Using the psychology of colour to build brand image

Although we may sound like a broken record, it is so important to reiterate that when you’re designing a brand, it has to reflect who you are. It is impossible to build a brand image that does not reflect the type of personality that you have as this is what your businesses foundations are built on.

You are the most important factor of your colour scheme. The thing in which determines the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ that you opt for when designing a brand. While there are many strategies for branding, it is necessary to appreciate that the colours that we work with are a defining factor into how we are perceived.

When considering the colours that we use when creating, for example, a sign for a shop, design for a menu or the importance of a logo, we have to look at ourselves and the colours that impact us – our personality, emotions and reactions to be specific.

Now, before anyone points out, we are of course all different. We all have inherent reasonings for liking and choosing the colours that we surround ourselves with (this is what makes being a graphic design agency so difficult!). But there are some basic rules that we must follow:

There are four main colours that reflect the body, mind, balance, and ego. These are red, blue, green, and yellow. How you choose to represent these colours is entirely reflective of you and your business. These colours are the reason why logos are important, why we ponder over design ideas for brochures and other collateral marketing. They are essential and how (if) we choose to reflect these colours have an automatic influence on how our brand is engaged with.

Next is something much more personal. We each have colours that are connected to our own personal feelings and who we are as people: our power colour, our romantic colour, our focal colour, our dramatic colour, and our contrast colour. In some cases, creative design agencies can identify these colours by working closely with a brand to pick out key aspects of its personality. In most cases, these colours are prevalent and reflective in the brand already due to management style, employee engagement and culture in the workplace to name a few.

A graphic design agency has to look at key facts: what colours encourage people to take you and your business seriously? What colour emphasises the sexuality of the business? Which colour can be used to derive from stress and exhibit a calming atmosphere? Have you got a colour which will lift spirits and create a positive impact on others? Most importantly, what colour captures the essence of your entire brand (and personal) personality? What colour marries together the inner feelings of your brand and what you exhibit to the world?

A tale as old as time from creative design agencies is that when brand building, it is impossible to offer general advice on how to discover what these colours are for your business. It is a personal matter that extends far beyond the theme of your logo design or collateral marketing material. The colours that you choose are the initial interaction and key takeaway that all interacting with your business experience – they represent employee relationships, people management, development training – and all of the other things that go into building a brand aside from design.

For example, the Heinz beans tin. With a blue base (the most popular of all colours), the turquoise shade is a departure from traditional food colours, thus increasing the initial impact of first seeing the branding. The colour is also an Autumnal tone, creating feelings of warmth and cosiness, a key element for a staple food product. Why does it work? It just does! And you know exactly what it looks like without even seeing it, don’t you?

Another example of iconic branding is the Cadburys twirl. The deep purple background identifying high quality and uncompromising standards contrasted with the bright yellow text highlighting excitement, liveliness, and optimism. Standard would argue that these colours do not ‘go’, but they sell, and this is the ultimate goal.

So, how you determine what colours work for your company? You have to understand your product, your sector, your employees, your end goal, and most importantly – yourself.

Sometimes, it might just ‘feel’ right, and this is okay. At Strategi Solutions, our goal is to find this moment. The ‘wow’ as you see everything that your organisation stands for, your hard work and future goals, your team and your visions all colliding to create your brand image. It is not easy to get this right, but it is not impossible. And the best part is that as you grow, your image does too, moulding to the personality of your business as it develops and cements its position in the market, whatever market that way be.

So, it’s not just a logo. We’re not just a logo designer, a brochure designer, even a restaurant menu designer. We are the curators of a personality, a memorable moment, a sense of trust. How do we do that? We get to know you. Your colleagues. Your business spaces. Your goals. Your market. It’s partnership, and it’s what we’re good at.

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