"Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."
-- Oscar Wilde
Why does branding color matter?
What do you think of when you hear the word “love?” Whether positive or negative, it most likely conjures a stronger emotional response than when you hear a phrase like “Tupperware.” 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.
Given enough exposure, colors become part of a brand, something consumers will see without reading. 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:
What do different branding colors mean?
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. This is an abridged version, our connection to color goes lot deeper than this—for example, too much yellow can actually cause anxiety. If you want to learn more about these intricacies, read our full guide on how color impacts emotions and behaviors.
When it comes to handing over all your money to someone, trust is paramount. That’s why there’s so much blue on the website for Chase Bank, and other financial institutions; like, Venmo, AMEX, Visa, Capital One, Bank of America, etc,.
How do I choose my colors?
Plan on choosing 4 colors | Your bases, accent, and neutral. Brand color schemes can have between 1-4 colors depending on the type (see below), but even monochrome schemes will require some variation in hues for different purposes.
Choose your Bases | Of all your brand’s personality traits, which one is most important? Your base colors should reflect not only your brand personality’s most dominant trait, but, also appeal to the target audience you’re trying to reach. You’ll choose the remaining colors based on how well they match with this one.
Choose your Accent | Your accent will be the color you use the most after your base color. This is a bit trickier than choosing your base color because there are more restrictions: aside from matching a brand personality trait, your accent color must also pair visually with your base color, not to mention appeasing your audience.
Choosing your Neutral | Your neutral color will most likely be a background color, something chosen to avoid attention. Typically these are different hues of gray, but beige, whites, and off-whites work, too. Black is also an option, but be careful; it tends to dominate any color scheme it’s a part of.