Choosing Corporate Colours

A strong part of creating a corporate identity is by choosing the correct colours. As people of the general public make different associations with various colours, there is a lot to take into consideration when creating a logo and branding for your company.

Research reveals that people make subconscious judgement about a person, an environment or a product within the initial 90 seconds of viewing and a large percentage of these judgements are based on colour choices.

For many companies, choosing a correct colour for their brand symbolises their product and is specifically chosen to allow a certain product range stand out amongst others.

Colours also have a functional impact on readability, eye-strain, ability to attain attention and ability to be seen at night. Thus it is important to take the various uses for your corporate colours into consideration, such as printing, signage, décor, website design and marketing media. For instance, a logo may look fantastic when incorporating yellow and white into electronic signage but may be more difficult to read on a menu or a business card.

Psychologists have documented that “living colour” does more than appeal to the senses. It also boosts memory for scenes in the natural world.

Examples of associations that people may make while looking at specified colours are as follows

  • Red – Dynamic, Vital, Romantic, Commanding, Alert, Rebellious, Visible, Hot and Fun.
  • Orange – Helpful, Burning, Cosy, Abundant, Warning, Flavourful, Festive, Active, Excited, Communicative and Inspiring
  • Yellow – Young, Visible, Bright, Cheerful, Light Weight, Curious, Coward, Playful, Nutritious, Ill and Expanding
  • Green – Patient, Natural, Adventurous, Relaxed, Athletic, Unfortunate, Lucky, Balanced, Safe and Sharing
  • Blue – Technical, Deep, Freedom, Educated, Protective, Lonely, Peaceful, Cold, Clean, Authority and Formal
  • Purple – Intelligent, Artistic, Aloof, Luxurious, Royal, Vain, Fantastic, Melancholic, Feminine, Fragrant and Solemn.

When starting a project from scratch, it may appear difficult to choose appropriate colours at first. However, tips that may come in handy include using contrasting colours, complimentary colours and various shades of the same colours. Your branding may need warm or cold colours.

It is highly recommended to use as few colours as possible as it is often best to keep branding as simple and striking as possible. By using a large variety of colours one usually creates a very chaotic and uneasy feel that may not appeal to many clients. Things that you may also need to take into consideration are as follows:

  • What market are you trying to reach with your brand, for instance: Women, children, young people etc.
  • Is your product or service seasonal, for instance something that is only popular over Christmas or in summer months?
  • What colours are your competitors using? Should your colours be similar because of standard expectation or should your colours be different to allow you to stand out.
  • What is the company culture you would like to communicate to the direct public?

It may take some time to establish your corporate identity. After you have chosen colours and a logo, you may find the need to change or adapt your identity as you adapt within the market place.

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