Colour and Branding: Context is Key

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colour branding

The psychology of colour is one of the most interesting and hotly debated aspects of branding and marketing. This is because most of today’s discussions around colour persuasion is made up of anecdotal evidence and hunches.

So, what are the misconceptions around colour marketing? As research indicates, it is because elements such as personal preference, upbringing, culture, context and experience disrupt the effect colour has on society. Many claim that certain colours stir a specific emotion in the viewer, and this is simply not true. Yellow doesn’t evoke happiness in every single viewer. This is just a vapid way to sum up the universal meaning of the colour yellow.

Here, we investigate the facts surrounding colour psychology and branding.

Colour and its Importance in Branding

Branding is one of the most vital issues relating to colour perception. As stated previously, there have been numerous attempts to classify consumers responses to individual colours, but the fact is that colour is dependent on personal experience, and is too broad to limit to a specific emotion.

But there are messaging patterns that can be found in colour perception, and colour does play a substantial role in the customers purchase decision.

In a study titled “Impact of Colour Marketing,”researchers discovered that 90% of snap judgments about products is based on colour and colour alone. And regarding the impact colour has on branding, results show that the relationship between colour and brand lies in the perceived appropriateness of the colour for the brand and the industry it represents. If the colour doesn’t fit with what is being sold, then the brand wont be easily trusted.

Colour and Context

When it comes to choosing the right colour for your brand, research has found that understanding consumer reaction to colour appropriateness in relation to the service or product being sold, is far more significant than the colour itself. For example: if you are selling funeral plans, a bright pink logo may not be appropriate.

This kind of thinking is too broad Of course, certain colours do align (broadly) with specific traits or characteristics (IE: brown is often associated with ruggedness and red with excitement), but nearly every study in colour branding shows that it is more important for your brands colours to embrace the personality of your brand instead of aligning it will stereotypical associations of colour.

For example: As stated previously, brown can represent a sense of ruggedness but when the colour is placed in a different context, it can be inviting and warm (think: chocolate or coffee brands.)

There are no clear cut guidelines for picking your brand colours, but you need to consider the context you are working in.


Colour is not just about emotion, it is also about being competitive in the market and taking sector trends into account.

For example: If a brand wants to convey playfulness by using the colour yellow, and a competitor is the industry uses the same colour to convey the same emotions, the marketing team need to consider another colour for differentiation purposes. It is about standing out in your industry, isn’t it?

Research the colours used in your specific industry

Think outside of the box, consult your colour wheel, consider your industry, and go for another colour that has the ability to express the same brand personality. The word “personality” is key.


Your logo and brand colours are the most identifiable visual element of your brand. Logos and brand colour help customers discover and remember your brand and form part of your business identity.

Your company communication should always be branded and in-line with your corporate identity. Every time a client or potential client receives one of your letters, proposals, or direct mail, they should be greeted with your logo, company colours and recognisable graphics.

When you have a comprehensive and broadly built graphic identity, you create the foundation for a solid brand identity. Therefore, all companies should have strict style guides in place to guarantee colour consistency.

Professional Printing Company South Africa

If you are looking to create an effective branding campaign, the key lies in strategy and working alongside professional print designers and an expert printing company.

Jetline caters to the entire printing process, from design through to installation.

Contact your closest Jetline store for all your design, printing, brand management and digital solutions.

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