Colour is a fundamental part of our lives. It influences our mood, our emotions and our behaviour. The psychology of colour has been studied by scientists, artists and designers for centuries.
The psychology of colour
Different colours can evoke different emotions and behaviours, which is why they’re used extensively in branding and design. Here are some of the most commonly used colours in branding and their associated emotions:
- Red: Associated with passion, energy and excitement red is often used in food and beverage branding to stimulate appetite.
- Blue: A calming and trustworthy colour, often used in financial and healthcare branding to evoke a sense of security and reliability.
- Green: One of the colours of nature, growth and health, so often used in food and beverage branding to suggest freshness and vitality.
- Yellow: Cheerful and optimistic, yellow is frequently used in branding for children’s products to suggest a sense of playfulness and joy.
- Orange: A colour associated with enthusiasm, warmth and energy and often used in sports and entertainment branding to suggest excitement and fun.
- Purple: Regal and luxurious, purple often features in beauty and fashion branding to suggest sophistication and elegance.
Colours used by famous brands
Let’s take a look how some of the most well known brands from various sectors incorporate colour into their logos.
- Apple: The Apple logo is a simple yet iconic design featuring a bitten apple in a monochromatic shade of grey, instantly recognisable and memorable in its simplicity.
- IBM: IBM’s logo features blue lettering with horizontal stripes, meant to suggest that stability and reliability are key values of the brand.
- Nike: The Nike logo is another simple yet powerful design – a swoosh in a bold shade of black. Its simplicity makes it instantly recognisable and memorable, the black tone suggesting power and strength.
- Chanel: The Chanel logo is black lettering on a white background, a simplicity meant to suggest that elegance and sophistication are key values of the brand.
Food & Drink
- Coca-Cola: The Coca-Cola logo features red lettering on a white background. The red suggest that passion and energy are key values of this brand.
- McDonald’s: The McDonald’s logo has yellow lettering on a red background, a combination meant to suggest that fun and excitement are key values of the brand.
Colour is a powerful tool for creating memorable and effective branding and design.
By understanding the vital role that colour plays in our lives, designers and marketers are able to evoke specific emotions and behaviours through the skilled used of colour in everything from technology to fashion and household names.