Colour Theory In Branding; How To Choose Your Brand Colours

The meaning behind the colours brands choose

Building a strong brand identity means delving deeply into the thoughts and feelings people have around different colours. 

You have the traditional colour theories that you learned in high school art classes, such as the ones that say that green is neutral, blue is calming, yellow is lively, and red is a passionate colour.

And then there are the colour theories that relate more closely to how consumers see colour when purchasing a product.

Colour Theory In Branding; How To Choose Your Brand Colours

Superbrands colour theory

Use the competitors AT vision board stage?

Some of these are based on colours that superbrands have made iconically related to their products, like how almost every fake version of Coca-Cola comes packaged in a similar red to the original.  

Or why Coke’s biggest competitor, Pepsi, chose to use the opposite colour as their signature brand colour, helping them stand out from all the Coke wannabes and putting them in the spotlight as a unique offering in its own right. 

So maybe if you’re working on a new product, look at your closest competitor and decide if you want to be the Pepsi to their Coke. Or are you just blending in with the crowd? 

A notable instance of this is Cardiff Hearing, which has been on a mission to make hearing health not just something you associate with elderly people. They have made this immediately apparent with their bold brand identity, which, when compared to their competitors, does feel 100 times more modern and youthful. 

This is due to the bolder brand colour palette used, because as well as being vibrant, they are also what you could describe as youthful colours. 

These brand colours are ones that you might picture when you think of a sweetshop or a fairground. The youthful colours are elevated when paired with the deep blue, making them feel more luxurious and high-end. 

This has already caught the attention of a younger audience, and they have recently worked with a number of music artists to fit them with the correct in-ear equipment for when they are performing live.

Emotionally charged brand colours

Humans are emotional creatures as well as creatures of habit, so it makes sense that when we see different colours, they can make us feel different emotions. This is why, when you see spa products or spa branding, they use mainly neutral, muted, calming colours. Just imagine walking into a spa and being greeted by a bright orange and vibrant yellow colour scheme everywhere.

It wouldn’t make for the most relaxing environment, but imagine it with muted greens and blues: much better! A brand that has used a muted colour palette to tell their brand story is M4 Mortgages, which wanted to offer a more personal mortgage experience. 

They wanted their brand to appeal to families, and with a female dream team, they were also hoping to be attractive to women who might have been put off seeking mortgage advice from more corporate services in the past. 

The colour palette is very soft and gentle, which makes people less likely to feel intimidated to reach out for advice. It also translated into a beautiful animation, telling the story of how M4 Mortgages wants to help their clients find their dream homes. 

The colour palette gives this animation a calm and relaxed feel, which will make the audience feel that the service being offered would have a similar calm and relaxed feel. 

Exactly what M4 Mortgages wanted.

Rules are made to be broken

We love experimenting with colour here in the studio. The branding Alchemists are experts in colour, fully comprehending both the meanings of individual colours and the colour-combination schemes, so they can mix and match colours without hesitation. 

They are not afraid to push the boundaries and break the traditional rules of colour theory in branding. 

When working with Clarified Company, a strategic, creative consultancy, the Alchemists decided to push the boundaries and chose a bold and unexpected colour palette consisting of deep forest green, lime green, and thistle, which is a bright pink with tones of purple. 

These unconventional colours are not commonly seen together, but the Alchemists believed that they would capture the attention of the target audience and convey the brand’s progressive and creative approach.

The use of thistle, a colour associated with creativity and innovation, conveyed the brand’s forward-thinking mindset. Forest green, often associated with the natural world, represented the brand’s sophisticated approach. Lime green, a colour associated with energy and excitement, captured the brand’s dynamic and adventurous spirit.

By breaking the traditional rules of colour theory, the Alchemists were able to create a brand that was unique, memorable, and aligned with the brand’s vision and values.

The Alchemists believe that by mastering the basics of colour theory, they gain the knowledge and insight to create unique and memorable brand identities that challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of creativity. 

Their approach to colour in branding is one of experimentation, creativity, and innovation, and they continue to push the limits of what is possible with colour to create remarkable brand experiences for their clients.

If you’re all about breaking the rules in order to stand out from the crowd…

Get in touch with us today, and let’s start bringing your brand to life.

Sign up to hear latest news and competitions

Be part of the wizard family with regular updates (we promise not to spam you, that’s not our style).