Choosing the right colours for your company is about what message you want to convey about your brand rather than picking your favourite colours. When visitors land on your website, view your posts, newsletter or read your blog, the first thing they will interpret are the colours. The brain sees and remembers colours first which we associate with memories, experiences, beliefs and cultural influences.

Colour is often referred to as the silent salesperson’. It conveys meanings and feelings as it visualizes messages in a universal language that applies to all industries. Colour psychology is a powerfully persuasive tool used by marketers to influence behaviour.

It is important to consider your target market before choosing a colour scheme for your brand. The cultural meaning of colours should also be taken into account to ensure you don’t cause offence. Here is a useful article on what colours mean in other cultures. The words and imagery used on your website, blog, newsletter or brochure should complement the colours you choose to help reinforce your brand.

The following colour associations may help you think about the subliminal messages you are conveying to your audience and determine a colour scheme that portrays your brand most effectively to your target audience:

Black  Black is elegant and sophisticated. It exudes power and implies leadership, security and trustworthiness. It is also associated with magic and death.

Examples: The Telegraph, Adidas, Nike, BBC, Mailchimp, Apple.

Blue  Blue is the colour of the oceans, lakes and skies.  It is an intellectual colour suggesting authority and professionalism. It is a safe choice in building customer loyalty and is popular with legal and finance companies. It also has associations with cleanliness and calmness. Avoid using blue if you are promoting anything about food as blue is said to suppress the appetite. Apparently, blue is the world’s favourite colour and the most widely acceptable colour to men. 

Examples: Visa, Facebook, JP Morgan, American Express, IBM.

Purple  Purple is often associated with dignity, royalty and power. Purple can also represent creativity, spirituality and magic.

Examples: Cadbury, Zoopla, Hallmark.

Pink: Fuchsia is the colour of flowers, energy, vibrancy, youthfulness, fun and exoticism. It denotes feminine qualities. Lighter pinks are more romantic and calming.  

Examples: T-Mobile, Barbie, Accessorize.

Red  Red is the most exciting colour in the spectrum, it is eye-catching and demands attention and is perfect for anywhere you wish to draw attention as it brings text and images to the foreground. Red can be used to stimulate people to make quick decisions so is a good colour for calls to action such as buy now’. Red symbolises energy, passion, aggression, danger, strength, courage and love.

Examples: Red Cross, Xerox, Coca Cola and Levi Straus.

Orange  Orange is another attention getter, it is vibrant, cheerful and creative evoking a sense of enthusiasm and confidence. Steer away from dark orange as this can be associated with distrust and deceit!

Examples: Harley Davidson, FedEx (orange & purple), Mastercard

Yellow  Yellow is warm and optimistic often associated with happiness, energy and youth. It grabs attention with its friendly, inviting quality and is popular among children’s brands. Yellow is an emotional colour, too much of it can affect our self-esteem hence the term yellow-streak” or even indicate cowardice yellow belly”.

Examples: McDonald’s, Hertz, Renault, Shell.

Green  Green is the colour of vegetation, a neutral colour that is associated with harmony. Green evokes growth, nature, renewal and, in the Middle East, deity. It has a strong emotional link with safety. Dark green is associated with wealth. Green is a common choice for companies and charities involved in healthcare and the environment. companies with environmental or health care.

Examples: Landrover, BP, Starbucks, Greenpeace.

Need some inspiration? Click here to explore colour schemes and combinations with Adobe’s Colour Wheel or try Mailchimp’s Pictaculous colour palette generator.

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