Color is about the psychology of your brand. The sheer scope and nature of colors make it impossible to discuss in full in this section. The primary question here is “what difference will it make if I use blue over red, or green over purple, or any other color or combination?”
The key to understanding color is knowledge of four primary aspects that govern color application and its impact.
The design aspect of color determines how your product or service will look when compared across screens – as digital art – and behind counters or supermarket shelves – as real, tangible items. Color technology today is still not developed enough to reproduce a perfect match from screen to print. In other words there will always be a discrepancy in the hues and shades between what you see on a monitor (RGB) and what you see on paper or other printed surfaces (CMYK). A skilled designer will be able to make these differences seem imperceptible but a solid understanding of color theory is a definite prerequisite for such skill. Choose your designer carefully.
The physical aspect of color determines how people feel when they view your products or services. Certain colors have a soothing or organic effect while others are attributed as dynamic, synthetic and exciting. Below are some very basic attributes associated with more common colors. These attributes are by no means exhaustive.
strong, passionate, hungry, violent, impulsive, powerful.
serene, sad, dependable, safe, moderate.
warm, happy, clear, anxious, lively.
relaxing, natural, youthful, sickly, economical.
fresh, warm, exotic, frivolous, healthy.
royal, dreamy, magical, heavy, elusive, gothic, luxurious.
earthly, rugged, basic, durable, timeless, organic.
neutral, formal, authoritative, dull, technological.
clean, pure, stately, weak, wholesome, light, inclusive.
formal, strong, death-like, stately, fearsome, dignified.
The attributes of each color will vary depending on the properties defining that color – hue, saturation, value, temperature. A deeper blue, for example, will be perceived quite differently to a lighter blue. Perceptions are also contingent on the use of color in combination with other colors. Your brand personality must portray a color or color combinations that correspond to its desired attributes and characteristics.
The cultural aspect of color determines the association people make between your product or service and their individual cultural, religious, superstitious, social, and anthropological beliefs. Colors like red are considered lucky in some societies but are a symbol of violence in others. Your brand must take into consideration the color connotations held by the societies or communities in which it operates.
The cognitive aspect of color determines how people recognize and react to your brand. Since a brand is created in the mind, color plays a strong part in determining the awareness and associations of that brand in the mind of the consumer. When a brand makes consistent use of a particular color, the brand becomes associated with that color. After some time, the brand becomes immediately and thoroughly recognizable simply by its color, minus any other factors. Achieving this state can be highly beneficial for your brand’s dissemination since color is a raw, natural factor that facilitates instantaneous associations and directly impacts viewer perceptions.
The proper administration and management of color can greatly boost your brand’s recognition and awareness. It can also reinforce your brand’s personality, presence, and characteristics, causing your brand to distinctly stand out in a saturated, homogenous market landscape.