When it comes to design, the easiest way to create a distinct and uniform visual theme for your brand is through colour scheme.
Certain colours or colour schemes almost become synonymous with brands based on the effect it has on audiences’ appreciation and memory.
The subliminal power of colour can often be stronger than language in conveying a message.
Depending on personal experiences and cultural significance, people have their own associations between colours and meaning. Some countries and cultures have differing associations for different colours.
To help you understand these general associations between colours and meaning, here’s a cheeky crash course in colour psychology…
Blue (Samsung, HP, Dell, Facebook, Volkswagen, Twitter, Oreo)
Blue is safest colour choice as it has many positive associations; in Europe and North America it represents trust, security, and authority, which is why police and various uniformed officials wear blue, often navy blue. It is also considered to be a calming and peaceful colour. However, it can also represent depression, loneliness, and sadness – thus the music genre, Rhythm & Blues.
Blue is also a historic omen for warding off evil that originated from the Ottoman Empire. Blue eye-shaped amulets called Nazars are used to protect from ‘the evil eye’ in Turkey, Greece, Iran, Afghanistan, Albania, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and other countries around the Mediterranean and northern Africa.
Green (BP, Greenpeace, Monster, Spotify, Android, John Deere)
I’ve spoken about the colour green before; in the West, green represents luck, nature, freshness, spring, environmental consciousness, wealth, inexperience, and jealousy.
Green has traditionally been forbidden in parts of Indonesia as it is said to attract the water goddess Nyai Roro Kidul, who engulfs people wearing green into crashing waves.
In Mexico, green is a national colour – just check their national fútbol team – and it stands for independence. In the Middle East green represents fertility, luck, wealth, and it’s considered the traditional colour of Islam.
In Eastern cultures, green symbolises youth, fertility, and new life, but it can also mean infidelity. In China, green hats are traditionally worn by adulterous men and/or women depending on which folklore or dynasty you believe.
Red (Netflix, Coca Cola, Nintendo, Target, McDonalds, Virgin, Toyota)
In the West, red signifies danger, energy, excitement, action, passion, and love. It also has historical ties to communism and revolution. In Asian cultures, red symbolises luck, prosperity, joy, celebration, happiness, and longevity. Due to its auspiciousness, brides in Japan and India often wear red on their wedding day. In China, red envelopes containing money are given out during holidays and special occasions.
Red is also commonly known to enhance appetite, which is why it’s the main colour choice for food brands such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC, Oporto, Nando’s, Nabisco, Heinz, and Kellogg’s.