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What’s your brand’s true color?

What’s your brand’s true color?

Color creates impact. According to NYU Professor Adam Alter: "Color sells, it persuades, it cajoles". Alongside fonts, textures, logos, photos, and i...

Color creates impact. According to NYU Professor Adam Alter: “Color sells, it persuades, it cajoles”. Alongside fonts, textures, logos, photos, and images – color is one of the most essential elements of your brand identity. Why? Because people have emotions, and color is a basic principle we use to recognize what’s good and what’s dangerous.

Color as a valuable branding tool

When you think of McDonald’s or Ford, is there a color that comes to your mind? Using color to create recognition is integral for global brands. 

According to this study by the University of Loyola:

Color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

Colors are actively used in advertising to stand out and reinforce their attributes. The colors your brand employs communicate certain values to consumers. This is something for you to take into deep consideration when creating logos or designs for your business or social media.

Colors will share a lot about the character of a brand, its intentions, and worth. So, how do you find out what your brand’s “true color” is? First, it’s vital to understand what kind of image you want to create.

Color associations

In the design world, color alone has the power to cultivate a strong and genuine emotional connection with your audience. Humans have strong associations to colors (and their various shades).

From one person to another, the same color can have a million unique associations.

When you see red without context, for example, a few things come to mind. Some people might see passion, desire, or romance; others will see anger, defiance, or danger. But no one will dare to call expressive and captivating red a shy or subtle color. Not surprisingly, many brands use this color to excite.

Which color associations and connotations do you want your audience to have of your brand? What feelings do you wish to evoke with the colors you choose? What do you want people to feel when they see your logo? Maybe you want to convey trust, loyalty, or professionalism. Does your brand aim to be playful, disruptive, or calming? Let your brand associations affect the colors you select. Because you don’t want to send a mixed message to your audience with a logo that goes against your brand’s goals.

Remember, color is not just revolutionary — it’s an evolutionary kaleidoscope of cultural associations, constantly turning in an ever-evolving loop of perception and trends. So, it’s important to choose wisely.

Setting forth the trend

We’ve witnessed radical simplification in modern design in recent years. From emojis and app icons, to logo overhauls of our most trusted brands, we’ve entered an all-new aesthetic era where a complex design is “ill mannered” and minimalism rules. With this trend erupting around the globe, you need to follow design trends or risk becoming outdated.

What could be at stake if your logo doesn’t reflect consumer expectations or desires? How about trust and credibility. Consider where you want your product or service to stand. Simply put, sometimes, the design of your logo might need to catch up to your brand, and sometimes — to your clients.

Another emerging design and color trend — using gradients and animations in ads and logo designs. Many big brands like Toyota, MasterCard, or Home Depot have employed color gradation in their visual communication to captivate viewers.

And don’t forget to give your logo some breathing room when using it with other graphic elements.

Draw the line between trendy and timeless

Should you start using gradients or animations in branding because big companies are doing it? Should you go Sans Serif like Burberry or Tesla when choosing your font?

Yes, in search of aesthetic footing for your brand, it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening around you. Still, you don’t have to copy something just because it’s trendy. Apply a certain color in your design if it makes sense for your brand.

Choosing the right color scheme for your brand is a puzzle

Color governs the trajectory of your style and aesthetic. Finding the perfect shade or the best accent color for your visual communication should be influenced by your business, product, message, intention, and audience you serve.

When designing an ad or a post for social media, choose a color that can infuse your graphics with nuance and clear brand distinction. Take into account your industry and the solution your product or service provides — and always consider your audience. Now close your eyes and think of all these things. What colors come to mind? That’s your scheme.

Remember, if you need a logo – you can always design one (or a dozen) in no time with VistaCreate.

On picking the right hue

To create an appropriate scheme, you will need three colors: a base, an accent, and a neutral. The base should reflect the core traits of your brand. Your accent color is an accessory and it will be used second-most, after the base. And your neutral will mainly be used as a background color (you may even want to have several neutrals for different creative occasions).

Once you’ve selected these three colors — make several color schemes for your designs. You can easily do it using VistaCreate — select your logo and click the Color button to open dozens of ready-made palette presets.

Save several variants and have them printed. Pin them to the wall. Take a step back, observe, and decide which color combinations will attract attention. Which color palette isn’t just cool but makes sense? Through the process of careful elimination, you’ll arrive at the right color for your brand.

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Oleksandr Shtukar
Advertising industry veteran and an award-winning copywriter. He’s a rare sort of author who thinks before they begin to write.

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