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Brand Like a Boss Online Program | Ultrabrand

Think bigger. Brand smarter.

The ultimate strategic toolkit for winning and delivering high-ticket branding projects.

MODULE 23

BRAND COLOR

"A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company." - Marty Neumeier

Why do we start the design process with the color of the brand instead of the logo? Because the flagship color, not the logo, is the first thing people notice about a brand. Think of the red of Coke or the green of Starbucks. People first notice your color, then the shapes (like McDonald's arches), and then they read your name. Your color is the main thing that sets you apart from other brands. It's also the most powerful way to show who you are and what you believe in.

The Psychology of Colors

The psychology of colors is the study and explanation of how different colors affect how people see and act. Colors have different meanings, associations, and mental effects on people. These meanings can vary from culture to culture, so if you want your brand to be known around the world, think about this when choosing a color. 

How you feel about things also has an impact on color perception. If you want to read a great article with a master class on the psychology of colors, click here. Let's keep our work for today simple and learn about the psychology of colors and what they mean in the real world.


Shades of Blue 

Blue is a trustworthy color. It is the most common color for making brands. It makes you feel calmer, less stressed, safe, and like things are in order. In accounting, finance, health care, and technology, blue is often used.
 

Shades of Red

 

Red is a passionate and attractive color. It gets the most attention and appeals to stronger emotions like excitement, love, romance, or style. It can also mean a warning or a way to keep yourself safe. Red is a common color in online shopping, food, and sports.
 

 

Shades of Green

The color green means growth and health. It works to bring harmony and balance. Green can be used to encourage, save energy, calm down, or wake someone up. Green is often used in banking, ecology, farming, medicine or paramedicine, non-profits, and real estate.
 

Shades of Violet

 

Violet is a color that makes people feel spiritual and high. It makes you think about yourself. It also makes you think of royalty, luxury, and dignity. Violet is often used for brands that are humanitarian, psychic, inspirational, or ethical.


 

 

Shades of Black

Black is a mysterious color. It's a good choice if you want your brand to seem formal, strong, or professional. It gives off a sense of power and keeps feelings in check. Black is often used in technology, but it can be used in any industry if the message it sends is the most important part of your brand.
 

Shades of Orange

 

Orange is a confident and creative color. It also gets a lot of attention and shows happiness, optimism, and drive. It sends a message of fun and freedom. Orange is used a lot in art, food, entertainment, sports, and transportation.
 

 

Shades of Yellow

Yellow is a color that makes people happy. Depending on the background, the brightness of an object is perfect for catching the eye and stimulating, relaxing, or bringing attention to something. Yellow is used a lot in the food, leisure, travel, and sports industries, as well as on signs.
 

Paint Colors

Strategic Color Positioning

When you choose a color for your brand, you're making a statement about who you are and where you fit in. You can use one of three strategies, depending on how you want to be seen and what your main goal is.
 

 

Route 1: Integration

 

The most classic choice is to align with a shade of the dominant color in your sector or industry. That said, there are a few unspoken rules you should know. For example, the leader often doesn't wear the industry colors. A leading brand can be red or red and black. Red is the color of dominance, and black gives authority. 

 

UBS is an example in the blue-ish ocean of its peers in the financial sector. Also, some brands in a given sector will choose an adjacent color to the dominant one to show that they bring something different to the table. For example, in the swimming pool construction industry, where everyone is blue, a brand that stands for more added value or a different lifestyle might choose a shade of turquoise.

ubs_logo.jpg

Route 2: Revolution

 

There's a difference between a revolutionary and a rebel. Revolutionaries fight the system while rebels ignore it. If one of these two personalities is you, you can make this statement in your color. 

 

Say you come up with something revolutionary or want to change the paradigm in your industry: you can express it with a complementary color to that of your industry. 

 

Complementary colors are colors on opposite sides of the primary ones on the color wheel (below). This combination provides high contrast, just like a disruptive positioning. An excellent example was Orange in telecommunications. They chose their name and color in disruption with the blue telecom industry because they were born as game changers.


The Color Wheel
Orange Logo

Route 3: Rebellion

As we said, rebels ignore the system and live on their own terms. Brands that carry an idea of rebellion or appeal to rebel spirits in society, cross the boundaries of categories in terms of the offering, or are founding a new industry/opening a new market segment will often opt for a color that reflects what they believe in most. 

For example, in the coffee industry, where red, gold, and brown are the norm, Starbucks chose green to show how they treat their customers and partners positively. Starbucks has long strived to source its coffees ethically while ensuring they treat the farmers they work with well.

Starbucks_edited.jpg

How to identify your Brand Color

Download and use my Strategic Color Positioning Model to identify with certainty which color is your dominant one. Then, click on the link below to open my template to fine-tune it and decide on your final, unique shade.

Now save your master brand color to your Canva Pro brand kit:

 

  • In the File menu, rename your document in Canva as “[Your Brand]_Color."
     

  • Click on your background and open the color selector as if you wanted to change its color. Don't CHANGE THE COLOR, though!
     

  • Click on where you can add a new color and, without changing anything, copy the HEX code that's located below the color hues (it starts with a hashtag, for example, #737373).
     

  • Close the selector.
     

  • Now go to Canva's "Home" > "Tools" > "Brand" and create a new "Brand Kit" by your brand's name.
     

  • In the Brand Kit, go to "Master brand colors," and in the "Color Palette," click to add a new color.
     

  • Below the color hues, paste your HEX color code and activate "Add CMYK."

 

If you need to adapt to specific printing techniques, here are good websites that can help you convert your color to other systems, or get the equivalent for a Pantone, for example: http://www.encycolorpedia.com and http://www.printkick.com  

Graphic Designing
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