Color is an integral part of marketing. It evokes a mood from your consumer, it helps you stand out amongst other companies, and it can define your industry. The color of your logo and marketing materials is as important as your logo and marketing materials. If you have chosen a color just because you like it, without thinking of the impact that color has, it may be time to consider some changes.

1. There are generally industry standards for color.
For example, green has become the industry standard for health and nutrition. “Green” has even become the term for eco-friendly. At the same time, you may also want to look at colors that are typically NOT used in your industry. For example, one large bank recently changed their logo, store signage, ATMs, etc from their red and black logo to a new logo featuring the colors blue and green. In the financial industry, being “in the red” is undesirable, while blue communicates trustworthiness. Thinking about typical colors for your industry and colors that may have a negative connotation are good practices when creating your identity and color palette.

2. Some colors help to evoke a mood. Peaceful colors are generally blue, green, or turquoise. Corporate colors are black or navy. Exciting colors are red or magenta. I generally hear clients say they’d like their logo and color palette to be bright and cheerful to evoke an uplifting mood, as in Denise Mock’s color palette. She wanted to reinforce a positive, cheerful outlook, so we decided to create her logo in several bright colors that can be used interchangeably in her marketing materials.

3. Who is your ideal customer? There tends to be some general guidelines when marketing to certain targets. For example, men tend to prefer the color blue or gray to red. Women tend to prefer red to blue. The age range of your ideal customer also will need to be a consideration. Babies tend to cry more in a yellow room (I have personal experience with this) and respond better to visuals that are high contrast. Pre-adolescent children tend to gravitate more to primary colors, where teens and young adults start showing a preference for more complex colors.

4. Colors can also create a sense of urgency. Yellow, red and orange have a tendency to be attention grabbing and therefore can cause a sense of urgency. In fact, in 1999, research from Pantone revealed that a yellow background with black type was the best color combination for printed material*. It stated that this combination scored highest in memory retention and legibility. Ever wonder why all those school flyers and postings on telephone poles are printed on neon paper?

5. Color can help you stand out. We’ve already talked about industry standards, that green usually is related to healthy, eco-friendly, or natural, but by choosing a different color than the industry norm, you can stand out. For instance, if you are the only purple label in the natural shampoo aisle, you’re label will be most likely to stand out. Sometimes, it’s about being different.

6. You need to be versatile. Don’t “paint yourself into a corner” with color. Make sure you have a color palette. Choose colors that work together as a family. Make certain they can be used to compliment each other and facilitate the type of instant communication we’ve talked about.

7. Lastly, break the rules. Use colors that appeal to you. You want to love your logo and branding, so be sure to choose what speaks to you, as well.  There is always more than one option when it comes to color in business. You don’t have to choose anything that you don’t like or that doesn’t resonate with you.

* The Costco Connection, December, 1999
Photo credit: Steve Snodgrass


03/08/2016 5:46am

Did you know that colors communicate? colour communicates a brief look at how colour is a powerful and important communication tool, in business, retailing, religion and culture.

11/07/2016 9:51am

These seven tips have been used by me all the time when I am having the same situation like this one here. We should be having some change in our life so that we could live better life.

02/22/2017 2:44pm

Colors do brings a huge factor when it comes to business advertising, start by experimenting what color should be perfect for your logo or whatsoever you are working on to promote or to advertise that may capture the attention of the people. If you think you choose the right colors, try asking some people if they find them appealing, it is important that you consider other people's suggestion, if they don't think that it's not a good one, but still, it's your own choice to choose what it is perfect for your work and might as well try and try if it doesn't appeal to people.


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