Colour Theory: Colour & Branding


Here we turn our attention to the power of colour as a tool for establishing and maintaining visual identity, exploring how a brand can achieve successful market standout that attracts consumers.

A brand is used to communicate the personality and idea of a product or company way beyond colour trends. The selection process during branding design often involves extensive market research to assess whether a colour palette is fit for purpose. Consequently, designers creating a brand style must assess the preferences of their target audience and understand how to create a strong consumer-product relationship.



Colour association is taken seriously in brand building, for example yellow can represent optimism, said to enhance a positive mood, while associations with water and tranquillity link blues to a sense of trust. With a clear association with nature and wellbeing, shades of green are regularly included in the colour selection for brands looking to project a nurturing and calming image.



The role of colour in stirring people’s emotions has proven to be effective, but rather than simply choosing a palette based on generalised observations, companies can, and do, go further by better understanding their specific customers’ interaction with certain colours. They do this through market research to increase the effectiveness of the message presented



Fundamentally, colour is a useful marketing tool and examples of brands that dominate their sectors prove to us that a memorable logo is key. Here is where colour comes into its own as this is the visual component of a logo that stays in people’s minds best, before even shapes, symbols, numbers and letters are recalled.

Many of the most successful brands in the world rely on colour to gain instant recognition. For example, the Coca-Cola logo dominates the soft drinks market, remembered firstly for its bold use of red and white and secondly for its typeface. Red evokes strong emotions, said to increase passion and intensity and is often used to attract impulsive shoppers.



The foundation of a brand's identity and the colours selected are paramount and must convey the message of a product in a way that will encourage consumers to try something new. Another key challenge for companies is how to ensure that interest leads to profit. Colour can play a vital part in this stage.



Wit the importance of online marketplaces, the design of websites is a powerful tool. If designed well, pages should focus the viewers’ attention and draw them to the most important sections. Conversion rates, for example the percentage of website visitors who buy something on the site, can also be strengthened through colour use.



The isolation effect explores how an item that strongly stands out from its surroundings is more likely to be remembered. Through colour contrast, it is possible to guide people to key areas of a page, keeping in mind that the important section must be the most obvious. In using complementary colours, a brand can choose a main colour palette and then introduce a contrasting colour to attract the eye to key areas.



The relationship between brands and colour relies upon the perceived appropriateness of the selected tones for a particular brand. Using our knowledge of colours and their emotional perception, considered choices can be made so that a brand not only appeals to its target audience but has a visual identity that, if successful, is recognised through colour alone.



MIX Magazine is a quarterly print and digital publication by our creative agency, Colour Hive and is available as part of Colour Hive Membership.

Duha Group is a global, industry leading manufacturer of innovative colour marketing tools. We specialise in colour matching, colour mass reproduction and colour system management.

We are here for all your colour needs, lets talk…





Want to stay updated on global colour solutions? Sign up for our quartlerly Colour Strategy Newsletter.