Color psychology for marketing and brands

What feeling do you get from the color yellow?

Does it make you happy?
Does it excite you?
Does it remind you of the sun?

We may not always notice it, but colors do a lot to a human being. They give you a certain association, feeling or meaning. Isn’t it strange that in many cases, when it comes to brand design, people actually often go with “oh go green, I like that color” without any further thought behind it, while green does have some strong associations. It’s often used for things related to freshness, health, nature, tranquility and sustainability.

In this blog I want to make you aware of the use of color in your brand design. If you’re just starting out, lucky you, you can still go any way you want.

Ready for some tips on color, for your logo, website or other content?

How important is color?

I’ve got the following facts from Kissmetrics‘ infographic. It teaches us that:

  • 80% of brand recognition depends on color
  • 42% of customers form their opinion about a website on design alone
  • 93% of customers put visual display and color above all other factors when it comes to shopping.

So colors do determine how we experience or receive something. For example, Karen Leland of Sterling Marketing group also mentions this in her newsletter:

  • 94% of the respondents indicated that color on a website determines the first impression.
  • And 90% of first impressions from potential buyers are based on color alone

How do you determine the color for your brand?

The numbers don’t lie. The color for your logo or other design is important. To determine which color suits your brand, 2 things are important to know.

  1. What does your brand stand for? What do you want to communicate? What are your values
  2. What kind of meanings or associations do people generally attach to a certain color?

I assume that you have an answer to question 1 (if not, give me a call I’ll help you with that), question 2 can be answered with the following information

Meanings of color

In short, we have the following associations with these colors:
Red – Exciting/passion, and often used for big sales. Coca-Cola, for example, makes use of this.
Pink – Feminine/young/romantic. Think Victoria’s Secret. (Or De Dames Van Hurkmans, see below)
Orange – Friendly/enthusiasm, Nickelodeon, for example.
Yellow – Optimism.
Green – Fresh/healthy, but also money.
Blue – Reliable/responsible and safe. Zerocopter, for example.
Black – Luxury/security. Any high end beauty brand.
Brown – Reliable/earth/outside.
White (and greyish) – Pure/clean/nothing to hide.
Purple – Imaginative/wise/spiritual.

Examples of colors used correctly

We can fill in big names for some colors, but I want to highlight two smaller companies that have chosen their color strategically. The Ladies of Hurkmans (DDVH, you don’t have to speak Dutch to see what they’ve done) and Zerocopter. DDVH radiates femininity and is always operates with the female target group in mind. They are a car garage specifically aimed at women. 
Zerocopter has the important task of checking whether your website is resistant to hackers. They couldn’t have picked a better color than blue.


Colors will get out of fashion at some point. What was hip 10 years ago is not necessarily hip today. But the advantage of colors is that you can choose to make them brighter or softer. Adapting them takes relatively little time when you want to refresh your brand. Use this blog and choose the color(s) for your brand story.

P.S. Disney does it too.

The people who know me will probably have a smile on their faces by now – because I’m a sucker for Disney; the king of storytelling. Of course it doesn’t surprise you that colors play a big role in storytelling. Disney is of course very aware of this. Check out this picture of their Disney character. Love it!

This image is from this website: