We all relate colors with a meaning. This depends usually on our personal taste and on our experiences. But each color also has a more general and symbolic meaning. A meaning which is universally understood. When you choose the colors for your brand you can use this to your advantage. Choose the right colors to attract your target audience and to tell people more about your brand.
To be intentional with your color choice, you first need to learn more about colors and their meaning. Find out what the positive and negative connotations of each color are. This will help you to make a smart choice. Pick colors which will say more about your brand than words.
How colors affect us
Colors can make strong impressions. They’re one of, if not, the most important brand asset. You build brand recognition through colors. Not only because of the emotions we associate with them but also because they’re easy to remember. Think about the brands you instantly recognize by their colors e. g. Coca-Cola, Starbucks, or IKEA. I bet you all know their brand colors. Colors influence our buying decisions. When you’re walking through the granola bar aisle in the supermarket it’s easy to find your preferred brand. You remember the color of the packaging and your eye will be drawn to it. Paying attention to how color affects people will help you to make a bigger impact.
Related post: The basics of color theory
Colors evoke emotions
All colors evoke emotions in us. We associate positive as well as negative emotions with every color. Take the color Red for example. Red stands for love and passion which are strong and positive connotations. But Red also serves as a warning signal e. g. on a STOP sign. You need to pick your colors carefully and decide what exactly you want to stand for.
Let’s take a look at the color meanings. You’ll find positive and negative connotations as well as what kind of businesses often use the color. It’ll help you to find out which colors fit your brand.
Color meaning: Red
positive | power, energy, passion, love, ambition, boldness
negative | danger, aggression, anger, warning
business | food, animal, retail, sports, charity
Color meaning: Orange
positive | fascination, happiness, encouragement, optimism, enthusiasm, communication, warmth, comfort
negative | ignorance, frustration, deprivation
business | coaching, wellness, food, travel, sport, budget
Color meaning: Yellow
positive | energy, joy, happiness, intelligence, optimism, imagination, playfulness, creativity
negative | anxiety, frustration, caution
business | travel, leisure, energy, creative, photography
Color meaning: Green
positive | freshness, growth, harmony, balance, health, vitality
negative | envy, boredom, stagnation
business | gardening, environmental, organic, healthcare, food
Color meaning: Blue
positive | stability, trust, loyalty, confidence, intelligence, masculinity, cleanliness, calmness, focus
negative | coldness, unfriendliness, emotionless
business | finance, business, technology, legal, transport
Color meaning: Purple
positive | royalty, luxury, power, ambition, mystery, creativity, wisdom, spirituality
negative | decadence, introversion, naivety
business | arts, craft, design, wellness, cosmetics, premium services, luxury products, handmade
Color meaning: Pink
positive | femininity, love, caring, romance, nurturing, hope, kindness
negative | vulnerability, eccentricity, nonconformity
business | beauty, fashion, candy, wedding, florists
Color meaning: Brown
positive | earth, outdoors, comfort, stability, nature, honesty
negative | modesty, boredom, heaviness
business | organic products, outdoor, sports, landscaping, farming
Color meaning: Black
positive | elegance, formality, secrecy, style, sophistication, seriousness, glamour
negative | drama, oppression, evil, mourning
business | fashion, jewelry, accessories, luxury goods, interior design
Color meaning: Gray
positive | sophistication, efficiency, substance, intelligence
negative | lifelessness, fear, lack of energy
business | legal, counseling, equipment, technology
Color meaning: White
positive | innocence, perfection, purity, simplicity, peace, precision, minimalism, cleanliness
negative | isolation, sterility
business | medical, health, finance, technology, wedding, design
Related post: 6 colors to use instead of black
Colors in translation
The information above can only serve you as a guideline. Symbolic meanings of colors can vary depending on cultural experience. In the western world, White is a symbol for weddings. In eastern countries, it’s often brought in association with death.
Furthermore, the meaning of a color can also change if you’re using a different shade or tone of a color. And every color will have a different effect on people depending on the color combination you pick.
Now, it’s up to you. Tell me which colors you chose for your brand in the comments.
Related post: 3 color strategies to create your color palette