Let’s take a little test about the Psychology of Color in Marketing. See how quickly you can answer the following questions:
I’d be surprised if you took more than a few seconds to answer any of the above questions. Did you get an immediate visual of the bright orange Home Depot logo? And did McDonalds pop into your mind at the mere mention of the Golden Arches? And of course, UPS is widely known for their trademarked brown color. When developing a marketing strategy for your brand, it is obvious that there is an art to logo development, but it’s important to note that there is also a fascinating science behind the selection of colors used to identify a brand.
Google “the psychology of color” and you’ll find tons of results - 159,000,000 to be exact. While not everyone agrees exactly what emotion each color evokes, it’s widely agreed that color impacts emotion – feeling, mood and image. Personal experiences, culture, and preferences may impact the emotion a person feels when they interact with a specific color, but according to a study by the Logo Company a general rule of thumb used in marketing follows:
Yellow – optimism, clarity, warmth
Orange – friendly, cheerful, confidence
Red – excitement, youthful, bold
Purple – creative, imaginative, wise
Blue – trust, dependable, strength
Green – peaceful, growth, health
Silver/Gray – balance, neutral, calm
The colors selected by marketers to represent their brand are critical to brand recognition, and should be relative to the product you are selling and the personality you want to build for your brand. For instance, green is a great color for brands relative to nature or money, while black, white and silver portray a brand with sophistication. According to How Design the Home Depot brand records indicate they chose the particular orange color in their logo because it “stimulates activity and is often associated with affordability”. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it stands out for miles around.
Color branding is a valuable topic for consideration when considering your branding goals. For more information on the psychology of color in marketing, check out this interesting article and infographic on Color, Value and Evolution of Logos. Read more about the “Psychology of Color in Logo Design” in this helpful article from the Huffington Post.
Denise Grothouse is the Founder and President of Perfect Six, a Marketing and Brand Management Firm.
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