Color Palette and How to build the identity of a brand
HDFC. ICICI. Axis. Induslnd Bank. All are banking institutions in India. All of them make use of red as one of their primary branding colors. Prudential and PNB are two other financial institutions that use red. The fact that all of these financial companies chose red as their brand identity is no coincidence. So, what are they all aware of that you are unaware of?
The short answer is that they understand how to apply color theory to business. When it comes to building a brand, just like when it comes to building a house or furniture, you need to know how to use all of the tools available to you, and that’s exactly what we’ll go over today.
We’ll go over everything you need to know about branding colors in this article. We’ll combine concepts from artistic disciplines, such as color theory and art history, with best practices for branding, marketing, and what a business needs to survive in today’s business environment. But first and foremost, you must comprehend why branding colors are so important.
Why are branding colors important?
“Colors, like features, change in response to emotional changes.” – Pablo Picasso
What’s the first thing that hits your mind when you hear “passion?” Positive or negative, it gives you a glimpse of a stronger emotional response than the phrase “shoelace.”
Emotions are strong and (whether we like it or not) influence our decisions. That’s what a brand should do, cultivate a strong emotional connection with the customers. The problem is that you can’t tell your company’s entire life story in a logo or storefront—but branding colors provide a direct line to your customers’ hearts. Emotions are strong and (whether we like it or not) influence our decisions. You want to cultivate a strong emotional connection with your customers as a brand. The problem is that you can’t tell your company’s entire life story in a logo or storefront—but branding colors provide a direct line to your customers’ hearts.
Faber Birren, a well-known color theorist, wrote extensively on the relationship between colors and our emotional state. Colors such as red and blue elicit different human responses in the same way that the words “passion” and “shoelace” elicit different emotions. Even more intriguing, the same colors tend to elicit similar responses in different people; for example, yellow elicit similar feelings in people from Vadodara to Kolkata. This applies to individual color shades as well, so deep dark blue and light sky blue will have different effects.
Not to mention the cultural associations. The way Americans associate green with money is a good example because the currency they use every day is green. People from other countries might not understand the phrase “spending greens,” but a company “going green” would be understood by almost everyone.
Even the most cynical businessman cannot deny the science behind the psychological effects of branding colors. With mountains of evidence, the question isn’t whether brand colors work, but rather how do we make brand colors work for us.
How to Establish Your Brand's Identity?
Red has worked wonders for McDonald’s, which wants its brand personality to be energetic, youthful, and loud. Red, on the other hand, would be inappropriate for a company like SleepWell Mattress, which cultivates a brand personality that is calm and relaxed, denoting a good night’s sleep.
If you know what you’re trying to say, choosing your branding colors is simple. Determining your brand personality is one of the first steps in building a brand. Essentially, you want to consider your company in the same way that you would consider a person: who are they? What is most important to them?
How do you know which colors will work best once you’ve determined your brand’s personality goals? It all begins with learning the emotional associations of each color.
What do the various branding colors mean?
We’ve covered the abstracts for branding colors, so let’s get into the meat and potatoes of color meanings. Here’s a short trip to brand color meanings and how different branding colors can affect people:
- Red — The color red represents passion, excitement, and rage. It can denote significance and command attention.
- Orange — The color orange represents playfulness, vitality, and friendliness. It is energizing and energizing.
- Yellow — Yellow evokes happiness, youth, and optimism, but it can also appear attention-grabbing or inexpensive.
- Green — It evokes stability, prosperity, growth, and a sense of connection to nature.
- Light Blue — A light blue exudes calm, trust, and openness. It can also represent innocence.
- Dark Blue — It shows professionalism, security, and formality. It is mature and reliable.
- Purple — The color purple can represent royalty, creativity, and luxury.
- Pink — It represents femininity, youth, and innocence. It ranges from contemporary to opulent.
- Brown — This color creates a rugged, earthy, vintage look or mood.
- White — It evokes purity, virtue, health, and simplicity. It can range from low-cost to high-end.
- Grey — Grey represents neutrality. It can have a subdued, classic, serious, mysterious, or mature appearance.
- Black — It elicits a strong, sophisticated, edgy, luxurious, and modern feeling.
Keep in mind that the impact of your branding colors is determined by the style and design in which they are used, as well as the color combinations you select. This is an abbreviated version; our relationship with color is much more complex than this—for example, too much yellow can cause anxiety. If you want to learn more about how color affects emotions and behavior, check out our comprehensive guide.
The formula for building a brand color scheme
There is no single correct way to choose your branding color scheme. When dealing with abstract concepts such as brand identity, it is difficult and risky to apply hard and fast rules. However, the process can be intimidating and perplexing, so some direction is beneficial. Here, we’ll explain our process for creating a color scheme that you can use as a framework rather than step-by-step instructions.
1. Make a decision on three colors.
You’ll need a base, an accent, and a neutral. Brand color schemes can range from 1-to 4 colors depending on the type (see below), but even monochrome schemes will necessitate some variation in hues for various purposes.
2. Select your foundation
Which of your brand’s personality traits is the most important? Your base color should not only reflect your brand’s most dominant trait, but it should also appeal to the target audience you’re attempting to reach. The remaining colors will be chosen based on how well they complement this one.
3. Select your accent
After your base color, your accent color will be the color you use the most. This is more difficult than choosing your base color because there are more constraints: in addition to matching a brand personality trait, your accent color must also visually pair with your base color, not to mention appease your audience.
The combination of your branding colors will appear repeatedly in many different aspects of your business. Your brand color scheme influences the appearance of your website, logo, store design, advertisements, and even minor appearances such as your social media account. So pick them all with care.
Understand when to color outside the lines
As previously stated, there are no hard and fast rules for selecting your branding colors. Consider this article to be more of a rough guideline—an educational resource to assist you in making informed decisions. Above all, don’t ignore your instincts. Colors’ main consideration is their emotional connection, so don’t ignore your own feelings when choosing your brand colors.