What do your business colors say? Not much in fact, since colors can’t speak! Just kidding, colors may not speak volumes, but it is possible to convey a lot of your business mission through color accents. It can even increase its notoriety. Color is the basis of perception and recognition when associating them with an emotion: Red is passion, blue is peaceful, green represents health, yellow symbolizes joy, etc.
Of course, the shape is also important: it solidifies your branding, but the emotion and the memory are maintained by the color. McDonald’s M, for example, would be a lot different if its bright yellow color didn’t make it look like a curved fries. But in all of this, how do you know which color really represents the spirit of your business?
The meaning of color.
Each color individually represents an emotion. Some emotions are obvious, since they are instinctive. For example, the blue of the sea exudes calm, because naturally we tend to rest on the beach. Some others are subliminal or cultural. Green is believed to symbolize jealousy because, historically, doctors associated emotions with physical problems. Negative emotions were often associated with the gallbladder which secreted green bile, hence the expression green with envy… yuck.
Here are some recognized representations of colors:
Blue: calm, serenity, depth, organic, stability, popular, loyalty, confidence, security, intellect, reason, understanding, wisdom, loyalty and freedom.
Green: socialization, ecology, life, renewal, awakening, harmony, open-mindedness, concentration, luck, strength and humanity.
Yellow: joy, light, hope, friendship, truth, purity, youth, energy, growth, warmth, welcoming and liveliness.
Red: passion, ambition, fervor, energy, romanticism, power, courage, dynamism, performance, vigor, love and closeness.
Violet: creativity, intellectual vigor, intuition, royalty, wealth, dream, delicacy, mystery and comfort.
Orange: communication, vitality, happiness, human warmth, generosity, optimism, character, commitment, recognition and uniqueness.
Brown : earth, reliability, stability, maturity, strength, virility, neutrality, gentleness and nature.
Rose: femininity, gentleness, sexuality, sensuality, tenderness, motherhood, happiness, warmth, love, cleanliness and joy.
Black: prestige, depth, rigor, richness, luxury, timelessness, neutral, clean, technological, trendy, modern, quality and adaptable.
White: purity, cleanliness, innocence, clarity, light, luxury, perfection, precision, integrity, truth, neutrality, calm and success.
Gray: elegance, wisdom, temperance, calm, gentleness, rest, comfort, neutrality, nostalgia, timelessness, graceful and flexible.
Making the choice.
When choosing the final colors for the design of a branding, it is IMPERATIVE, very important (it cannot be repeated enough) not to choose the color solely according to our personal preferences. (If everyone chose their colors this way, ALL logos would be blue.) At worst, you can leave the honor to your graphic designer to present you with color proposals with all the related charabia: harmonies, families, complementarities, opposites, warm and cool tones, saturation, and what not.
Put the understanding of the message first. In the case of a good logo, the color is just a plus that will complement the shape and deepen the message. It is always better for a logo to be able to live on its own in black and white or with a single color. SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE! In fact, big news: the colors of the year … they change every year! But you want your logo to stay.
Last point: If you’re not comfortable with color theory, leave it to a professional. Otherwise, limit your colors and avoid graphic rainbows: everything will be all right! 🌈