Branding is how you communicate with your clients and potential clients. It shows them what you’re all about and gives them a feel for the industry you work in as well as your brand values. Colour will help to build brand recognition and is an integral part of your brand.

It is a vital tool for conveying meaning and message in your branding; it is a powerful form of communication which silently passes on messages and feelings to potential clients without you having to shout them from the rooftops. As humans we are programmed to respond to different colours in different ways and the subliminal messages they give across can shape our thoughts.

Colour can be used to evoke a certain feeling in the viewer, for example red is the colour of energy, passion and desire , whilst green is the colour of life, balance and reassurance. A red traffic light makes us stop, whilst a green light makes us go. Colour is an important part of our day to day lives, so it’s vital to think carefully when choosing a colour for your own branding, and to understand the messages your brand is giving through its colour use.

Communicating your brand through colour

Colours pass on messages instantaneously to the viewer without the need to write a single word. They can be used to evoke a certain mood / feeling in your potential clients – having people in the right mood to give the response you want is essential for brand engagement and trust.

KFC uses red and white for their logo and branding. Red is an intense colour. It can summon conflicting emotions from blood and warfare to love and passion. It is often used in logo design to grip the viewer’s attention and has been known to raise one’s blood pressure or make people hungry.

IBM uses blue in their branding, which is often used in corporate logos as it gives a sense of security, loyalty and professionalism. This colour is used by many businesses working in software, finance and banking, who want to be seen as trustworthy and also as authorities in their field.

Using colour for brand recognition

So how do brands who’ve been around for decades get you to remember them? This is illustrated quite nicely by an infographic I came across on Twitter the other day. Some of the best known brands have gone through several logo variations in their time, but the thing they usually keep consistent is their brand colours. Even though the designs have changed, keeping the colours consistent across all marketing collateral means these brands are still instantly recognised by people all over the world.

How to use colour in you own branding

So now to consider how you’re going to use colour in your own branding. Take some time to consider how you want your company to be seen, as well as what kind of emotion, values or message you want to get across to your potential clients. The diagram below can help guide you as to what colours might suit your brand.

All the best with choosing the right colours to help make your brand a success. If you have any questions about using colour in your logo & branding please email me [email protected] or comment below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Emma Sheppard

Emma Sheppard

Branding and Design Director

Emma is a Branding and design expert who started her own business and never looked back. Founder of Big Bear Creative which was started after having her first child Noah. Supporter of women in business and nurturing startups.