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Colors Critical - In Branding/Marketing


  • an important consideration in a brand identity.

  • have a significant impact on people's emotional state.

  • can trigger an emotion and evoke a brand association.

  • is also important because a response to a color is based on a life experiences and cultural associations

Color Psychology - What Colors Communicate

“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~ Wassily Kandinsky

A quick rundown of different hues and the feelings they often evoke:

  • Red: excitement, danger, energy, courage, strength, anger.

  • Orange: creativity, enthusiasm, health, happiness, encouragement, balance.

  • Yellow: sunshine, hope, optimism, light, positivity, freshness.

  • Green: health, nature, renewal, generosity, freshness, environment.

  • Blue: freedom, trust, expansiveness, dependability, faith, inspiration.

  • Purple: royalty, luxury, power, pride, creativity, mystery.

Warm colors usually create energy and excitement, and evoke passion, while cool colors bring forth calm and relaxation.

Some popular and successful colors used in marketing.

Why does it matter?

It matters because the chosen color palette needs to be appropriate to not only evoke emotions but also be distinctive and be able to differentiate a brand from its competition.

How to Define a Color

  1. Hue - refers to the dominant color family. The origin of the colors that we can see. Primary and Secondary colors (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Violet) are considered Hues.

  2. Saturation - indicates the amount of grey in a color

  3. Brightness - refers to how much of white or black is in the color

Color Theory

Understanding how color is formed and the relationships between different colors, can help the use of color more effectively in the designs. Choosing colors requires a good understanding of the color theory.

Color Groups/Combinations

Colors work in groups and therefore brand identity needs to have some color schemes established meaning color combinations that work together well.

Monochrome, complementary, analogous, split, triad, or tetradic are different color schemes that guide the options between selecting contrasting colors and harmonious colors, depending on the desired effect wanted to be achieved.

Monochrome means using only one color ranging from its light shade to its darker shade.


Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel. They result in high-contrast and when paired bring out the best in each other.

Example on the color wheel - Blue and Orange. Notice how they are directly across from each other.


Analogous Combinations - These color combinations sit directly side by side on the color wheel and the harmonious blends evoke serenityand peace.

Example on the color wheel - Violet, Blue, and Teal.


Split uses 3 colors. One of the three colors is the base color. The other two colors are opposites of the base color in the wheel.


Triad is a combination of 3 colors that form a triangle in the center of the color wheel creating an amazing contrast, and a balanced color scheme.