You can’t escape it. Look around, and there is a whole spectrum of colour in everyday life. But are you aware of how much it is influencing you and the decisions you make? For businesses and corporations, colour schemes are one of the most effective and powerful marketing tools at their disposal.
For any startups and growing businesses, deepening your understanding of the psychology behind colour schemes is a simple tool that can help maximise traffic to your company. If it works for the biggest organisations in the world, then there is no reason as to why it cannot work for you.
Take a walk down your local high street; what do you see? McDonalds? Clothing shops? Maybe a supermarket? You may not realise it, but each and every logo of these shops has been deliberated extensively by marketing companies and advertisers to help create the optimum logo for their brand.
This may sound like a complex and scientific process, but it is actually relatively straightforward. Countless studies and research projects have helped advertisers identify the emotions related to each colour and which colours we recognise first. The knowledge behind colour schemes allows companies to design a logo which best represents their ethos and what they stand for, as well as making them stand out and attract customers.
The Psychology of Colour Schemes
Let’s go back to our high street analogy. Say you’re feeling hungry and you look for somewhere to grab a bite to eat. Most people would head straight to McDonald’s. Why? Well, one of the reasons is their logo. With a high street full of a whole spectrum of colour on display on a busy street, the golden arches of a Maccie’s logo helps the restaurant stand out amongst the crowd. This is because yellow is the most vibrant of all colours, making it the first colour we recognise. It is really as simple as that. Now you’re aware of this, take a trip into the town centre and just look at how much yellow is on display; it is the worst kept secret in the advertising handbook.
So why doesn’t every company make their logo completely yellow? This goes back to the previous point of how some businesses choose to reflect their own ethos in their logo and trigger specific emotions from their customers.
Reverting back to yellow for just a second, hundreds of studies show that yellow is associated with clarity and warmth. Now what about all the others? Well blue, for example, is a colour scheme which represents warmth, red equals excitement, purple creativity and so on and so forth.
Triggering specific emotions and thoughts can be more effective than just plastering your logo with yellow. Companies like Virgin, Boots, Specsavers and Barclays are all massive companies that feature no yellow in their logos whatsoever, so what makes them so successful?
Obviously, the colour schemes of a logo can only do so much to draw a customer in; a lot of it has to do with the reputation of the company. But there is no doubting the fact that these logos would have been designed in a way which highlights the emotions that the business owners want their company to be associated with. Take these two examples: Barclay’s logo is blue, a colour which is representative of trust. What better emotion to trigger to someone who is looking for a business to look after all their money? And Virgin, their logo is red, a colour that symbolises excitement. From this logo you can expect a passionate and energetic workforce that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. This is replicated through their television adverts, too. So their whole company is based around that emotion and that ethos.
The power of colour schemes should never be underestimated; you never know how much it is controlling what you should be thinking and what you should be feeling. Bear this in mind when you decide to create or redesign your logo, it’s more influential than you realise.