The Power of Colour in Branding


Humans are primarily visual creatures. Our brains process images much faster than words, and recent research has shown that over 90% of people put most importance on visual factors when making purchasing decisions. (Seoul International Color Expo)

The value of good design, then, in branding and marketing cannot be overstated. It’s all very well to have an amazing product or service, a great reputation, an important message or a fascinating backstory, but if you don’t communicate this to your target audience primarily through visual means, your business will have little chance of being properly understood by your audience. Your success truly lies in the eye of the beholder.

But how much does colour influence these visual perceptions? 

PADB Brand Colourway

We could all (even small children) easily match big companies with their chosen branded colours; Cadbury’s is purple, Coca Cola is red, Facebook is blue - the visual imprint is hugely effective. But how does the colour itself make us feel about a brand? Most of us are aware of basic colour psychology; we associate red with passion and power, yellow with optimism, blue with trust and authority and green with growth and nature. But the real effect of colour on our mood and behaviours is far more nuanced than this. The psychological impact is tempered and changed by cultural differences, gender, personal preference, upbringing and life experiences. Research shows that purple is perceived differently by men and women for example, though blue is the favoured colour for both (girls love blue – who knew?) (Joe Hallock, Colour Assignment)

To further complicate matters, using colours of varying tones and in combination with others can express even more layers of character and mood. In branding a new business, it is getting the right colours working together in a scheme in this way that is crucial. Do you go for an uber understated feel using a monochromatic scheme – varying tints and shades of the same colour? Or an appealing, relaxed vibe using analogous colours, closely related on the colour wheel? Bright contrasting colours will suggest eccentricity and boldness, whilst pastels with beige communicate calmness. A popular choice in branding is to select complementary colours from the colour wheel; a scheme involving both cool and warm colours adds depth and balance and is pleasing to the eye (and brain!).

There are many factors to consider, but it is clear that a brand’s colour scheme will play a pivotal role in portraying the ‘right’ personality of a business. Along with composition, style and typography, the chosen colour combinations of your branding will have an immediate impact on how people perceive your business. The colours help you look good, but also represent you and communicate to your audience who you are and what you do. They make you stand out and differentiate you from your competition. Choosing the right branded colour scheme is therefore one of the most important decisions you can make for your business.

At Jones & Bone, we can help you tackle this daunting project. If you’re thinking about a rebrand or clarifying your brand’s visual impression, come and meet us for a coffee and a chat soon!