Have you ever looked at a company logo and wondered why they chose one specific colour over another? Sure, some colour choices are obvious, such as green in a landscaping business, or blue in a company that sells or uses water. But what about the rest? Is there a specific reason why a company chooses a colour that doesn’t seem to have any real bearing on what they do? The answer to that is yes, and the use of colour is actually a whole lot more important than you might ever have imagined.
The fact of the matter is that when we look at a company logo, it is the colour that is the first thing the brain registers. Even before you perceive what the image is or what the text within the logo says, that colour has smacked you in the face and created an instant impression of the logo. Think about when you are a driving in your car. Do you need words attached to the colours to know that some road signs signal danger? Of course not, green means go, orange means be alert, and red means stop. The meanings of those colours when used in logos is different, but the psychology is essentially the same.
Colours affect us in many different ways, with some making us feel calm and cool, while others make us feel hungry or excited in some way. There is a real psychology behind the use of colour, with most businesses attempting different variations before landing on one that delivers just the right message to the consumer. There are even brands that use different colours on their products to let you, the consumer, know what you are essentially getting before you buy.
This is commonly found on cigarette packaging, where the colour used on the pack gives a clue to what’s inside. While red is commonly used for standard cigarette varieties, green will be used for menthol, gold for light brands, and black for those that are stronger than most. You go to your local smoke shop and you’ll find that your eyes are inexorably drawn to the type of cigarettes that you want, and it’s the colours used that pull you in that specific direction.
Your brain has a way of piecing together all the elements in a brand to give you an idea of what to expect. If the “wrong” colour is used, confusion can reign. Imagine looking for a landscaping company and coming across a business that uses blue trees in their logo. You would be instantly confused, as blue is obviously not a colour that anyone would ever put together with landscaping. It can take a moment for that to all sink in when you see it, which is not something that a business wants you to do. They want you to recognise the brans, and have the colour used give you an idea of what it is that they do, even if it’s only on a subliminal level of sorts.