Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Emotional Effects of Color on Your Brand – Part 2

Welcome back to the second installment of colors and what they mean to both your logo and brand image. Let’s start with green.


On an international scale, brands tend to use green in their logos if they’re environmentally inclined, representing values of health, wellness, nature, growth, tranquility, and renewal. Green is commonplace in natural food markets and agriculture-related products. Whole Foods, Animal Planet, Starbucks, and John Deere all utilize emerald-hued logos. It is known to alleviate depression and encourage relaxation, so stores, spas, and businesses use it to promote a calming effect. It is also the color the human eye is most sensitive to and can discern the most shades of.



To evoke calmness, trust, and tranquility, think blue. Its strong associations with the ocean and meditation make blue the perfect color for brands that want to bring serenity to a stressful process and lower an onlooker’s blood pressure. Think Dell, AT&T, and Lowes. That’s also why we often see banks, financial companies, and corporate business, such as Chase and Visa, with logos that incorporate the color blue. If a customer is going to make a monetary deal, their intuitive association with the financial institution should give a feeling of calmness a and low-stress environment.



Purple speaks of nobility or wisdom. Not only is it most commonly known as the color of royalty, but it also denotes imaginative and creative behavior. Yahoo and Cadbury use purple as the background for their logos, and both brands are instantly recognizable to their consumers. Yahoo goes for the wisdom association with tools that provide both information and inspiration. Cadbury — whose founders once supplied their products to England’s Queen Victoria — embraces the royal connotations of its history with a rich purple hue.


Black & White

Black and white are often used against each other, with black signifying mystery, power, authority, and sophistication, and white denoting cleanliness, simplicity, and purity. But when combined, they create balance and calmness – think Time Magazine, Wikipedia, and Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network successfully uses black and white to create a simple, balanced logo with the two shades displaying the yin and yang of the brand name itself. “Network” conveys sophistication and can even feel stuffy, but when brought together with “Cartoon,” it plays on the equilibrium of two contradictory ideas.

Bearing in mind the responsive value and connotation of a color can do wonders for your brand. It’s best to work with simple colors, and the impact of a strong and constant hue will help to make your brand unforgettable. Keep it simple and stick to just one or two well-thought-out colors. For help designing a logo and other marketing materials that speak to your consumers and evoke the emotions you want for your brand, contact us. We would love to help your brand find its voice! SMG-Blog-header-blue

The Emotional Effects of Color on Your Brand – Part 1

Did you know color is one of the first things our brains see when registering an image? Since color is your brand’s nonverbal form of communication, it is vital to know how consumers will interpret different colors. This puts a lot of weight on your choice of colors when planning your marketing, from logo design and print work to your website theme. When you harness the right color you can set a mood, convey an emotion, invoke a psychological reaction, or inspire people to take action. First we bring you the meaning behind three different colors.



Red is a high arousal color, shown to raise blood pressure, and it gives us a sense of energy, passion, power, strength, youthfulness, and excitement. It is also associated with blood, giving it a feel of intensity. Red demands the viewers’ attention and can stop them in their tracks, stimulating a moment of cautious thought, while calling for action to be taken. Think brands like Coca Cola, Pinterest, Target, Nabisco, and Frito Lay.

Red is seen in both logos and advertisements every day. Brands like Pinterest and Coca Cola are very different companies, but convey power through their logos. Pinterest gives the power to create and Coca Cola provides the power to have fun – both using their iconic red logos. Frito Lay and Nabisco use red for their known ability to stimulate appetite.


Orange is a bright hue, reflecting excitement and enthusiasm, that brings both vibrancy and balance to a project. It is friendly, cheerful, and confident. Like red, it demands attention, but it’s a little more muted than the primary color and therefore feels less aggressive. Think Fanta, Crush, Nickelodeon, and Shutterfly.

Because of its association with fruit, orange is often seen in drink logos; Fanta and Crush are both good examples. Orange also sends a message of affordability – think Amazon. Its tone can be subtly seen in the Amazon logo, which is entirely black and white, except for a smiling orange arrow that connects A to Z. It’s not as bold or brash as red would be, but it still catches your eye and gives off a warm feeling.



Colors can have contradictory meanings, and that’s particularly true when it comes to yellow. While the bright color has some optimistic associations like joy, sunshine, summer, and happiness, there are also negative implications. In some parts of the world, yellow is linked to illness, jealousy, cowardice, betrayal, and hazard.

McDonald’s, Nikon, National Geographic, and Sun Chips all use yellow in a positive way. Each of these companies is very different, but all share a brand color that suggests they bring joy and warmth to consumers’ lives. It has also been shown to stimulate mental processes, and therefore is utilized as a way to grab the attention of window shoppers.

This is only the beginning of colors and what they mean to your logo and branding. Check back later this month to learn what green, blue, purple, black, and white say about your business. If your brand is in need of a color overhaul or you’re just getting starting and would like guidance, we are here to help! Contact us or visit our website to learn more about what we can do for you and your brand image.