What Colors Say About Your Logo and Brand Identity

Design & Development
April 18, 2017 By Invictus Studio Editor

Colors have varying effects on a human’s mind and body. They manipulate our feelings and bring out emotions that we most of the times associate it with personal experiences. Different colors have different meanings and thus are used strategically to be incorporated in company logos to bring out the right reaction from the target audience. The appropriate selection of colors in relevance to the industry your business belongs to is directly linked to brand perception.

Interestingly, the colors in a logo design play a vital role in customer persuasion. With each color conveying a message, eliciting an emotion or just evoking fascination, the customer tends to form an opinion about the brand consciously or subconsciously. It is a common observation that bright colors are generally more compelling and can instantly attract a viewer towards its design. Light colors, on the other hand, has its own reservations that can create varying impacts depending on company’s business objectives, feeling the brand wants to associate with the product through the use of colors or even the current market trend. The color white for instance signifies a feeling of purity, peace, innocence and cleanliness. Since white is a combination of all the spectrum colors, it represents an equal balance of both negative and positive aspects of colors. White is most commonly used in healthcare, medicine, automobiles and tech industries where Apple and Honda logos fill the popular slot for a white logo design.

With each color conveying a message, eliciting an emotion or just evoking fascination, customer tends to form an opinion about the brand consciously or subconsciously

The colors have hence defined, reshaped and even enhanced a brand’s image. The personality a brand wants to create for its products is reflected through its use of colors. Companies understand that a user will most likely purchase a product when they find a reflection of themselves in it. Here is when colors play an active role in influencing a user’s purchase decision.  A person’s belongings from its car to its choice in fragrance depict their identity and is the source of value which is added by consuming that good/service. Gender preferences also affect the choice of logo colors for different brands. The use of fruity colors like orange, yellow, red, purple, etc. as popularly liked by female population are used in their beauty products to allure the buyer to its visual appeal. Similarly, a Harley Davidson motorcycle depicts a personality of cool and ruggedness which is indicated in their color choice for the icon design.

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Studies have shown that colors add an element of recognition that goes on to build a brand identity. According to research, color increases brand recognition by 80% that adds to consumer confidence in purchasing that particular product. About 62-90% of snap decisions made about buying a product is based on its choice of colors. Colors have powerful psychological effects that stimulate our brain activity and manipulate human emotions. It can be associated with a personal experience or a past memory that molds our perceptions to form an opinion about a brand. The effects a color has on a human mind can be categorized into three parts: Psychological, Symbolical and Cultural.

Psychological Effect

The color association, in this case, is linked to a person’s personal experiences acquired through the course of their lifetime. The color yellow, for example, is generally regarded as the color for summer, holiday and freshness because of sunlight and heat. It also evokes pleasant and cheerful feeling which brands like McDonald’s, Chupa Chups, Shell, DHL, Nikon, etc. use to their advantage to communicate the same feel about their product/service.

Symbolical Effect

Often people associate color with a specific object or symbol. For some blue color triggers a connotation with sky creating a sense of peace and serenity. Blue is known to slow down human metabolism that produces a calm and soothing feel. It is the color that most businesses use in their logo to represent trust and security. Walmart, Samsung, Facebook, HP, IBM, Oreo, etc. conjure confidence where blue is linked to intellect, knowledge, and power.

Cultural Effect

Colors also have cultural significance that differs from country to country, religion, race and society. Color combinations are considered culturally bound with certain ideologies and traditions (Geboy 1996). The red color in sub-continental culture represents purity, fertility, love and celebration. Brides wear red to signify prosperity and is considered the most auspicious color whereas, in South Africa, the color is associated with mourning and symbolizes violence. About 30% of the top brands use red color in their logos that includes prominent names such as Coca Cola, KFC, Virgin Atlantic Airlines to name a few.

About 60-90% of snap decisions made about purchasing a product is based on its choice of colors

When new brands are introduced in the market, colors help to differentiate a company’s service offerings. The use of old and repetitive colors is not the concern but how the mix and match of those colors in a unique manner elicit a positive response from the intended audience. Random selection of colors for designing a company’s logo will not only mismatch with the brand’s personality but will also erode the brand image. Like a pink color used in an automobile industry will not receive the desired reaction and will, in turn, confuse the customer about product reliability and functionalities. The logo color hence gives an affirmation that the brand will deliver what it claims and is sincere with its brand message. An odd choice of colors may create a sense of curiosity among the visitors, but it will eventually fail to survive the fierce competition once a user gives its final verdict of disapproval.

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