Could you imagine if the “Golden Arches” were purple, or if IBM’s colors were red and green? You may have wondered who, how and why they came up with the colors that they did.
Why is it that so many restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway all use red, orange, yellow or green, but you don’t see a lot of blue or purple.
Chances are there’s a lot more to the process than you might imagine. And if you haven’t wondered but you are thinking of creating a logo or hiring someone to do it for you, this is something you’ll want to read.
It sounds absurd, but choosing the right colors for your business image
and logotype can mean the difference between success and failure. Take
the example above, did you know that research shows that people eat more in a
room painted with warm colors like yellow and red, versus cold color? Yep, it’s
We are all affected by the color we see — both physiologically and psychologically;
your customers are no different.
In fact, your customers instantly make assumptions about your company; it’s quality and service based on your logo and the colors you’ve associated with it. Most of the time they aren’t even aware if it, but trust me, your customers make very quick assumptions about your company based on your identity and the colors you’ve chosen to use.
It’s simple; choose the right colors that are pleasing to your target market and you win. You’re one step ahead of the competition.
So how do you choose the right colors? If you’re working with a knowledgeable designer to create your corporate image you’ve got a huge advantage over a business owner going it alone. Make sure you work with a business savvy designer that thoroughly understands color theory and how it affects consumers.
If you go it alone there’s good news and bad: the bad news is that there is no color combination that works for all industries and business. The good news is scientific studies have concluded that there are some basic theories on how certain colors can affect our behavior. If you use the information in these studies you can select the color ranges that might work more effectively for your business and industry. Here are a few findings from one such study:
RED This is food color. Ever notice that restaurants use red
a lot? It makes you hungry by increasing your body’s metabolism. Red suggests
aggression, hostility, heat, stop, error, warning, danger, error, fire, lushness
and passion. Here’s the Red Challenge – see if you can find an air conditioning
company with a lot of red in their logo, you probably won’t.
YELLOW Yellow suggests the sun, expansiveness, happiness and
high spirits. Yellow commands attention and suggests caution. It can be used successfully
as a highlight. Here’s the Yellow Challenge – see if you can find a financial
company with a lot of yellow in their logo.
BLUE Not a good color for hospitals. Blue suggests the peaceful,
the sad and water. Blue is often associated with the male. Blue is a cool color
and can visually expand a room. It does not compliment most foods. Blue goes well
with warm colors and materials. Here’s the Blue Challenge – see if you can
find a fast-food restaurant with a lot of blue in their logo, you’ll have to look
GREEN Associated with nature the pastoral and general well-being.
Green also suggests envy and jealousy. Green should not be overused. Too much
can affect skin tones and the appearance of some foods. Here’s the Green Challenge
– see how many headlines you see in green, you can – but you’ll see a lot more
BLACK Black can have negative sociological connotations like
evil, mourning, ghostly, night, death and fear. However, black can be very stylish
and modern. Black works well as an accent with other colors. Here’s the Black
Challenge – see if you can find health care organizations with a lot of black
in their logo.
Sure, you’ll be able to find some exceptions to my challenges; I know there are always exceptions to the rule. Some of the exceptions may even work, but your best bet is to either to study and learn color theory or work with a business savvy designer that understands it.