How Colors in Design Can Affect Your Brand

color in designCreating a brand that people want to be a part of can be a whole lifetime’s work, and there are a lot of different elements that go into it. One of the main things that need to be thought seriously about – and one that is far more important than many people realize – is the colors that come to be associated with the brand. For instance, when McDonald’s changed their colors in the UK a few years ago in order to try and increase their reputation as a provider of quality, they chose green – the color of nature and harmony as the main scheme to be sent off to the nano ink printers!

How, then, can color schemes affect the way your brand is perceived? Well, one of the best ways to do so is to look at the three primary colors and the different ways that they are interpreted by people: even if the people don’t realize they’re making the interpretations!


In most cases, red is an attention grabber. It’s the color that really draws the eye in, evoking feelings of excitement and energy. It’s the color of passion and fury, which is why during the run up to Valentine’s day, you’ll see it absolutely everywhere – on boxes of chocolates, in bunches of flowers and on virtually all the wrapping paper and cards in the shops.

One of the flip sides of red’s power, though, is that if it’s over-used it can look extremely gaudy. Because of this, it’s often wisely used in a more minimal sense: ie, for lettering on a white background rather than vice versa. A good example of the way that shades can create a different effect is the color pink – although it is still a shade of red, the lack of that extra intensity creates a far more delicate and comforting impression (imagine if all that pink toilet tissue you can buy was all red instead – not appealing, is it?).


You’ll see a great deal of blue in company color schemes, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s widely listed by many people as their favorite color, so companies use it to try and appeal to as many people’s base nature as possible. Secondly, as a color blue represents dependability, confidence and friendliness. Almost all banks in the UK make use of it in their color schemes: this is not a co-incidence!

color in design

If there’s a downside to blue it’s that the over-use of it can be linked to coldness or depression. However, this is often not due to the color itself, but the ones that it’s placed into a scheme with. For instance, matching blue with a dull grey can indeed create rather a funereal atmosphere, but matching it with a vibrant yellow will remind almost anyone of the sun and sea of summer.


The two most common associations with green are that of wealth and that of (as noted in the above point about McDonald) nature and the earth. Interestingly, though, virtually no public banks make use of green. Why? Well, it’s due to the other interpretation that green can make: that of jealousy or the potential for money-grabbing. The last thing that banks in the current climate want is to appear to be money-grabbing, so despite their whole business being financial they don’t go anywhere near the color of wealth!

Interestingly, however, solicitors and other more private financial advisers DO use green quite frequently, as they are being used in a consulting role, and will want to give their clients (who are often enlisting their services for money-based reasons) the impression of riches and success.

We hope that the above highlights just how much your choices of color will communicate the message you’re trying to send out to your customers!