The Anatomy of Branding Color: How to Choose Brand Colors

How to Choose Brand Colors

A very obvious, seemingly surface, yet integral part of your branding success is design. And the first paragraph in the book of design is your choice of color. The strategy behind selecting brand colors is often times overlooked by business owners and left up to the hands of designer or founder’s personal choice.

If you hired professional help in logo and website design then keep your fingers crossed that your he / she has an ample understanding of your company goals, customer demographics, behavior, and your product of course. Over 70% of the time that is not the case. A branding expert will help in this scenario, but wouldn’t you rather take control into your own hands? After all, nobody knows your company better than you.

Why it’s Important

As much as we would like to believe that our customers are logical individuals who make decisions based on substance rather than fluff, at the end of the day you are marketing to humans. And human decisions are driven by the subconscious mind as much as conscious. Through the use of color you can instill trust, excitement, or even fear. Each color has its own unique personality and evokes very specific emotions within us. It take about 5 seconds for a customer to judge your company as they enter the website. It is not too different than how fast and interviewer makes decision. So let’s figure out how to make a good first and long lasting impression.

Use this guide as your reference to consumer color preference

Color Emotions & Associations Men Women
Bright Pink exciting, happy, hot, attention-getting, energetic, youthful, spirited, fun, trendy, wild Dislike Like
Light Pink romantic, soft, sweet, tender, cute, babies, delicate Dislike Like
Dusty pink soft, cozy, subtle, dusky Dislike Like
Mauve soft, subdued, quiet, sentimental Dislike Like
Burgundy rich, elegant, refined, tasty, expensive, mature Dislike Like
Fuchsia bright, exciting, fun, hot, high energy Dislike Like
Bright red exciting, energizing, hot, dynamic, stimulating, dramatic, aggressive, powerful
Brick red earthy, strong, warm, country
Terracotta earthy, warm, wholesome, country, welcoming
Orange fun, whimsical, childlike, glowing, vital, energizing, gregarious, friendly, loud Dislike
Peach nurturing, soft, fuzzy, delicious, fruity, sweet, inviting
Light yellow cheerful, happy, soft, sunny, warm, sweet
Bright yellow enlightening, sunshine, cheerful, friendly, hot, luminous, energy
Greenish Yellow lemony, tart, fruity, acidic
Golden Yellow autumn, flowers, rich, sun, warm, wheat, comforting, sunbaked, buttery
Cream smooth, rich, warm, neutral, soft, classic, delicious
Beige classic, sandy, earthy, neutral, soft, warm, bland
Earth brown rooted, wholesome, sheltering, masculine, woodsy, warm, durable, secure, rustic, earth, diet Dislike Dislike
Coffee or Chocolate rich, delicious
Red purple exciting, flamboyant, creative, unique Dislike
Deep Plum expensive, regal, classic, powerful, elegant
Blue purple mystical, spiritual, futuristic, fantasy, meditative
Lavender nostalgic, delicate, sweet, scented, floral, sweet taste Dislike Like
Grape sophisticated, sweet taste, subtle
Orchid exotic, flowers, fragrant, tropical Dislike
Light blue calm, quiet, peaceful, cool, water, clean
Sky blue calming, cold, heavenly, constant, faithful, true, dependable, happy, restful, tranquil Like Like
Teal blue pleasing, rich, classy, expensive, unique Like Like
Bright blue electric, energetic, vibrant, stirring, happy, dramatic Like Like
Navy credible, authoritative, quiet, classic, conservative, strong, dependable, traditional, service, nautical, confident, professional, serene Like Like
Turquoise ocean, tropical, jewelry Dislike Like
Aqua cool, fresh liquid, ocean, refreshing, healing
Light green neutral, trustworthy, refreshing, cool, restful, stately, forest, traditional, money Like Like
Olive green military, camouflage, safari, classical, drab Like Like
Bright green fresh, grass, Irish, lively, spring, foliage, outdoors Like Like
Bright yellow green artsy, sharp, bold, gaudy, trendy, tacky, slimy Like Like
Lime tart, acidic, refreshing, lively Like Like
Pure white pure, clean, sterile, innocent, silent, light, airy, bright, glistening
Black powerful, elegant, mysterious, heavy, basic, bold, classic, strong, expensive, night, prestigious, sober Like
Charcoal gray professional, classic, sophisticated, solid, enduring, mature
Neutral gray cool, sober, corporate, timeless, quality, ghostly
Taupe neutral, basic, timeless, practical, classic
Silver cool, expensive, money, valuable, futuristic
Gold warm, opulent, expensive, radiant, valuable, prestigious


-Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color

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