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The Meaning of Colour in Business

Updated on December 31, 2016

In business, brand identity is everything. When someone thinks of your company they think of your logo, and more specifically the colours within your logo. Big buisnesses spend millions each year on branding, with extensive research going into colours and how they make us think and feel.

In a recent survey almost 85% of customers said colour was the primary reason they bought a particular product, and 80% of people think colour increases brand awareness and recognition.

As another example, in printed material such as newspapers and magazines, coloured advertisements were read 42% more often than those same ads in black and white.

So, whilst it may seem a bit out there, let's take a look at colour and what it means from a business perspective...

Blue

Blue is a cool colour and is also the most commonly used brand colour on Earth! It has also come out on top in numerous studies of both males and females as being the people's favourite colour. Our love of all things blue is said to stem from our ancestors, as they associated it with clear skies and cool waters.

Keywords associated with the colour blue:

  • Trust
  • Intelligence
  • Stability
  • Calm
  • Power
  • Clean

Red

Reds are warm colours that stand out and are often used as a call to action. They are seen as a stimulant of lust and sexual passion and are also thought to highten feelings of hunger and appetite. It's for this reason that many restaurants, including McDonalds, use the colour red in marketing and branding.

Keywords associated with the colour red:

  • Passion
  • Anger
  • Energy
  • Love
  • Hunger
  • Warmth

Yellow

Yellow is a bright, cheerful and happy colour that is associated with clear thinking and fresh ideas. Due to it's youthful and playful nature it's often used in children's products. Yellows are also said to evoke primal feelings of warmth as they make us think of the sun.

Keywords associated with the colour yellow:

  • Happy
  • Optimistic
  • Youth
  • Fresh
  • Warmth
  • Cheer

Green

Greens are the most commonly found colour in nature, and as such give a brand an immediate and intrinsic link to the outdoors. It's for this reason that many companies involved in gardening or organic produce opt for a green logo. Green is also so strongly associated with the environment that the word itself depicts a person or organisation that is environmentally friendly.

Keywords associated with the colour green:

  • Nature
  • Eco-Friendliness
  • Health
  • Organic
  • Balance
  • Envy

Orange

Orange is a warm colour that, much like red, inspires energy and a call to action. For many years orange has been associated with value brands and also performs well in food outlets as it increases feelings of hunger. It promotes a vibrant and flamboyant environment, bursting from decor and clothing as if one was actually opening a zesty orange.

Words associated with the colour orange:

  • Vibrant
  • Warmth
  • Value
  • Sociable
  • Creative
  • Caution

Purple

Purple is a rich colour that divides public opinion. It suggests extravagance and wealth, therefore people associate it with a higher class of product such as chocolates or make-ups. Purple also has strong ties to the otherworldly, and is often used in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

Words associated with the colour purple:

  • Royalty
  • Creative
  • Mystery
  • Rich
  • Fantasy
  • Divine

Pink

Pink is strongly asscociated with femininity and is thought to evoke feelings of fun and flirtation. From birth, girls tend to be surrounded by the colour pink and therefore brands such as Barbie use it to appeal to young females.

Words associated with the colour pink:

  • Feminine
  • Nurture
  • Energy
  • Romance
  • Hope
  • Compassion

Brown

Brown is similar to green in its psyclogical connotations of nature. As a colour, brown denotes strength, stability and reliability and as such is used by many delivery companies and security firms. In studies it has been regarded highly by men, however females tend to see brown as a boring or even dirty colour.

Words associated with the colour brown:

  • Nature
  • Down-to-Earth
  • Friendly
  • Homely
  • Comfort
  • Strength

White

White is a calming colour that brands use to create an impression fairness and equality. It's used extensively in the medical field and cleaning industry as white symbolises purity and cleanliness. It can also encorage the idea that something is heavenly or ethereal as it's intrinsically linked to faith. Of course, white is often used a background as it enhances any and all colours around it, however overuse can create a feeling of sterility and coldness.

Words associated with the colour white:

  • Pure
  • Clean
  • Simple
  • Equality
  • Faith
  • Innocence

Black

Black is used commonly by businesses as it creates an air of power, control and authority, but can also denote confidence. In many countries around the world the colour black is associated with death, the unknown and evil. However, more and more black is becoming a symbol of luxury and sophistication and as such is used by jewellers and high end car makers.

Words associated with the colour black:

  • Power
  • Strength
  • Evil
  • Sophisticated
  • Dark
  • Death


So, if your business is going through a rebrand, take a look at the industry your in because colour is more important than you may have thought...


More images will be uploaded to this article soon.

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