One of the most impressive achievements of successful design services is the creation of such a close association between a brand and a colour that people talk about Tiffany’s blue or Cadbury’s Purple. Tiffany uses its robin’s egg blue everywhere, while Cadbury has used a very specific shade of rich purple, Pantone 2685C, since 1914. It now has the exclusive right to use this colour in chocolate packaging because it’s so clearly linked to the brand. Another brand that has managed to use colour very effectively, this time with a simple primary colour, red, usually combined with a flash of white, is Coca Cola. The association is so close that urban legend even attributes Coca Cola with the creation of Santa’s red and white outfit, although the bold red and white combination can also be associated with our own web agency logo.
Other design companies have created branding strategies making use of all the colours of the rainbow, and even of simple black and white:
- dependable, reassuring blue and the NHS
- peaceful, prestigious green and Harrods
- bright, eye-catching yellow and Caterpillar
- playful orange and Orange
- classic, powerful black and Guinness
- pure, simple white and Apple
Making this colour branding work well requires skilful design that maintains consistency across all elements of the brand and its marketing. It can also require the selection of a very specific shade to separate the brand from other similar products, unless the existing competition uses only a narrow range of colours. However specific the colour has to be, it must also be the right choice for the brand.
Colour can have intense emotional effects that a professional web agency can help brands to harness. Warmer colours are generally bold and uplifting, while cooler colours are more calm and reserved. For example, the warm colour red is widely associated with danger, anger and passion, while the cool green is a calming colour, linked to nature. Tapping in to these kinds of associations can enable brands to elicit strong emotional responses, so while it can be tricky to link a brand with a particular colour, this strategy can be highly effective. With time, it can even allow brands to free themselves from the need for a logo or brand name to be recognised. The colour alone can be enough.