Chase. Citibank. Barclay’s. Bank of America. All banks. All use blue for one of their dominant branding colors. Even other financial institutions like Prudential and Merrill Lynch use blue. Obviously it’s more than a coincidence that these money-related companies all chose blue for their brand identity. So what do they all know that you don’t?
The short answers is they know how to combine color theory with business. When building a brand—just like when building a house or furniture—you need to understand how to use all the tools at your disposal, and that’s just what we’re going to discuss today.
In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know about branding colors. We’ll touch on concepts from artistic disciplines—like color theory and art history—and merge them with the best practices for branding, marketing and what a company needs to survive in today’s business landscape. But first things first, you need to understand just why branding colors matter so much.
Why branding colors matter?
What do you think of when you hear the word “love?” Whether positive or negative, it mostly likely conjures a stronger emotional response than when you hear a phrase like “bike rack.”
Emotions are powerful and (whether we like it or not) drive our decision making. As a brand, you want to cultivate a strong emotional connection with your customers. The problem is you can’t tell your company’s entire life story in a logo or storefront—but branding colors provide a shortcut straight to your clientele’s hearts.
One of the most famous color theorists, Faber Birren, wrote extensively on the link between colors and our emotional state, particularly in his book Color Psychology and Color Theory. Just like the words “love” and “bike rack” elicit different emotions, colors like red and blue both create different human responses as well. Even more interesting, the same colors tend to provoke similar responses in different people; in other words, yellow evokes similar feelings in people from Montana to Timbuktu. This extends even to shades of individual colors, so deep dark blue and light sky blue will also have different effects…