A colorful conversation

Posted in Design Life
A colorful conversation

I find myself answering this question a lot, especially when starting a new marketing / branding project … “What color(s) do you recommend for our business?”

It can be challenging to answer that seemingly simple question without knowing a bit more about the business itself. However, there are some basic, psychological “rules” about color — and the perceived meaning behind different colors — that I thought would be worth sharing here. Even if you don’t totally agree with the perceptions listed below, it’s definitely something to consider when starting a new logo design or identity system.

RED
Positive perceptions = action, power, energy, speed, strength
Negative perceptions = aggressive, angry, over-bearing, intolerant

ORANGE
Positive perceptions = adventurous, risk-taking, vibrant, affordable, social
Negative perceptions = superficial, self-indulgent, pessimistic, cheap

YELLOW
Positive perceptions = cheerful, happy, playful, fun, optimistic, logical, confident
Negative perceptions = judgmental, impatient, egotistical, deceitful, impulsive

GREEN
Positive perceptions = growth, vitality, calm, natural, reliable, practical, sympathetic
Negative perceptions = materialistic, envious, selfish, greedy, inconsiderate

TURQUOISE
Positive perceptions = balanced, harmonious, healing, compassionate, self-expression, calm
Negative perceptions = boastful, secretive, aloof

BLUE
Positive perceptions = loyal, trust, integrity, caring, reliable, idealistic, orderly, peaceful, calm
Negative perceptions = rigid, self-righteous, too conservative, predictable, weak, frigid

PURPLE
Positive perceptions = quirky, creative, inventive, selfless, unlimited, futuristic
Negative perceptions = immature, impractical, cynical, arrogant

BROWN
Positive perceptions = practical, earthy, simple, dependable, approachable, stability
Negative perceptions = too serious, unsophisticated, heavy, dull, passive, dirty

BLACK
Positive perceptions = power, control, protection, strength, formal, sophisticated, mysterious
Negative perceptions = depressing, pessimistic, secretive, too serious, sad, negativity