Have you ever thought about the impact color has on a brand? If you look at some well-known brands (Coca-Cola, Walmart, McDonalds, John Deere) they all have one thing in common: dominant color saturation. They have successfully taken a color and used it to speak words. The use of certain colors is not typically an arbitrary decision in branding. Colors evoke emotions and therefore have an impact on how people “feel” your brand.
What is a Warm Color?
Warm colors are those on the color wheel that have tones of reds and yellows. Any variations or combinations of these two colors make up the warm palette.
Who Uses Warm Colors in their branding?
Coca Cola was strategic with the choice of a very bold and bright red. While red can tend to represent anger, it is also symbolic of love. Now pair that with some of their more popular slogans and taglines such as “I’d like to buy the world a coke” or “open happiness” and you have a warm fuzzy feeling! The combination of elements helped to represent the brand the way they intended.
On a similar note, McDonalds has used a bold bright red in conjunction with a basic yellow. Studies have shown that yellow is one of the most visible colors in the daylight and is generally a “happy” color. The Happy Meal now makes complete sense, full circle! The combination of these colors is used to elicit feelings of intense hunger or immediate pleasure. Hence, the perfect choice for a fast food restaurant!
What is a Cool Color?
On the opposite side of the color wheel from the reds and yellows, are the cool colors, blues and greens. They evoke feelings of calm and peacefulness, along with natural elements such as grass and water.
Who uses Cool Colors in their branding?
Moving to the cooler end of the spectrum we see companies such as John Deere and Walmart.. John Deere is a natural bold grass green. This color typically represents nature, and peace. This bodes well as their products are agricultural in purpose. Right next to it on the color wheel is blue. Walmart has the large blue flower as a logo and the letters of their name are all in this basic bold blue. Note, that it is not a subtle blue or a variable shade. This is most certainly on purpose, as blue tends to be a more passive and calming color, so when shaded it is a more “soft spoken” color. Blue also represents power and strength. So when Walmart decided to make their logo blue, they were most likely aiming to show strength without screaming at their audience.
While some organizations have chosen to really hone in on one or two really impactful colors to represent their brand, others have done a little of the contrary. Take for instance ebay or Google. They have used every basic color in the design of their logos. This represents a sense of diversity and inclusion. It also shows a more playful side, letting everyone know that they are in fact a “fun” company!
The relevance of color in your brand is important and can be difficult to change down the road. While you are planning out your branding strategy, don’t forget we are graphic design professionals that can help you with important things like design and color planning. Hiring a professional graphic designer to provide logo design and services will help to ensure that you get a good balance of color and emotion. This will be important when you are doing both external and internal marketing, because it is your foundation for visual impact. Do your research! Ask around for opinions and then let your colors speak for you!