Colour is one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication that designers use day-to-day.
Colour offers an instant, direct and emotive message, so it is important that designers and clients choose their use of colour carefully and appropriately, depending on the impression they wish to make.
Colours can greatly affect purchasing and business decisions, as our brains are predisposed and programmed to respond to different colours. According to many scientific studies, colour affects much more than our emotional state (although, this is not to be overlooked), and it has the ability to affect our buying habits and economic decisions. Whilst there are many cultural associations that correspond with different colours, due to psychological factors, some colours have universal meanings.
To get you thinking about what colour can do for your company’s website, logo and packaging, we have put together a list of different colours and the impression they often stimulate in customers and potential clients…
This shade acts as the universal colour of peace, purity and cleanliness. Because of the nature of this hue, it is often used as negative space, and represents refinery in its simplest form. Because of its association with blank space, the tone is often used by companies that aim to promote peacefulness, and is often utilised by medical and dental businesses because of its associations with cleanliness and hygiene.
Logos that utilise this colour: World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Fed-Ex, NHS, Bupa
The colour of sunshine! Yellow often symbolises brightness, happiness, joy and warmth. However, because of its eye-catching nature, yellow is often used for ‘caution’ and roadwork signs.
Logos that utilise this colour: McDonalds, Ikea, Ferrari, Lucozade
Combining the intense, passionate nature of red, and the brightness and joy of yellow, orange is associated with warmth, playfulness and appetite. The colour orange is said to stimulate self-confidence and creativity.
Logos that utilise this colour: Burger King, Nickelodeon, Fanta, Orange, Mozilla Firefox, Mastercard, Amazon, Hermès
The colour of passion. Red is a visual symbol of mental and physical energy, and is known to stimulate powerful emotive responses. Its visual connotations with blood has meant that it has historically been associated with sacrifice, danger and courage. In Europe the colour is affiliated with sexuality, lust and love (for example, a red rose) and in China and many other Asian cultures, it is the colour of happiness and prosperity. The colour is often related to celebration, ceremony and well-being (let’s not forget Santa’s signature shade), for instance, brides in Asia traditionally wear red.
Logos that utilise this colour: Coca Cola, Red Bull, KFC, McDonald’s, YouTube, BBC, Disney Store, Virgin.
Pink is a pale red tone, which takes its name from a flower of the same colour (Dianthus). Pink has become synonymous with femininity, and the colour therefore has associations with innocence and delicateness.
Logos that utilise this colour: Barbie, Cosmopolitan magazine, Johnson and Johnson, LG, 4Music, HMV, the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, T Mobile, Hello Kitty, Claire’s, Victoria’s Secret
Purple and violet have long been associated with royalty and spirituality, as purple was the colour worn by Roman Emperors and magistrates, and later by Roman Catholic bishops. As a result of these connotations, many companies utilise purple tones in order to convey quality and luxury. For example, the greeting card company Hallmark has a logo in the colour purple that is adorned with the image of a crown, and their slogan is “When you care enough to send the very best”. This is an example of a company utilising purple’s association with royalty to convey an ethos of quality and luxury.
Logos that utilise this colour: Hallmark, Yahoo!, Cadbury, Lime Crime
Blue is known for evoking serene, calm and dignified emotive responses. Known as an expression of trust, communication and intellectual stimulation, blue indicates reliability and responsibility.
Logos that utilise this colour: American Express, Facebook, Twitter, HP, Ford, BMW
Due to its allusions to the environment and nature, the colour green has become synonymous with vitality and renewal. Companies who wish to present themselves as being concerned with the environment often use green in their logos and brand image.
Logos that utilise this colour: Animal Planet, BP, Starbucks, John Deere
Grey is regarded as an extremely professional shade, mostly because of its neutral appearance. It is linked to materials such as steel and concrete, which gives the impression of being solid, high-quality and long lasting.
Logos that utilise this colour: Swarovski, Elle magazine, Audi, Apple, Honda, Wikipedia
Used for its boldness and simplicity, black exudes sophistication and professionalism. Many luxury brands favour black in their logos and brand image as it has become synonymous with elegance. The little black dress is a classic for a reason, and black’s notoriety for being classic and luxurious has given birth to the phrase ‘[insert fashionable trend here] is the new black’.
Logos that utilise this colour: Chanel, YSL, Gucci, Mini, Lamborghini
This video explains the affect that colour has on our emotions, and how brands utilise this.
Here at Liquid Bubble we specialise in both web design and graphic design, and we understand the importance of creative, unique and current design. We know how to convey your business’s message through a visual medium, through the utilisation of colour and other techniques. If you are looking for ecommerce design in London, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Liquid Bubble.