3 Quick tips for using colour in branding

Posted in Branding, colour, colour - psychology, colour education, colour training, colour-psychology, Graphic design, Interior design on May 23rd, 2012 by Bernay

Research in to the relationship between marketing and colour has found that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80% and that more than 50% of the decision to purchase a product is based on colour. (Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo).

Remember, colour is a language. Use it to communicate and get your readers attention – colour works directly on our feelings and sends messages quicker to the brain than words or shapes.

  1. Don’t confuse your customer. So often I notice that brands may keep the same design style but change the colours across different media. Using the same colours consistently in all of your communications with your customers increases recognition and builds trust.
  2. What do the brand colours tell your customer about your product? Select the 1 –3 key colours that best capture the core values of your business . These are your ‘primary’ colours. Select secondary colours to complement these colours. They may be either lighter or darker versions of your primary colours or choose colours that are the exact opposite of your primary colours which will ‘balance’ the palette.
  3. Maintain the visual harmony. Select colours that belong in the same colour family and so share the same characteristics. This will maintain the integrity of the brand and its message.

More branding related articles…

McDonald’s – Going green?

Red and the Virgin Empire

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A colourful debate

Posted in Branding, colour, colour - psychology, colour education, colour training, colour-psychology, Graphic design on April 19th, 2010 by Bernay

Did anyone catch last weeks ‘presidential’ TV debate? If not live then you almost certainly can’t have failed to hear about it in the rest of the media!

One of the points that I often try to make about colour is that it is – to quote Angela Wright, ‘the universal non verbal language’. We use colour to communicate. Everyday we make choices (mostly subconsciously) about what colours to wear that whether we realise it or not, express how we feel.

Each leader David, Gordon and Nick all wore ties in their respective party colour of course, and one of the things that struck me as interesting when reading about last weeks debate was that each of the party leaders also appeared to exhibit qualities in their behaviour which reflected their party colour!

Perhaps previously considered the underdog, the overall impression was that Nick Clegg’s polished performance had ‘come out on top’ with a confident address to the viewers. A more noticeable colour, the positive aspects of the liberal party colour yellow express qualities of confidence, optimism and positivity.

Contrast this delivery with the overriding opinion of Gordon Brown’s performance in the Labour ‘red corner’ as being ‘aggressive and attacking, repeatedly interrupting and becoming increasingly frustrated’. These ‘behaviours’ are most synonymous with the negative traits of the colour red whilst David Cameron in the ‘blue corner’ was described as ‘statesmanlike, holding his nerve under a barrage from the Prime Minister’. Cool, calm and collected blue can appear authorative if a little predictable and safe.

Purple Power – Gordon Brown and team tapping in to the potential of purple

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Sparkle in spring!

Posted in Branding, colour, colour - psychology, colour education, colour training, colour-psychology, Graphic design, Interior design on January 25th, 2010 by Bernay

I’ve recently returned from a short winter break to find that nature has awoken and finally there are signs of spring! Everywhere I look I see swathes of daffodils waving in the breeze and the cheerful abundance of crocus flowers. Daylight seems lighter, a little longer and the skies a brighter blue as real ‘colour’ begins once more to emerge in the natural world.

Spring sweeps in like the proverbial breathe of fresh air and represents everything that’s new. Typically all spring colours that occur in nature can be described a light, warm and clear. If you look all around you at the colours of the grass shoots, emerging buds, blossoms and flowers you will see this.

The ‘colour personality’ that mirrors this season will most likely have an innate sense of youthfulness or a young outlook. They may even work with children or young people for the spring personality cares deeply about others and would do anything for anyone.

The ‘bubbly’ spring personality may have light coloured curly hair and bright, clear sparkly eyes. You’ll usually spot them in the thick of it at any social occasion for they love to party and would most likely be first on and last off the dance floor! They are most likely to suit clothing in light, crisp, fresh, smooth textures and fabrics perhaps patterned with polka dots or other small, fine designs. Gold jewellery or jewellery that sparkles, glitters or has a quality of ‘movement’ is quite likely to suit them.

The essence of any children’s products or services with an emphasis on youth, music, dance and fun will be best captured and communicated by the use of a ‘spring’ palette of colours. Yellow is a key spring colour. Reminding us of the return of warmth and sunshine, it relates to our emotional well-being, confidence and self-esteem. Bright, fresh greens can seem particularly ‘youthful’ whilst a lively light orange represents fun and sociability.

At home the spring personality will appreciate a lot of light and sparkle. Colours again will be light and warm with light coloured woods and ceramics; fine, crisp textures and small patterns or prints. Look to Kath Kidston’s fun products and colourful design http://www.cathkidston.co.uk/Default.aspx?language=en-GB&extcam=ppc_google for inspiration on the sort of colour and style that would appeal to the spring personality.

Or research the clear, crisp elements of Swedish, Nordic and Scandinavian design influences that includes a lot of the qualities of ‘light’ – Nordic Style http://www.nordicstyle.biz/accessories.php

And finally invite in the spirit of spring and celebrate the tradition of Easter by adding some natural colour with fresh spring flowers!


Spring hand-tied arrangement and tulip jug www.interflora.co.uk

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