In the Color Concept article on Color Psychology, we laid out an overview of all colors. Color Concepts are a series of articles here on the site that highlight and explain color psychology and how to apply the principles successfully to your branding. Two of them were blue and red. And that’s because blue and red are two of the most dominant branding colors. Since we already dove deeper into the psychology of blue in Color Concept: Building Trust article, today, we’re moving onto red.
Red is an attention grabber, showstopper, and blood boiler. It can elicit immediate, strong reactions. But what exactly are the implications in branding? How does this apply to business-building? And what do you need to know about using the powerful color in your branding?
We’ll dig in and answer these questions in today’s article. But let’s first get clear why any of this even matters to your brand and business.
A quick primer on the psychology of color in branding
People make buying decisions just by looking at visuals. And color is the first thing they see when they see any of your business assets (products or website or marketing materials, etc.).
Color has a specific effect on individuals’ thoughts and feelings and affects whether they’re interested in your brand, community and/or offers. Choosing the right color scheme is fundamental to creating a cohesive visual identity for your business.
Implications of Red in branding your business
Red is the boldest of the colors on the spectrum. It is attention-grabbing and is hard to miss. For these reasons, it’s often used in brands to convey power, passion, intimacy, and creativity. These are just the common implications, but there are, of course, more. And you’ll find some companies who do not seem to convey any of these traits but use red as their dominant color.
As discussed in the Color Concept: Psychology of Color article, red also has negative implications. All the colors do. A few of red’s are danger, aggression, and warning.
Tips and considerations with using red in branding
Don’t overdo it. Before you cover everything in this bold, daring color, make sure you’re doing it tastefully. It’ll probably take several iterations and adjustments before you get it right. Also, consider the hue of red that works best for your business.
Match the red carefully with another color(s). Choose other colors that go well with red on the color spectrum, so that the overall colors are appealing to the eye.
There’s no doubt that universally, red is the accepted bold color. It stands out and gets attention. You want your brand to stand out but using red may not be the answer. Whether you’re already using red in your branding and considering a rebrand or if you are starting from scratch and choosing your color scheme, consider:
*Will it fit with your customer base? Who do you serve? What do they expect? Closely assess what they respond to and what repels them. Also, analyze your marketplace. Standing out is good, but going against the grain of what works in your niche isn’t necessarily wise.
*Does red match your archetype. If you’re unfamiliar with branding archetypes, have a read through our breakdown article on branding personalities.
*Does red match the other colors in your branding scheme? When choosing colors to represent your company, make sure to create a cohesive palette. Some colors complement each other, and others clash. You want to create a palette that’s visually appealing, not off-putting.
Red is a power color. It catches the eye and stands out. But be careful when using it in your branding. Use it wisely and match it with other colors that sync well. And, most importantly, keep your customers, clients, collaborators in mind. This is who you serve. You may love the color red, but it may not be a fit for your audience.