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How Color Psychology Works in Marketing and Branding

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Marketing


What do you feel when you see red, yellow, or blue colors? Color psychology has the best answer to this. It’s about understanding the impact of colors on a person’s emotions. For instance, when we see yellow, we feel happy and on seeing red, we feel hungry or in love. Now, marketers and branding experts know how to use colors and their impact on human emotions to reach the target audience.  

So, in the modern business world, colors are not just used to drive people’s attention. More than that, they have become a great tool to drive attention and evoke emotions among people. 

What is color psychology?

Color psychology is about knowing how different colors, hues, and tones impact human behavior. It is about studying how colors influence moods, impact decision making, and influence customer persona. 

Personal perceptions and cultural can influence it and make it vary. So, when pondering on what is the psychology of color, understand it in simple terms that it studies how colors influence people’s emotional responses. 

Therefore, the psychology of color is a guideline for picking colors and hues that can express a particular consumer behavior. It’s the color that determines a consumer’s liking or disliking toward a brand. That’s why marketers are focusing more and more on using the right colors to not just make their brand look good but influence consumers’ buying perception.  

How does color psychology work in marketing and branding?  

Studying color psychology in marketing has now become a norm. Marketers and branding experts use colors to evoke an intended response from target customers. When consumers see strategic colors in their promotional campaigns, they build a perception of a company’s products or services right away. They remember the brand’s name for longer, which ultimately fulfils the marketer’s core mission.  

Here’s how the psychology of color works in marketing:

Builds brand recognition 

A brand has a logo, business card, website, and other visuals, all of which have a distinctive identity due to the use of specific colors. These colors help consumers quickly recognize a brand anywhere offline or online. The use of strategic colors can boost brand recognition by 80%

brand recognition

Considering the underlying psychology, a brand can strategically use colors in marketing materials to gain recognition quickly. People and target consumers can identify a brand by looking at that special arrangement of colors, which means colors become synonymous with that particular brand. Therefore, color psychology marketing is about finding out which colors will help a newly launched brand get instant recognition.  

You can take inspiration from companies lie Meta, Insta, and Starbucks. Seeing just the color of the company, people can easily recognize these brands. 

Influences mood 

Colors are known for setting a person’s mood

Colors are known for setting a person’s mood. When we see a bright color such as yellow, it refreshes our mood and makes us happy. So, each color evokes our specific mood. That means you can strategically incorporate colors for the intended mood that you want to evoke from your consumers.

Determines consumer perception 

Colors are also a tool for marketers and branding strategists to set consumer perception. Through brand color psychology, marketing strategies largely determine what thoughts should arise in consumers’ minds about a brand. Consumers repeatedly read and see the marketing materials, forming an impression and opinion. 

Determines consumer perception

The emotions and feelings that colors evoke help build a certain intended perception. So, if a brand uses red excessively in its logo and marketing campaign, it will build the perception that it is loving and passionate about what it does. If it uses yellow, it becomes cool and fun. 

Your brand is like a human personality. It could be sad, aggressive, boring, or exciting. People build a perception of a brand’s personality based on its colors. 

Ensure brand consistency 

Brand consistency implies that your brand elements are identical across all your marketing and advertising channels. When you have determined your brand colors, you will incorporate them everywhere. This builds visual consistency so that potential customers can instantly recognize your brand.

Ensure brand consistency  

Also, note that those brand colors will be used on your product levels, marketing, websites, and elsewhere for years. Repetitive use of that color palette helps ensure brand consistency.   

What are the specific meanings of colors? 

When discussing color psychology, we first assign some meaning to each color. That is the only way to discover how colors can be incorporated into marketing to evoke certain emotions and convey a brand message.

Here’s what specific colors mean:


meaning of color red

Red evokes a sense of energy, action, passion, excitement, and aggression. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Target, and YouTube have red logos to express youthful energy and passion. Marketers use red to drive attention to a certain portion, such as the Call to Action button.


meaning of yellow color

Yellow is the color of hope, warmth, clarity, and optimism. We mostly associate yellow with summer and sunshine. Global brands such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Best Buy use yellow to target their audience. Sometimes, marketers use yellow as an additional color to highlight a part of their text or visual content. 


meaning of orange color in brand logo

Marketers typically use orange to express enthusiasm, adventure, and creativity regarding a brand. Orange is a secondary color in a branding scheme that draws attention to a crucial portion of content. For instance, a website has its call to action box or bar in orange to catch the eye. Brands like Nickelodeon and Home Depot use orange to appear friendly. 


Blue color meaning

Brands use blue to convey the message of peace, harmony, trustworthiness, and loyalty. Today, this warm color is predominantly used by many global brands, such as Walmart, JPMorgan, Facebook, and Lowe’s. 


Green color meaning

Green works well for brands in the fields of money and nature. The color also stands for peace. So, brands offering soothing products or services, such as spas and salons, use green in their logos, other visuals, and marketing campaigns. John Deere, starbucks, and Holiday Inn are amongst the major brands using green to their advantage. 


meaning of white color in logo

White is the color to convey innocence, purity, cleanliness, and truth. Many brands, such as Adidas, have embraced white as their brand color in logos to enhance their online presence. It’s also because the white color never goes out of trend.   


Purple is the color of loyalty, and it stands for wisdom, power, influence, and notability. 

purple color meaning

Marketers use purple to express their high-quality products or services to evoke trust and loyalty. Brands such as Hallmark, Twitch, and Yahoo! have purple as a prominent color. 


pink color meaning

Pink is a feminine color that brands in women-related products use this color prominently. Many brands, including Barbie, LG, Baskin Robbins, Donut Kings, and Avon, have pink logos.  


meaning of black color

Black is a strong color that evokes power and sophistication. Some brands use black to outline their company name, while many, such as Nike, Apple, Gucci, and The New York Times, have black prominently in their logos.  


grey color meaning

Grey is also a popular color that marketers often use in marketing materials. This color is also used to shade or tint a color. Wikipedia and Nintendo are famous brands that have grey logos. 

Tips to apply colors for marketing and branding 

When applying color psychology to your marketing and branding materials, you must choose colors strategically. Here are the basics of selecting the colors for marketing and branding purposes:

Pick authentic colors 

First, decide on your authentic brand colors. These colors express your brand’s message, values, and personality. But make sure that your brand colors are specific to your industry. Only such appropriate colors are relatable to your target customers. 

That is why no construction company has pink in its logo. Pink is a feminine color, while construction is a robust business. Also, only a few financial companies use red in their visuals since red is not an appropriate color for money. 

Color should convey your brand personality  

Choose a color that instantly conveys your company’s business and personality. So, before picking a particular shade, know what message you want to convey or what brand image you want to create. Find out if your brand is formal or non-formal, severe or mild. Know which personality traits suit your business.  

Then, pick the colors that best suit your personality. When choosing fonts, photos, illustrations, and other elements, you will need to consider your brand personality. You also need to focus on it while designing your digital business card and other marketing materials.

Consider your target audience 

Your choice of colors should aim to please your target audience. Customers buy your products from specific educational, social, and financial backgrounds. Ensure that your brand colors reflect your audience’s different backgrounds. That will help them relate to your brand and its offerings. 

So, while selecting your brand colors and incorporating them in your business logo design and other visual identities, keep your audience’s backgrounds in mind. 

Pick colors that help your brand stand out

Choose colors your competitors do not usually have in their logos and other visuals. Study your competitors in the same niche. Find out which colors they mostly use. Then avoid repeating those colors in your logos, websites, business cards, etc. Know which new set of colors can help build your unique brand identity and use them regularly. You can experiment with different color combinations before settling for the one that best expresses your brand values and personality.

So, consider these aspects of color psychology while making color selection for your brand. 

Wrapping Up 

Color psychology is about knowing the impact of colors on our thinking and how we emotionally respond to them when seeing a visual such as a logo. Based on this knowledge, marketers and brand strategists can incorporate colors to target potential customers.  

Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1



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