Colour in Branding – Colouring in the Blanks

The use of colour in branding seems like a no-brainer

Of course you need some sort of colour scheme for your branding. This is more a question of which colours should you use.  Better still: Which colours will be best suited for the company

The colour spectrum, by nature is vivid. Use of colour can express an infinite amount of messages. We’re surrounded by plenty of examples of branding material within society. We become more receptive to drawing connections through the colour schemes we see.

Communication with Colour

Within society we use colours for signage and signals, a simple example of this is Traffic Lights. we associate red with stop, amber with take caution and green with go. So when we see these singular colours throughout our daily lives, we could possibly link these together as having the same meaning. If you’d like to learn more about this, I’d recommend Color Psychology In Marketing – by Ashton Hauff from

Let’s Mix things up

We can’t rely on single colours. Think back to the traffic lights, Coca-Cola primarily use Red. However, once they place their white logo onto a red background it develops an entirely different meaning. Need I remind you of the influence that Coca-Cola’s branding has had on a particular Holiday Season?

Once you infuse colour with text or shapes, then you’ve covered the basics of logo design. You can learn more about this in an earlier BrandRefinery blog on Logo Design.

Once we start using more than one colour, we can create combinations to either subdue or amplify a mood. Typically, designers will follow these rules when implementing colour for branding.

Setting the right mood

Here are some suggested moods linked with each primary and secondary colour:

Depending on the nature of your business, one of these colours or a mixture of colours will be best suited for the business. The name of your business alone may not be enough to convey what you do. The Amazon we’re talking about isn’t a river in South America, it’s an online retailer and media streaming service.

You’ve met your Colour Match

Some brands have become so iconic that the mere use of colours can be matched with a brand, even specific products. When you can achieve this, you know you have an iconic brand. Let’s put some of those brands to the test actually, see if you can identify a particular brand from each one of these colour palettes:

1)     2) 3)     4) 5)      6) 7) 


    1. Cadbury – The purple, white classic font and gold flourishes keep Cadbury wrapped in luxury and rooted in history.
    1. Google – Four common colours together, all-encompassing like just Google.  Microsoft & eBay also use this scheme.
    1. Walker’s – A yellow to orange gradient of a roasted crisp.  While Purple is used for best contrast with yellow, red is used as a ribbon label, possibly to tie in the classic flavour ‘Ready Salted’.
    1. Coca-Cola – This branding juggernaut have a cool design, toned down with a hand-written logo to keep it distinct.
    1. Asda – Usually just a green logo on a white background, using yellow to highlight details for marketing material in-store.
    1. Ford – Always depicted with gradients to give a clean, glossy finish like a brand new Car.
  1. Amazon – Simple Black text on White Background, underlined with a friendly smile.

Brighten up your Brand

As a small business or a start-up, prepare yourself. Focus on developing branding material that conveys what your company is all about. Link it to the atmosphere of your business. What will resonate with your audience the best.  Make the best impression and come out swinging!

Interested in giving your company branding a splash of colour? Feel free to get in touch with BrandRefinery to find out more.