The language of logos

We instinctively link colour to emotion. On any given day you will hear phrases along the lines of, “I feel blue”, “He made me see red”, “She’s in a black mood” or, perhaps more in days gone by “I’m in the pink”. Colour is an easy way to communicate emotion and marketers are always looking for the easy communication so they look to use colour in branding with a view to generating certain feelings in the consumer. In a new study though, researchers have found that while the colour of a logo does affect the emotion felt towards the brand by a consumer, it may not always be in the way you would expect.

For the study adults were asked to respond to generic logs of different colours for fake companies and describe the emotions they felt towards each logo. The findings were that each colour did evoke different emotions but not necessarily what you might expect.

Blue logos were found to create feelings of confidence success and reliability. Green logos generated perceptions of environmental friendliness, toughness, durability, masculinity, and sustainability. Purple logos invoked femininity, glamour and charm while pink logos created a sense of youth, imagination, and fashion. Yellow logos generated a sense of fun and modernity and red logos created feelings of expertise and self-assurance.

You might have thought that based on traditional perceptions red would be associated with aggression and romance but there is obviously something else at play here. It is probable that many established brands which use the red in their logo (we don’t have to name them, do we?) have contributed to way consumers feel towards logos with using that colour.

So in the end, logo colour response is a complex interplay of core emotional response and learned attitudes. Yet in the end there are definite emotional reactions generated by colours used in logos and that interests marketers because those colours are the colour of money.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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