When feelings like joy, sadness, serenity and disturbance harmonise like colours, you get the rainbow of life!
Colours and emotions are deeply related. That’s why we often associate certain colours with feelings, for example “seeing red” represents anger and “turning pink” indicates joy. Colours do something similar when it comes to brands and marketing, they spark the emotions of a viewer. And when combined with other information, it gives them the message that you want to convey.
While going through content your brain registers visual elements 60 times faster than words or written content. Visuals hence, are a big part of your brand from its logo to every inch of a campaign. You also plan your brand colours and appearance in any form of communication in the same way. While seeing a certain colour on your website or campaign an instinct develops in the mind of your viewer that lays down the foundation of your brand’s image.
Imagine how you would perceive a clear blue sky- like a relaxing or calming sight. Now imagine a red stop sign, it immediately gives you a sense of command, boldness even danger. Yellow would grab your attention and tell you it’s a happy pace, it’s an optimistic colour. While black would indicate something formal that depicts class. Well, it also depicts darkness, but for a brand that only aids in establishing a sense of superiority for its products.
What do you want them to see and feel?
As a brand, you want your audience to see your personality in your brand colours. What they see, they should be able to register without a single slip. Just like these brands:
The blue colour of Facebook says “trust me, I will connect you with the world”
The orange colour of Fanta says “I’m fun, pick me"
The green colour of Android speaks “I’m the friend you’ll chill with”
The red in Netflix says “I provide the entertaining spirit you need in life”
How colours affect demographics?
As a brand, when your colour palettes look a certain way, they ask for attention from specific audiences. Like most brands that focus on women have colours like white, pink, light blue and peach. Such colours give the message of delicacy, love, beauty and care which are some emotions that appeal to women more. Colours like dark blue, red and green appeal more to men as they convey a vibrant and energetic feeling. Children are quite attracted to bright but happy colours like orange, yellow, bright pink and blue as these colours create a feeling of fun and playfulness.
Many brands appeal to the audience of a certain age and income group as well. Most magazines for teenage girls keep shades synonymous with hot pink or magenta. For teenage boys, the pallet shifts to shades of blue, green, brown, black and other comparatively bold colours. There’s more colour variation in the products made for boys compared to girls.
Moreover, as we move up the income ladder, we can see colours like golden, silver, black, ebony or pearl with splashes of dark green, royal blue and crimson. These all depict the luxury factor of the products. All these products and any form of content associated with them follow the same tone to keep the message consistent. These colours subtly tell the customers “I’m like you and I’m just right for you”.
How to pair colours with changing content?
For clarity and consistency your content should always follow an 80-20 approach. 80% must be your dominant colour along with 20% other shades. It can also be interesting to experiment with different colours in your campaigns but a small and significant part of your campaign should include your original colours, especially on social media.
The tricky part is selecting the actual colour palette, right? The basic part that you need to know is that there warm colours (shades of red, yellow, orange) and cool colours (shades of blue and green). Warm colours are energetic, welcoming and can even make objects appear closer. Cool colours are calming, clean and give a sense of space between the objects. Here are three major ways you can choose a classic palette for your content:
Complementary colours: This primarily involves choosing a combination of 2 opposite colours.
Blue-Red | Green-Violet | Yellow-Turquoise
This combination makes your design pop! You should always keep one colour as dominant and use the other one to highlight important parts, or give an edge to the elements.
Analogous colours: These are the colours that are in the same section of either all warm or all cool, and in the same line.
Red | Orange | Yellow
Blue | green | Violet
These colours signify consistency and gradual change. They subtly appeal to the viewer and create a sense of being welcomed and liked.
Monochrome colours: These are the shades of the same colours in the palette. They may or may not follow each other but can be understood as lighter and darker shares of the same base colour.
Crimson | Magenta | Cherry
These help the viewer focus on the design as a whole while creating contrast to highlight some parts. These create a sense of support and grab attention quickly.
Colours help people make sense of their surroundings, and similarly they help your audience in making sense of your brand. You should always focus on the visuals as much as you focus on the content because catchy and attractive content has the power to increase your audience base, organically!