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Connecting colour to your brand

Colour theory plays a significant role in design, and can help to define a brand. With well known brands, we often wouldn’t need to be shown the logo to invoke a response, the colour is simply enough. Ever wondered why the McDonalds arches are a golden yellow? Coca Cola has a striking red? and Cadburys utilises a purple? The importance of understanding the consumers association with a particular colour is key to the brands message. It’s likely that personal preference, experiences, cultural differences, and context often vary the effect individual colours have on us.

Visual presence through colour greatly helps to increase brand recognition. We’ve become accustomed to companies scientifically choosing colours to influence the emotions that consumers associate with them. On a simple level, the colours on the warm side of the spectrum – such as red and yellow – are bold, uplifting and energetic, while their cooler counterparts, blue and green, exude calmness and feel more reserved. However, when a colour becomes so synonymous with a brand itself, they have every right to protect their distinctive identities. A corporation are allowed to trademark it if they can justify that it represents their brand. Using a recognised system such as Pantone helps to do this.

Just recently the German airline Lufthansa has had a brand overhaul, with its fleet removing one of its most distinguishing features – the distinctive yellow colour from the crane of its logo. Quite controversially, dark blue has replaced this to become the brands core colour on its aircraft, with yellow being used as an accent colour on rebranded items such as boarding passes, airport counters and online material. The reasons behind the rebrand were to make the airline more ‘premium’, to make it ‘digitally fit’ and to make the brand ‘more clear’ but its questionable that this move has lost some its true original identity – and that being the distinctive yellow colour that the brand has always utilised and has been widely recognised across the world.

Connecting a colour to a brand evidently is more complex than first meets the eye. How do you find the right colour scheme? Asking questions about what your brand stands for, the message you want to convey, how can colour enhance this, who the consumer is and if it will stand out from competitors are all considerations.

Ready to inject some colour into your brand? Thrive are on hand to help you find the perfect (Pantone!) match.

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