We’ve long been told that color influences our mental state. This science of color as a result, has been used by many marketers to determine how to best apply color to branding. A color palette is one of the most significant parts of a logo design or branding scheme, and choosing the right one will help you convey the message of the company you’re designing for.

Many established companies have managed to associate a specific set of colors with their branding on a huge scale. Newer brands are starting to follow the trend as well, working up to the power of the big guys.

We all know what colors we think of when we picture a branding giant like Coca-Cola. Other companies use just a single unique color to distinguish their brand.

For instance, can you tell which brand uses this color?

Tiffany & Co

Hover over the image to see the company name

Other places use a combination of two colors. Companies such as UPS use the pairing of colors to communicate their message. It uses brown as a sign of reliability, accompanied with yellow, which is a sign of friendliness.

In another infamous instance – what about these two colors together below?

Mcdonalds

Very special companies can also implement their own color combinations of more than two colors. An iconic of this is MSN.

Can you tell which company uses these colors?

Google

 

Take a look at how specific colors are used by other well-known companies as a branding tool:

Black: secretive, elegant and powerful

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Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent — brands attainable to only the wealthy. Both use a simple black symbol to sell a vague sense of sophistication and mystery, making sure that their brands are in-demand for all, but only available to a few.

Red: passionate, exciting, and energetic

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Coca-Cola and Christian Louboutin are the kinds of big brands who can stand out from their competitors, and red is a stimulating and powerful color that naturally helps them separate themselves from the rest.

Green: healthy, natural, and refreshing

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Green is the color of balance, in the middle of the light/color spectrum. So companies like Starbucks, Garnier, and Whole Foods use green to communicate company values of wellness, peace and harmony with nature.

Blue: trustworthy, loyal and intelligent

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This color is a safe choice for businesses that want to build customer loyalty — it’s commonly thought to be the most popular color in the world. This is why online communication giants such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all use this shade.

Yellow: optimistic, happy and friendly

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Yellow is the most visible color in daylight, so it’s hard to overlook. It’s also a welcoming color, one that companies trying to draw consumers into a store or restaurant, like McDonald’s and IKEA, can benefit from.

Pink: nurturing, feminine, and sensual

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Femininity is pretty much a guarantee with pink, but shade of this color can really change the meaning of a brand. A lighter pink could mean sweet, while brighter pinks often indicate sex appeal. Perhaps the most well-known advocate of pink is used to represent breast cancer causes, like Susan G. Komen. And Victoria’s Secret is an obvious choice for a company that uses the color pink to promote sensuality.

Never forget to research the company you’re branding, particularly what its core values are, before you even start designing. Think about how this company could become a giant like those mentioned above, and make sure you help them be able to convey their message by just a color.