Color Psychology: Choosing the Right Colors for Your Brand and Industry

Mar 9, 2021 | Branding, Design, Logo

It’s no secret: The colors you choose for your company will impact how clients and customers perceive your brand. And while colors can become synonymous with a variety of feelings, there are some natural, general emotions that each color family evokes.

In today’s blog, we’re sharing some common colors and the feelings they tend to create in those who view them. Plus, you’ll find some of the most-used colors for key industries so you can find the right brand colors to highlight your services and products.

Let’s dive in!

Colors Create Emotions

From the tried-and-true-blue to the luxurious feel of strong, solid black, colors are linked to particular feelings and when paired with the right visuals and content, colors can create emotions and motivate customers to take action.

So, it’s vital that you know how the colors your brand uses are most likely to make your audience feel and how to select the perfect color palette for the work that you do in the world.

Blue

Dependable, trustworthy and stable, blue is exactly as its name implies: true-blue. For that reason, it’s often used as a calming, reliable brand color.

Yellow

Yellow is the color of happiness, energy and joy. This fun and upbeat color elicits positive emotions in a way that feels carefree.

Black

This steadfast, professional and luxe-looking color is anything but boring. When used in branding black can make things look clean and high-end.

Red

Often associated with urgency, this attention-grabbing color is also associated with love and power.

Green

The color is associated with harmony, growth, and, of course, money.

Orange

This color often relates a sense of warmth and comfort and is seen as both fun and energetic.

Industry-Specific Color Choices

Now that you know a bit about the emotions certain colors can lend themselves to, let’s explore some common color choices in particular industries. This will help you discern whether the commonly used colors used in those industries might be a good choice for your business.

Finance

Unsurprisingly, the key color used in finance, particularly in the United States, is green. It doesn’t just harken back to the color of the U.S.’s paper money, but also a sense of personal and financial growth

Some common colors seen in finance branding alongside green include blue and black. These colors are often chosen for the same reason. They lend themselves to a sense of stability, and that’s something many seek when they’re exploring potential companies in the finance industry.

You can see this color palette trend play out with organizations like Business Insider and banks like Investors Bank.

A review of common successful finance color palettes found that shades of green and blue are most common. And while colors like pink make an appearance in finance blogs from time to time, we feel they break with consumer’s expectations and that can lead to some confusion or even at times inspire distrust on a subconscious level.

Food and beverage

Can colors make you hungry? Well, if any colors can, they’d be reds, yellows and oranges. We already explored how reds are energetic and the same can be true of yellow and orange shades. Comforting and energetic oranges remind us of the fruit but also give us a desire to seek comfort and that can be quite lucrative for food and beverage brands.

That’s why they are common in branding for food and beverage companies. Brands like McDonald’s use eye-catching red and yellow in their logos. Alongside reds and oranges in this industry, you might also find the color green where it’s often used by eco-friendly, health food brands like Whole Foods.

Law

When you’re selecting colors for your law firm or legal business, it’s important to create a sense of trust, reliability, and stability.

Generally, blues are most common in law-related industries, with shades of black and white following suit. And this is no accident. Where reds and oranges can energize, blue and black hues keep things solid and consistent.

For example, Molson Law uses blue, black, and white in their logo, maximizing the trust-building power of these tried-and-true law firm branding colors.

Health and Wellness

The color palette you choose for your health and wellness brand may vary based on the type of company you run.

For example, healthcare companies like United Health Group and Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield overwhelmingly opt for a stable, trusted blue. And that’s no accident. It’s the color of dependability, and healthcare brands need that level of understanding when it comes to who they are and what they offer: a better life through experience and expertise.

But wellness, yoga, and exercise businesses are not as monochromatic. In fact, these brands are a bit of a mixed bag. Exercise brands choose an array of different palette colors that bring in yellows, oranges and greens. Beyond that, lifestyle brands expand their choices even further with pinks and purples entering the mix because those companies are sometimes associated with a person or team that stands at the forefront of the brand’s identity.

Home and Event Decor

Just as the colors you choose for a health and wellness business will depend heavily on the type of work you do, the colors you select for a home or event decor business will also depend on the type of client you hope to attract.

Companies like Ikea, Pottery Barn, Pier 1 Imports, Wayfair and West Elm all lean into a more personal branding approach and so their brand colors reflect their company’s approach to home decorating and the moods, feelings and styles that they want to share with their customers.

Dependable, luxurious black and white color schemes can elevate an event decor company while shades of green, blue and even tan can give a homey, comfy feeling to your home decor brand.

The Bottom Line

While the colors, feelings, and industry-specific suggestions we offered here are a great place to start, there’s one unmistakable key to choosing brand colors in any industry: Decide exactly what feeling needs to be present for your ideal customer to engage with you.

And if you need some inspiration or support as you select your branding color palette, you can reach out to our team here.

We can’t wait to connect!