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How To Pick The Right Colour For Your Brand

When thinking about marketing and branding, colour is always a very important factor to consider. The colours you associate with your personal brand or products can make a huge impact on how you are perceived and remembered. During the branding process, it is important to take into consideration how a colour will make your customers feel. The fact is, there is psychology behind why people see a certain colour and feel a certain way. Start by doing your research and pick exactly what you want to be known for and what emotion you want to resonate with your brand.


According to Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions, there are eight primary emotions, dividing into four sets of opposites.

RED – Red’s primary emotion is anger, displayed in the wheel by a true red colour. The darker tones associate more with rage and the lighter shades with annoyance. A mix of red and orange creates the emotion of aggression.

DARK GREEN – The forest green tones represent fear, terror and apprehension, but a mix of the forest green with the light blue represents feeling in awe.

ORANGE – Orange is tied in with feelings of anticipation. The darker orange represents vigilance, while the lighter tones spark interest. A mixture of orange and yellow represents optimism. The opposite of anticipation is shown through the light blue colours, representing the feeling of surprise.

LIGHT BLUE – SURPRISE! This colour is associated with that feeling when you walk into a room full of unexpected birthday guests. The darker tone represents amazement, while the lighter represents distraction. A combination of indigo and light blue creates a sense of disapproval.

YELLOW – This one is no shock to anyone, after all, who isn’t full of joy when the bright yellow sun is out? Yellow represents the happiest of emotions: joy! Darker yellow tones represent ecstasy, while the lighter shades represents serenity. A mix of yellow and light green represents love, tying in the feelings of joy and trust. The opposite of joy is sadness, shown through the indigo shades on the wheel.

INDIGO – As indigo represents sadness, this one is easy to remember thanks to the phrase “feeling blue.” The darker blue colour represents the worst feeling: grief. The lighter purple-blue shades represent pensiveness or melancholy. The mix between indigo and pink creates a feeling of remorse.

LIGHT GREEN – Light green represents one of the best feelings out there - and one that is extremely important to brands - trust. The darker shade represents admiration while the lighter shade offers acceptance. The mix between dark and lights greens creates the sentiment of submission. The opposite of trust is disgust shown through the colour pink.

PINK – This colour represents the emotion of disgust. The darker pink represents loathing while the lighter represents boredom. The mix of pink and red creates the emotion of contempt.


Here are some examples of colour combinations that are used successfully - and often - in marketing:

RED & YELLOW – These two colours often work together to represent a sale. A good example includes Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale, when the store turns from blue and white to red and yellow. To steer away from cheapening its brand, designers often stay away from this colour combination when it comes to packaging.

PINK & PURPLE – Studies show that these are the two best colours to use on Pinterest. If you want to get the most pins and views, it is a great idea to incorporate these two.

GREEN – This colour represents environmentally-friendly brands well. “Going green” is very popular and many people are on the hunt for companies that are environmentally conscious.

RED – While red can represent anger, it can also simultaneously represent love and passion. Whether you are a brand that consistently associates itself with love (hello, wedding boutiques!) or one that wants to create a campaign around ‘amour,’ test out those red shades!

BLUE – Oh, the crash of the ocean and those bright blue skies - blue surely represents a calm peacefulness. The feeling of being on vacation laying in a beach, blissfulness. The feeling of being connected to the earth.

WHAT NEXT? When there are so many colours and shades to choose from, it can make it difficult to determine what you truly want your brand to represent. We encourage you to sit down and create a plan, including what your brand stands for and who it targets to help you decide the best colours for you.

Need help with this time-consuming and daunting process? Work It Social can help you out! Be sure to contact us today for a free consultation.

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