Choose a Great Color Scheme for Your New Business, Part I

July 1, 2015

Selecting a logo or brand color scheme for your new business? Don't waste your time on the fluff. Other advertising agencies might put a target on our backs for saying this, but it's not ALL about creativity. Building a serviceable brand with color is a simple feat of art meeting science - and we'll teach you the proper ratio so that you can do it yourself.

Tool #1: SCIENCE. Seriously, we're talking about psychology (ok, more of a soft science). When making an important decision, it's best to discover the most objective option a la Benjamin Franklin's moral and prudential algebra.

Who are your main customers? Make the choice appealing to the people you want to attract to your new business. This hinges on one seemingly simple scientific fact:

A positive mood increases buying intention (according to a study conducted by the European Journal of Information Systems). In this case, you may choose for your customers based on two simple identifiers: the emotions you want them to associate with your company, or even more simply based on gender if your product/service tends to be geared to a certain gender or demographic.

How to choose colors based on emotions and subjects you want your brand to exude

Red: evokes energy, vitality, stamina. Tip: red backgrounds encourage higher bids at auctions, but lower offers in negotiations.
Orange: stimulates productivity, optimism, and anxiety in some cases. Tip: when paired with blue, this is the most aesthetically pleasing complementary color scheme, which is why you see it so often.

Yellow: evokes fun, excitement, creativity and logic. When paired with a darker color, makes a bold statement. Green: evokes calm, nature, used in technology and "green"/environmentally friendly subjects.
Blue: "calmest" color, encourages relaxation and associated with peaceful subjects.
Violet: associated with meditation and imagination.
Pink: simulates restfulness, imagination and peaceful thoughts.

How to choose colors based on gender

Feminine colors:
Pink - pairs well with green (complementary), yellow (tertiary), and earth tones
Purple - pairs well with yellow (complementary) and orange (tertiary)

Masculine colors:
Green - pairs well with red (complementary)
Blue - pairs well with orange (complementary)

Other masculine color schemes

Yellow & Black - Bold, tech forward
Yellow & Red - Automotive

Unisex color scheme

Blue & Orange - universally aesthetically appealing to the human eye

Does that sound complex? It's not. If your service attracts women between the ages of 40 and 60, your color choice should be something feminine and calming like pink and green. If your appealing to men between 15 and 30, however, you might want something more bold such as black and yellow.

Color Scheme Designer
Men's Health
Palgrave Journals

Of course, there are other things to keep in mind when you make decisions like this - such as what industry you are in, what kind of products you are selling, your long term company vision. This is all a part of your strategy when starting a new business, purchasing a company, or rebranding a current brand. Feel free to drop us a line for a quick strategy consult.