Choosing the Right Colors – and why it matters

Unless your color blind, colors influence your feelings, interest and responses in many situations. Whenever you begin a new brand development project make sure you’re clear on describing the person behind the brand and their values because it plays a key role in choosing the colors that will resonate best for the success of the brand. The best benefit of choosing the right color is that you convey a message to your customer non-verbally. This can be done in your absence, at a distance and in person.

A lot of research has been done on the emotional effect of color, and the results of the research prove very helpful in helping you to decide what colors your brand should use. Brand Strategy Insider recently published their findings and one interesting fact to note was that color improves brand recognition by 80% and readership by 40%! That means that whatever you put out there needs to be color-correct. Here are a few general guidelines to get you started:

Red: Passion, love, rebellion, power, excitement, bold
Yellow: Happiness, fun, alert, friendly, young, summer
Green: money, natural, abundance, environmental, safe
Blue: smart, progressive, trust, cold
White: open, clean, pure, sterile
Orange: inviting, retro, warm, energy
Purple: stylish, elegant, royal, decadent, luxurious, wise
Brown: stable, reliable, approachable, organic
Gray: Timeless, practical, intelligent, neutral
Black: authoritative, powerful, classic, sophisticated
Pink: romance, happiness, light-hearted, confident, passionate

Your assignment:

1) Take a sheet of paper and choose 3 colors from the list above that resonate most with what you want your brand to communicate

2) Grab a box of crayons, colored markers or colored paper (you can print the colors from your computer using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint) and lay the colors side by side

3) Ask a few friends/clients/strangers what they think of when they see the colors. What images are conjured up in their mind? What emotions?

4) Consider your feedback and revisit/example/change your primary or secondary brand colors based on the results you want.

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