Why poor branding could be putting your customers off

Written by Debbi Young
How many marketing messages do we need to see to take action?

The importance of colour in your marketing and design

Colour is a massively important tool for non-verbal communication. When we see a colour we naturally assign feelings and emotions to it. Because of this, colour has a very important role in brand perception and of course logo design. The choice of colour can dictate the level of trust or help convey a brand message.

As graphic designers we therefore need to harness this power of colour psychology to bring meaning to our designs and ensure your marketing messaging is on point.

For example; Green traditionally represents freshness and the environment, a natural colour choice for any brands related to the living world. The brand perception and message would therefore be way off if the colour pink was used!

So the colours you choose for your branding is crucial if you want customers to make the correct assumptions about your company and product proposition.  And that’s why its crucial to have proper branding done, irrespective of how big or small your business is.

To help you understand a little bit more about this important element of marketing psychology and how it relates to graphic design, here are a few meanings behind colour theory:


graphic design colour theory blue

Often Used with technology and corporate brands. The colour blue is associated with wisdom, security, loyalty, harmony, integrity, authority and success. This is precisely why it is popular with both financial institutions and government bodies.  The NHS, Tiffany, Facebook, Twitter, VISA, Samsung, HP, VW, PFizer, IBM – the list of corporates goes on!


graphic design colour theory green

Traditionally represents freshness and the environment, a natural colour choice for any brands related to the living world, the environment or growth. You always see green when associated to such products as organic and vegetarian foods. Top green brands – John  Deere farm machinery, Starbucks and of course Snap Marketing!


graphic design colour theory orange

Friendship and adventure are represented by the colour orange. It also carries connotations of youth, warmth, affordability and approach-ability.  Top orange brands EasyJet, Tango, Mastercard, Fanta,  Tomberland, Amazon, and anyone remember ‘Orange’ mobile?



graphic design colour theory purple

Purple stands for independence, stability, royalty, luxury and inspiration. Throughout history it has been the colour of wealth and  riches.  Cadbury’s, Hallmark, Fedex, Yahoo.



graphic design colour theory red

Passion,energy, emergency, intensity, sexuality and lust are often associated with the colour red. It has also been found to stimulate appetite, which explains why it is used in so many restaurants and food product logos. Top red brands Coca Cola, Vodaphone, Virgin,


graphic design colour theory yellow

Yellowrepresent positiveness happiness and joy. The warmth of this colour is said to stimulate mental activity, however it also requires cautious use as it has some negative connotations including its signifying of cowardice and its use in warning signs. Check out Yellow Pages, JCB, Caterpillar, Veuve Clicquot ad of course the MacDonalds arches.


graphic design colour theory pink

Romance and love are celebrated in pink. Its a fun colour to use, however its feminine associations means it is often avoided for products not specifically targeted at women. Victoria’s Secret, Moschino, Barbie, Breast Cancer Awareness, Hello Kitty, Baskin Robbins are all great examples of this.


So there you have it. Next time you see an advert in the magazine, TV or a re-branded logo for a company, have a go and try and understand why the chose the colours they did!

Check out some of our branding projects.


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