Building Brand Trust with Colour
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
What is colour psychology & how it affects your amazing new logo
Someone, somewhere, probably told you that BLUE was the best colour for a logo. Am I right? It's OK. Blue is a great colour for a logo... But, do you know why?
Maybe you're a smart cookie and you Googled the advice you were given. Maybe you found a giant pile of search results talking about a marketing tool called Colour Psychology. And, after some quick scanning, you decided you liked your logo the way it was and nobody pays attention to colours anyway as long as service and product quality are top notch. End of story, browser closed.
But here's what you should know: 2019 statistics confirm that colour plays a persuasive and lasting role in consumer behaviour. According to S. Singh of Emerald Insight "When people make a subconscious judgment about a product, 60% to 90% of that evaluation is based on colour alone." With over 50% of businesses designing their own logo (99Designs), it's critical to have all the marketing insight you can before completing a DIY design. This includes understanding and applying colour psychology to your advantage.
So what is colour psychology? Authors E. Walter & J. Gioglio of the The Laws of Brand Storytelling (a great book, btw), describe colour psychology as the understanding of the effect of tones, shades, tints and pure colours on human emotions, behaviours and how it applies to the humanization of our brand as a visual identity. Sounds complicated? Well, think of it like this: colours reflect different emotions and personality traits. And if the statistics above about consumer behaviour and logo design are accurate, this makes sense.
Here are some basic examples of colour psychology (thelogocompany.net):
Yellow: optimism, clarity, warmth
Orange: friendly, cheerful, confident
Red: excited, bold, youthful
Purple: trust, strength, dependable
Green: peaceful, growth, health
Gray: balance, neutral
You can see how different colours would be more suitable for different industries, and even different target audiences. If you haven't yet consulted colour psychology, and your logo is not yet officially designed, you may be asking what next.
Try this exercise. Using colour psychology, and what you now know about it's impact on your consumer, what does your logo say about your brand? Is it accurately reflecting your brands culture, morale, mission, vision etc.? Do your colours translate the brand goals and evoke the emotions that you envision your consumer feeling when they see or interact with your brand?
If you have your logo already, and you feel something is not resonating with what I just wrote, it may be that you are designing your logo too soon. Here's why:
Logo design is done assuming you have a clear understanding of your brand. You cannot expect your logo to communicate your brand, if you don't understand your brand purpose. Your logo is representative of your brand, not vice versa. Do not make the mistake of creating a logo before your business plan, mission, vision etc., or the design will fail in its intent to communicate meaning to your audience.
This is exactly why I will often work backwards with consultants to get to the root of their business purpose before we begin content. It's the same logic. Anything you put out as a business, wether a logo, a key message, letterhead etc., should be done with your brand's core purpose and mission in mind.
Purpose is everything. Emotions are fleeing. It's your job as the brand "owner", to ground your consumer with an aesthetic that matches your brands deepest traits, so they can know and trust what they see, and want more of what they will get.
There is more to logo design than colour psychology. From typography, to on-brand graphics, consulting a professional isn't a bad idea. Personally, I recommend 99designs.ca for their affordability, polish and variety of packages. But DYI has place, and for you curious and ambitious types, make sure you pick a colour that matches the amount of passion you have.