If your business were a colour, what would it be? Red? Blue? Brown? Green?
Many entrepreneurs and established companies have trouble choosing colours. A designer may present a series of logos in a variety of colours. And all too often the team will choose the colours that they like best. But choosing a colour isn’t about what you like. It’s about what your company stands for. Colour carries incredible psychological power. You probably know that celebrities sit in a green room before performances and that McDonald’s uses orange to stimulate your appetite.
Therefore, instead of choosing your favorites, choose colours that support your brand promise and your company’s personality. For example, if you stand for innovation, choose red, orange or yellow — don’t use a traditional colour like navy or a simple colour like brown. Seem obvious? It becomes more obvious when you have a clear vision of your value proposition and brand promise. What about using multiple colours? Colour is most powerful in large doses; however, you can use two colors to add interest and depth. Just make sure they convey what you need to convey. Beyond that you start to neutralize the impact of your primary colour.
Understand the Psychological Impact When You Choose Your Colours
Here are some traditional meanings of popular colours:
Navy – A masculine colour associated with depth, expertise, and stability. It’s a preferred colour for corporate America.
Blue – Associated with tranquility and calmness. The colour of the sky and water, it
symbolizes sincerity, trust, wisdom and truth.
Green – The colour of nature. It symbolizes harmony, safety, growth, freshness, and fertility. It’s a restful colour that suggests stability and endurance.
Red – An emotionally intense colour. It’s associated with energy, strength, power, danger, and passion. It’s highly visible and enhances human metabolism, increases respiration, and raises blood pressure.
Orange – Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It’s associated with enthusiasm, joy, stimulation, attraction, creativity and health. It’s considered a sporty colour.
Yellow – The color of sunshine, yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. It’s associated with joy, happiness, vibrancy, intellect and energy.
Purple – A unique color that combines the stability of blue and energy of red. Generally associated with royalty, purple symbolizes luxury, wealth, power, and dignity.
Brown – The colour of earth. It’s associated with genuineness, simplicity, dependability, and friendliness.
Black – Associated with power, mystery, elegance, strength and formality. Black can be very formal, elegant and prestigious; it adds depth when combined with other colors.
Gray/silver – Has similar connotations to black, evoking dignity, wisdom, and responsibility.
Gold – Associated with success, money and wealth; it can evoke comfort and quality.
Once you’ve selected your color theme, you’ll need to choose PMS, CMYK, RGB and HEX colour formulas:
PMS = Pantone Matching System: Ink colours. If you’re printing only two colours on your business cards, your printer will probably use your two PMS colour inks.
CMYK is the formula for creating the colour using a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink during four-colour printing.
RGB is this formula is used in electronic documents – it’s the amount of red, green and blue used to create the colour.
HEX is a colour code used in HTML programming for your website.
It can be difficult to match your chosen look in different printing & electronic mediums, but a professional designer can help you choose the closest formulas.