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Colors and emotions: why branding colors matter

When building a brand—just like when building a house or picking furniture—you need to understand how to use all the tools at your disposal. In this post, we’ll run through everything you need to know about one of the first steps in branding- color.


Why branding colors matter


Emotions are powerful and (whether we like it or not) drive our decision making.

As a brand, you want to cultivate a strong emotional connection with your customers. The problem is you can’t tell your company’s entire life story in a logo or storefront—but branding colors provide a shortcut straight to your clientele’s hearts.


According to neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, how consumers feel about a brand has more pull than what they think about a brand. Pair that with the fact that we know certain colors evoke certain emotions and voila: your brand colors have the ability to impact your sales or performance even more than the products you offer.


Moreover, repetition of the same color can strengthen brand awareness. When was the last time you saw a Coke can that wasn’t red or a Twitter bird that wasn’t sky blue? Given enough exposure, colors become part of a brand, so you want to encourage this association by using your brand colors consistently.


Just for the sake of organization, here are the most common areas you’ll be using your branding colors:

  • logo

  • website

  • storefront

  • in-store design

  • staff uniforms

  • advertisements

Choosing a brand color


Once you established what your brand personality goals are, how do you determine which colors will work best? It starts with first learning the emotional associations of each colors.

  • Red — Red stands for passion, excitement and anger. It can signify importance and command attention.

  • Orange — Orange stands for playfulness, vitality and friendliness. It is invigorating and evokes energy.

  • Yellow — Yellow evokes happiness, youth and optimism, but can also seem attention-grabbing or affordable.

  • Green — Green evokes stability, prosperity, growth and a connection to nature.

  • Light Blue — A light shade of blue exudes tranquility, trust, openness. It can also signify innocence.

  • Dark Blue — Dark blue stands for professionalism, security and formality. It is mature and trustworthy.

  • Purple — Purple can signify royalty, creativity and luxury.

  • Pink — Pink stands for femininity, youth and innocence. It ranges from modern to luxurious.

  • Brown — Brown creates a rugged, earthy, old-fashioned look or mood.

  • White — White evokes cleanliness, virtue, health or simplicity. It can range from affordable to high-end.

  • Gray — Gray stands for neutrality. It can look subdued, classic, serious, mysterious or mature.

  • Black — Black evokes a powerful, sophisticated, edgy, luxurious and modern feeling.

Keep in mind that the effect of your branding colors depends on the style and design they are used in, as well as the color combinations you choose. If you want to learn more about these intricacies, click this link to read a full guide on how color impacts emotions and behaviors.

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