Color and Brand: What’s the Right Hue for Your Business?

4 min read

Yellow submarine.

Green with envy.

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” – Pablo Picasso

From popular songs, idiomatic expressions, and quotes from famous people, color plays a significant role in everyday life. Color is everywhere, and that includes everything from nature to the many inventions that have permeated daily life.

Color is also ever-present in the brands that surround people all over the globe.

A kaleidoscope of colors 

Colors are an undeniable part of life. So if you are starting a business, color should be something that you must consider, especially when you are making your brand logo. With the help of a reputable brand strategy agency, you can put your heads together to come up with a shade that represents your brand.

Theories about color and how it influences human psychology and function have been around for decades. From Goethe’s Theory of Colours to more recent studies, there are science-backed concepts that support how color influences people’s actions, reactions, and interactions with the world around them.

For example, color is valuable in brand strategy formulation. Used strategically, color can be an effective tool to enhance a brand’s visual identity. Even without prior exposure to a brand logo, color can evoke an emotional response from consumers because of the brain’s ability to associate colors with other previous references.

In building your brand, your use of color must be carefully deliberated. It is not just about how nice it looks but also about how it will catch your target audience’s attention and trigger a positive response. Think of how colors influence brand perception in products like soft drinks, man-made indoor tropical forests, or designer footwear. Even service providers like hotels, delivery companies, or freight forwarders all have distinct colors that set them apart from their competition.

When deciding on which color will best put your brand forward, you must also think about the context. Studies say that different colors have different meanings when applied in different contexts.

This includes factors such as age, gender, culture, personal experiences, or neurological disparities. How you utilize color will spell the difference between a bright future for your business from failure

What’s the Best Hue for You?

If you’re still thinking of what color to use for your brand, sit down with your brand specialists, and brainstorm on your brand and business goals. Match them with the rainbow of choices available and strategically utilize them to achieve your objectives.

Here are some color choices that may be useful for your business:

1. Blue

Facebook, Twitter, Samsung. These are just three of the world’s top brands that use the color blue in their logos. This could be because the color blue is usually associated with positive attributes such as dependability, logic, loyalty, security, serenity, and trust.

This relaxed color is also said to be one of the top hues to consider for 2019, with earth colors making a statement. Ocean blues can be the color of choice, especially if your brand is into ocean sustainability, healthcare, or insurance.

On the flip side, the color blue can also depict loneliness and depression. Just bear in mind the color-in-context theory so you can be more strategic in its application.

2. Green

The color green is found to have beneficial implications beyond aesthetics, as found in a 2012 study. This fertile earth color influences creativity. It is also associated with nature, health, freshness, prosperity, and growth.

Lime green is a variation of this color that is said to be one of the trending hues this year. You can see shades of green being used by popular brands like Starbucks, Spotify, or Pampers.

On the other hand, you must also be mindful of the negative associations of this color. Among them are envy, stagnation, and sickness.

3. Orange

Pantone’s color of the year — Living Coral — is a shade of orange, and it is one of the most popular colors of 2019. It is associated with confidence, courage, warmth, energy, innovation, and friendliness.

On the downside, adverse associations include sluggishness, ignorance, immaturity, frivolity, frustration, and deprivation. As always, it depends on your application and use of the color in your logo or branding materials.

4. Red

This color is rich with contrasting attributes as it may be the color of love or hate, of passion or anger, or of luck or mourning. Depending on the elements or attributes of your brand, the color red is something that can make or break your identity. There are facts and figures that support how this color influences human behavior, so it must be used with care and caution.

Red shades trigger associations with energy, excitement, power, passion, strength, and fearlessness. Use the color red if these are what your brand stands for or wish to convey. Just be mindful that it can also be associated with aggression, anger, danger, defiance, pain, or warnings.

5. Yellow

What do Ferrari, McDonald’s, and Shell have in common? One could be the use of the color yellow in their logos. Yellow branding can be a powerful way to bring your brand closer to your intended audience. It is bright and sunny, sparking feelings of warmth and happiness. It also conveys positive feelings of creativity, intelligence, extraversion, and optimism.

Careless use of the color, though, may bring forth negative associations such as anxiety, cowardice, or irrationality.

Color of Success

Whether you choose the bright and bubbly yellow or the more calm and collected blue, it takes careful consideration and thoughtful strategy to create a logo with the color that will most likely bring you success. With a bit of research and the guidance of knowledgeable brand experts, you can certainly choose a hue that will bring color to your business and your consumers’ worlds.


Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.