes because it requires no adjustment to the eye when the green hue hits the retina.

Research says that green can improve vision.

Brands: Animal Plant, bp Fuel, Starbucks

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Health
Growth
Prosperity
Hope

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Envy
Enervation
Boredom
Stagnation
Sickness


YELLOW is known to trigger happiness, joy, and hope, but it also may be viewed by some people as a color of betrayal or jealousy.

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Yellow is the most visible color and is attention-grabbing due to its relatively long wavelength. It's also the hardest hue to take in.

Brands: Subway, Snapchat, McDonald’s

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Intellect
Extraverted personality
Optimism
Warmth

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Irrationality
Fear
Caution
Anxiety
Frustration


PURPLE is a bit of an enigma, neither warm nor cool, and conveying neither masculine nor feminine traits.

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Purple is situated on the shortest wavelength which makes it the least visible. 

Purple is known as the color of royalty, spirituality, and luxury. 

Brands: Yahoo! Hallmark, Syfy, Cadbury

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Wisdom
Sophistication
Spirituality
Wealth

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Introverted nature
Moodiness
Suppression
Decadence
Extravagance


BLACK is the total absorption of color.

Black is a symbol of power, mystery, and professionalism.

Brands: Chanel, Puma, Nikon

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Sophistication
Power
Elegance
Authority

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Oppression
Menace
Mourning
Coldness


BROWN is made up of earth tones, such as red and yellow, with a large percentage of black.  

Brown is known for stability, natural abundance, honesty, and reliability.

Brands: UPS, M&M’s, Nespresso

 

POSITIVE CONNOTATIONS

Warmth
Reliability
Seriousness
Supportive

 

NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS

Sadness
Heaviness
Lack of sophistication
Conservative


Conclusion

The research of color psychology can help you clarify the best color palette for your brand. Understanding the psychology of color can help you make the right decision based on insight gleaned from scientific surveys.

Knowing the right color palette for your brand is an integral component of your brand identity. Remember that your brand identity is how the world perceives your brand. Above all else, know your audience and know what you want them to think about your brand!


Thank you Anabelle for the opportunity to share the importance of color psychology with your tribe! If you would like to find out more about branding, you can find me at www.hendersonrubincreativedesign.com.

 

About Lisa

Lisa Christine Rubin is a branding graphic designer and owner of Henderson Rubin Creative Design (a.k.a. HR Creative Design). Lisa helps female entrepreneurs achieve distinction, confidence, and enthusiasm with their brand identity so they can attract their ideal clients and gain commercial success faster.

Her mission is to bring her clients' vision and brand personality to life in a way that attracts their core audience. Working with her creative skill set, she creates thoughtful and strategic visual branding that highlights their vision and brand personality, which ultimately resonates with their audience.

When she's not creating beautiful brand identities for her clients, you may find her swooning over craftsman style houses, dreaming up ways organize her closet, or doing something crafty that include lots of colors.