How Color Choice in Design Affects Your Brand


Yellow is a cheerful color. Ask anybody. It’s bright, warm, and refreshing, just like the sun. It’s an innocent color…

Or is it?

Yellow is actually quite manipulative. It plays tricks on your brain. When you see yellow, your brain releases more serotonin – a chemical that naturally lifts your mood. Yellow makes you feel good… purposefully.

Yellow isn’t the only color that influences your mind. All colors do. Ever since the beginning of time, colors have been holding a lot of power over us – more power than you think. They evoke a lot of emotions from us, and it was only recently that marketers started taking advantage of that.  

Always pay attention to color when designing your brand.

Colors play a huge role in brand design. Gone are the days when a company could simply slap together a color scheme, and say, “That looks pretty, let’s use it.” Today, designing a brand takes a lot of thought, work, and manpower. In fact, there is an entire industry devoted to brand design, and color psychology plays a huge part in this end.

According to a 2004 study conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo, the color of a logo increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent. When asked about the importance of color when making purchasing decisions, 84.7 percent of total respondents admitted that color was one of the main reasons they chose one brand over another.

Green ketchup can teach us something.

Remember when Heinz made their ketchup green back in 2001? That caused the highest sales spike in Heinz’s history. The ‘EZ Squirt Blastin’ Green’ ketchup flew off the shelves during its first seven months on the market. More than 10 million bottles were sold. It didn’t matter whether the ketchup was Heinz or a store brand. It didn’t matter whether or not the ketchup contained preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup. It didn’t matter how much more expensive the ketchup was compared to another brand. People saw green ketchup, and they wanted it. 

Yes, green ketchup was different, but its success wasn’t attributed to the coolness factor. It’s because the ketchup was green. Green is a calming color that’s known to be associated with growth, nature, and wellness. Compare that to the standard color for ketchup, red – a color that provokes impulsiveness and excitement. While grocery shopping, if you had a choice between a food product that stimulated a faster heartbeat and rapid breathing or a food product that evoked feelings of healthiness and wholesomeness, which one would you choose?

Our biology cause us to react to color on an instinctual level.

Color is the very first thing people register instinctively when seeing your logo, website, product, or advertisement. It’s extremely important that you use the right colors to grab their attention, because, on average, most products have only one-twentieth of a second to hold a person’s interest before he or she moves on to the next one. If your color scheme seems displeasing or irrelevant to what your potential customers are looking for, you could lose them in a nanosecond. 

Color is, and will always be, a very powerful marketing tool because, in the words of Pablo Picasso, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”

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