What do your brand colours say about your company?

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Have you ever thought about what the colour of your logo means to people who see it? You may think that is purely subjective and that views will vary greatly. But unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how successful your brand colours are, colour has a powerful psychological impact.

Choosing colours for a design is scientific and goes beyond just personal preference – because colours have an extraordinary ability to influence mood, emotions, and perceptions; take on cultural and politic meaning; and attract attention, both consciously and subconsciously. This affect can be harnessed by designers and is used as one of the most successful tools in marketing.

“84.7% of consumers say that colour is the primary reason for buying a product and apparently this judgement is made in less than 90 seconds.”

Hungry for colour?

I have been interested in colour theory since studying Graphic Design at University when a speaker mentioned that red/orange tones make you feel hungry! This has always stuck in my mind. Apparently seeing the colour red & orange encourages appetite so you can see why some of the biggest food and fast food brands have chosen this colour. But I’m wondering which came first, the logos or the theory?

Put simply, colour choices can make or break a design. That’s where a basic understanding of colour theory can come in handy. In brief, these are the generally accepted colour theories:


Red is the colour of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Interesting fact: It has very high visibility and promotes a sense of urgency – so great for Warning signs, stop lights and Clearance sales.


Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

Interesting facts: Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. Orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite.


Yellow is the colour of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy.

Interesting facts: Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms! Yellow is seen before other colours when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning – Buzzzz!


Green is the colour of nature. It symbolises growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products.

Interest facts: Green has great healing power. It is the most restful colour for the human eye; it can improve vision.


Blue is the colour of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolises trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness and so is big in the corporate world, very often the colour of choice for financial institutions.

Interesting facts: As it is opposite orange in the colour wheel, blue suppresses appetite. Blue M&M anyone?


Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolises power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

Interesting fact: According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colours.


White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation.


Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a mysterious colour associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humour, ‘black death’).

Interest fact that most people know: Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth and so a black suit or dress can make you look thinner.

To explore how ib3 can help refresh your company’s brand, or to discuss the creation of a new brand for your start-up, call Michelle for a chat today on 01732 449971.