BrandArena: The Power of Colour in Brand Design

Thursday 7 July 2011

The Power of Colour in Brand Design

Today it’s more critical than ever for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors and make memorable connections with their audience by creating unique, recognisable brands.

Colour in Brand Design
Every touch point of a brand plays a vital role in brand recall, but the brand mark is the heart and soul of a brand’s image. Whilst it’s the interplay between colour, typeface, and symbol that creates a brand mark, colour is registered by the brain before either images or typography. A University of Loyola, Maryland study recently found the correct use of colour could increase brand recognition by up to 80%.

Standing out from the crowd

As awareness of branding grows and more businesses invest in their brand’s identity, colour is becoming more important for companies looking to differentiate themselves visually. Consider the success of Heinz Green ketchup. In the first seven months following its introduction more than 10 million bottles were sold. The result was the highest sales increase in the brand’s history, all because of a simple color change. Apple introduced colourful iMacs into a marketplace where colour had not been seen before. The Apple brand was the first to say, “It doesn’t have to be beige”. The iMacs reinvigorated a brand that had suffered $1.8 billion of losses in two years.

A World of Colour
Colour also provides communication cues for brand attributes such as traditional or cutting edge, calm or excited, as well as cultural cues, cues about environmental credibility, cues about political affiliations and a plethora of other meanings. In the world of brand design, choice and use of colour provides the potential for a wealth of carefully crafted and powerfully communicated messages about your brand.

Recognisable Brands Test
Most of the most recognisable brands in the world rely on colour as a key factor in their instant recognition. Below are snapshots of twenty of the world’s most recognisable brand marks cropped to show a clear representation of their brand colours, but only a fraction of their logotype of symbol. Test yourself to see how many of the brands you can identify with colour being the primary visual driver.

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