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Branding with Colors: Your Business's Visual Signature

| Flourish Monthly

Imagine walking into your favorite coffee shop. As you step through the door, a soft palette of earthy browns and rustic tans embraces you, like the familiar hug of an old friend. Amber light filters through the windows, casting a glow on the worn leather couches and wooden tables. The scent of freshly brewed coffee infuses every nook and cranny of the shop, inviting you to rest and unwind. The barista behind the counter dons an apron of rich espresso and a warm smile.

Cozy, right? Guess what: that’s not just flowery language captivating you; it’s branding. It’s probably safe to assume that you don’t care what this fictional coffee shop’s business name is, you just want a warm mug of coffee while you get comfy on one of those leather couches and read a book. Branding is more than just a business name and tagline. It’s also a way to communicate thoughts, ideas, and most importantly, emotions. It’s a way to show people why they should work with you without ever saying a word. This fictional coffee shop told you to get coffee from their shop because you’ll feel relaxed, warm, and comfortable while you’re there just by coating their shop in various brown tones and the objectively amazing smell of coffee. What if you could do that with your brand? Let’s talk about color theory, a little bit of psychology, and why any of this matters for your business.

Just like choosing your business name, your color palette is more important than simply choosing your favorite colors. It needs to reflect your brand’s personality. If the coffee shop you entered was covered in lime green and white, you might assume it’s a health-oriented shop that sells coffee alternatives and specializes in non-dairy milks. And while that might be your thing, that is not the same feeling as the coffee shop from earlier. Both could have the same menu, but the branding will attract different customers. By understanding the vibes different colors emit, you’re well on your way to crafting a brand that speaks your customers’ language.

A thoughtfully chosen color scheme can also help your brand stand out from your competitors. Imagine your potential customer scrolling through their social media feed - will they stop on your post because it catches their attention? Unique colors can turn curious scrollers into loyal customers. They also are an excellent way for people to identify your brand. Using your palette in all of your marketing - website, social media posts, packaging - creates consistency. Consistency creates recognition, recognition creates trust, and trust often turns into sales.

Now for the fun part: color associations. This is a huge subject that spans not just the colors of the rainbow, but the shades of those colors, whether it’s a warm- or cool-toned color, and how the meanings of colors change when they're paired with other colors. It’s a subject people have probably written dissertations on, so we’ll just give you a summary. If you’re looking for more information, check out!

  • Red: Associated with energy, strength, power, passion, desire, love, and hunger (fast food companies almost always use red in their branding!).
  • Green: Associated with growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, and tranquility.
  • Blue: Associated with authenticity, enthusiasm, sympathy, communication, and spiritualism.
  • Brown: Associated with dependability, reliability, honesty, stability, maturity, and predictability.
  • Orange: Associated with joy, sunshine, enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, success, encouragement, and simulation.
  • Yellow: Associated with joy, happiness, intellect, honor, loyalty, and energy.
  • Pink: Associated with tenderness, vulnerability, love, innocence, and youth.
  • Purple: Associated with royalty, power, luxury, ambition, wisdom, dignity, and mystery.
  • White: Associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, perfection, cleanliness, and safety.
  • Black: Associated with power, elegance, formality, strength, formality, and grief.

We can see the wheels turning in your brain already as you become overwhelmed. Don’t worry! Small steps can make a huge impact. Just start with a few colors that resonate with you and your brand’s message. How do you want people to feel after they’ve worked with you? Build an identity around those colors and let them grow with your company. If you already have a color palette and are finding it doesn’t resonate with your message anymore, that’s okay! Once you have your new palette you can choose to announce your new brand and change everything at once, or you can change your colors one at a time. Maybe you start with every other post on your social media, or you start with your website. It’s not about perfection; it’s about creating a visual story that evolves alongside you and your business.

Branding is crucial to your company’s success. It is your first impression to potential customers and the foundation of your marketing. If you’re looking to get started on the right foot, figure out how to best communicate your business’s thoughts and ideas, or just looking for a change, we’re here to help! Our branding package starts with a questionnaire and an interview so we can get to know you and your business before starting to design. At the end, you’ll have a logo, colors and fonts, as well as a style guide that includes your brand personality and voice. It’s everything you need to show up consistently across your marketing activities! Reach out to book a consultation and we’ll help you communicate your entire brand without saying a word.

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