Have you ever considered the importance of color in branding? Coke is red. UPS is brown. Home Depot is orange. IBM is blue. John Deere is green. Caterpillar is yellow. Owens Corning is pink. These corporations understand the proper use of color is vital to creating a positive and memorable image among consumers. Color is the first thing that consumers will notice about your logo. Color stimulates all the senses, instantly conveying a message like no other communication method.

Choosing the right dominant color for your brand is extremely important. This color should appear on all your marketing and promotional materials, including your logo and product packaging. As much as possible, the color you choose should set you apart, work with your industry and image, and tie to your brand promise. It should also take into account color psychology, which is fairly complex. Colors can mean different things depending on the culture, situation and industry. However, in American advertising at least, studies suggest some universal meanings:

Blue: Cool blue is perceived as trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible and secure. Strongly associated with the sky and sea, blue is serene and universally well-liked. Blue is an especially popular color with financial institutions, as its message of stability inspires trust. Blue is also frequently used by energy, airline, technology, healthcare, and agriculture companies.

Red: Red activates your pituitary gland, increasing your heart rate and causing you to breathe more rapidly. This visceral response makes red aggressive, energetic, provocative and attention-grabbing. Count on red to evoke a passionate response, albeit not always a favorable one. For example, red can represent danger or indebtedness. Red is popular for food, technology, automotive, and agricultural companies.

Green: In general, green connotes health, freshness and serenity. However, green’s meaning varies with its many shades. Deeper greens are associated with wealth or prestige, while light greens are calming. Green is also often associated with environmentalism and recycling. Green is often used by energy, finance, food, household, and technology firms.

Yellow: Yellow is associated with the sun in every society. Thus, it communicates optimism, positivity, light, and warmth. Certain shades seem to motivate and stimulate creative thought and energy. The eye sees bright yellows before any other color, making them great for point-of-purchase displays. Yellow is popular with companies in the energy, food, and household goods industries.

Purple: Purple is a color favored by creative types. With its blend of passionate red and tranquil blue, it evokes mystery, sophistication, spirituality and royalty. Lavender evokes nostalgia and sentimentality. Purple is popular for finance, technology, and healthcare companies.

Pink: Pink’s message varies by intensity. Hot pinks convey energy, youthfulness, fun, and excitement and are recommended for less expensive or trendy products for women or girls. Dusty pinks appear sentimental. Lighter pinks are more romantic.

Orange: Cheerful orange evokes exuberance, playfulness, dynamic energy, fun, and vitality. With the drama of red plus the cheer of yellow, orange is viewed as gregarious and often childlike. Research indicates its lighter shades appeal to an upscale market. Peach tones work well with health care, restaurants and beauty salons. Orange is popular with technology and healthcare firms.

Brown: This earthy color conveys simplicity, durability and stability. Brown is as natural and dependable as Mother Earth, but lacks energy. It can also elicit a negative response from consumers who relate to it as dirty. Certain shades of brown, like terracotta, can convey an upscale look. From a functional perspective, brown tends to hide dirt, making it a logical choice for some trucking and industrial companies. Brown is often used by clothing, automotive, and agricultural companies.

Black: Black is serious, bold, powerful and classic. It creates drama and connotes sophistication, timelessness, and prestige. Black works well for expensive products, but can also make a product look heavy. Black is most popular with clothing, technology, and automotive companies.

White: White connotes simplicity, softness, cleanliness and purity. The human eye views white as a brilliant color, so it immediately catches the eye in signage. White is often used with infant and health-related products. White is commonly used by clothing, child-related, and healthcare firms.

All the colors above can be categorized into two basic categories: warm and cold. In general, warm colors, like red and yellow, send an outgoing, energetic message, while cool colors, like blue and green, are calmer and more reserved. Brightening a cool color increases its vibrancy and reduces its reserve.

A study of the world’s top 100 brands (as determined by brand value) showed that 33% use blue, 29% use red, 28% use black or grayscale, and 13% use yellow or gold.

Contact the graphic design experts at DALLAS PRINTING for advice and assistance with logo design, marketing materials design, and any other creative or artistic support that you may need.