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What’s your favourite colour? It’s a pretty basic question with an answer that you probably wouldn’t give much thought to. But have you ever considered why your favourite colour is green, pink or cobalt blue? Colour is a powerful component of any brand, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked when fine-tuning your branding and design.

To help you understand the psychology of colour, and how this can translate into your logo and graphic design, let’s explore how successful brands use colour effectively.

The Psychology of Colour

Colour means different things to different people. So whilst it’s too crude to say that red represents passion and blue means safe or reliable, it’s fair to point out the overriding trends of how colours are used in branding.

Marketers have relied on colour to convey messages for years, which means the public’s perception has been shaped by campaign on campaign using different colours. Blue, for example, is a go-to colour for banks, whereas black is the preferred choice of luxury brand such as Sony, Chanel and Hotel Chocolat.


Turn this idea on its head, and you wouldn’t expect to see black used by a social enterprise, or the playful, fun colour of orange used for a building society. It’s not to say that such brands cannot use these colours, but you may risk confusing your branding when not used appropriately.

Defining Your Brand Identity

Just as the design of your logo encompasses the spirit of your organisation, the colours refine and reinforce this message. When developing your brand, you should therefore think carefully about whether the colours you use are appropriate for your business and sector.

Used well, your choice of colour can speak volumes about the values, ethos and vision of your business. So if you’re an eco-friendly company, incorporating green into your logo could show your caring, natural side. Yellow will express your confidence and optimism, ideal for startups wanting to shake up their market.
You get the idea, right?

Pinpointing Your Palette

That’s not to say that you should choose one colour and stick to it. In fact, combining several colours can be a powerful way to define your brand identity, whilst giving you flexibility to play around with graphic design in your website and marketing collateral.


Google is a classic example – their use of primary colours in a random fashion showcases the dynamic, forward-thinking nature of the brand, and allows them plenty of wiggle room with their branding. By choosing a colour palette of two to four colours, and using these consistently, you can keep your design fresh and original as your business evolves.

The effective use of colour can complement your branding and communicate with your audience on a subconscious level, so don’t overlook its importance when developing your brand and graphic design. Want tailored advice on how to use colour, or whether your brand is using it effectively? Contact Tarling Design for a free assessment today.