Choosing brand colours for your business

If people become familiar with your brand colours, colour becomes a shortcut for recognition against your competitors.

Looking for new brand colours, but wondering what to use? Colour is an essential element of the branding process. It can be very personal, but you must choose the right colour palette for your area of business.


Colour is a visual perception that comes from the stimulation of the cone cells in the human eye by light. Because every eye differs, every person ‘perceives’ colour differently. Colour is also a cultural perception to which we associate cultural feelings. How I see and feel about one colour, is not necessarily how another will see and feel about that same colour.


Read on to find out the meaning of colours which will help you navigate their use.

Colour theory and associations


Blue is a primary colour to which we associate trust, wisdom, intelligence, sadness, calmness and spirituality. Light Blue is friendly, refreshing and tranquil; whilst Dark Blue represents knowledge, power and stability. Blue is considered beneficial to the body and mind and has been known to slow down the human metabolism.


Use Blue if your brand is B2B, involved in the technology, security or health industries, or would like to evoke understanding. Avoid if you are involved in food as it is known to be an appetite suppressant.



Red is a primary colour associated with Blood, Fire and Danger; and also with love, passion and desire. Red is emotionally charged, it is known to raise blood pressure, enhance metabolism and also increase appetite. Brighter red shades are considered energetic, whilst the darker shades indicate power.


Use Red if your brand is fast and energetic, or associated with the body or food. Red is highly visible so use it as an accent colour in your designs, or to catch attention. It can be overwhelming if used too much.



Yellow is the brightest and the most joyful of the primary colours. It is associated with happiness, intellect and energy; but also caution, cowardice and deceit.


Yellow is warming and arouses happiness, stimulates mental activity and also appetite. Bright yellow captures attention, light yellow is soothing whilst darker hues represent antiquities.


Use yellow to evoke happy feelings, promote children’s items (yellow is considered gender neutral) or if you want your brand to catch attention. Yellow is considered childish so do not use it to sell prestigious products.



Purple is a secondary colour and is historically associated with luxury and royalty. This is because the dye used to create purple was so hard to obtain; a synthetic version was not invented until the 18th century.


Darker shades are still used for wealth and extravagance whilst lighter shades represent wisdom, creativity, mystery and magic.


Use darker shades of purple if you want to convey opulence; lighter shades are considered feminine. Bright purple appeals to children.



Green is a secondary colour closely associated with nature and the earth. It represents new beginnings, growth and harmony. Green also means safety and protection. Dark green is associated with money and power.


Use Green if your business or product is ethical and sustainable. Due to its connection with safety it can also be used for health or medical brands.



Orange is a secondary colour associated with energy, health and creativity. It is closely connected to autumn and the changing of the seasons.


Orange is a hot colour and combines the energy of red with the happiness of yellow. It is stimulating, invigorating, and is known to increase oxygen to the brain.


Use Orange if you are looking to catch attention without the aggression of red. Orange is often used for food brands as bright citrus orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite.