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The science of colors in branding has long been up for debate. Many academics insist color affinity is born from personal experience, background, and individual preference rather than proven branding or marketing psychology. Yet, according to ColorCom, up to 92.6% of peoples’ perception about a brand relates to their feelings about that logo’s colors. And 80% of brand recognition relies on color association according to the blog Color Matters. Although the reason “why,” may be unclear, it is clear that brand color schemes can profoundly influence your target audience’s ability to remember and relate to your product. Our breakdown of the rainbow reveals what your brand color schemes say about you and your organization.


Netflix. Target. CNN. EXXON. Coca-Cola. Time. These brands’ logos are dominated by a bold, bright red. At the very top of the rainbow and one of three primary colors, red channels a vivacious energy, and frank, action-oriented vibe. Many branding psychologists believe the color red inspires action by creating a sense of urgency and importance. For lifestyle brands such as Target or Coca-Cola, red translates to a desire to consume, while media channels such as Time, Netflix or CNN, benefit from the color’s bias toward action.


Orange is one of the less popular colors in branding and brand design. The color is more frequently used as a highlight rather than a dominant marketing campaign color. We most often see orange on “try,” or “buy,” buttons, and other calls to action thanks to the color’s warm, inviting tone (just begging to be clicked). However, many psychologists believe orange carries some of the anxiety-laden undertones found in yellow, and may serve as a better caution or warning sign than as a conversion catalyst. Organizations associated with a degree of ruggedness, such as Harley Davidson or Home Depot, benefit most from this duel psychological profile. However, more cheerful brands, such as Blogger and Nickelodeon, can also leverage the sunny hue’s tendency to inspire happiness and warmth.


Because yellow is one of the easiest colors for the eye to distinguish (which is why many fire trucks and ambulances are yellow), brands use this color to grab consumers’ attention. The color itself has duel associations: some schools of thought align yellow with feelings of warmth and happiness, while other brand design experts associate yellow with anxiety and stress, due to the strain it puts on the eye. A wide variety of brands – from Hertz and Yellow Pages to Best Buy and IKEA – rely on the color’s bright “look at me” vibe to drive an unforgettable, top-of-mind reference in their respective industries.


Depending on the tone, green works as a jack-of-all-trades. It’s one of the few colors in branding that carries a wide variety of connotations. Emotions associated with green range from jealousy, money and lust, to zen, environmental consciousness, and good health. The psychology behind green-dominated brand design leverages the color’s versatility. As a non-primary color, green can skew more yellow, more blue, or even more red (in an earthy translation of this refreshing, leafy color). The result gives green more flexibility and personal association potential than many other colors, so it’s no surprise that a variety of brands from contradicting industries have latched onto this color. Think: Starbucks, GREEN Certification, Whole Foods, BP Mobile, XBOX, and Holiday Inn.


Blue is the most popular color among both men and women, making it a popular, tried and tested choice within brand color schemes (hello Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype, Ford, Dell, Walmart, and GE). Blue’s cool undertones are often associated with peace, stability, and serenity, which reduces some of the hard sales associations that colors such as yellow or red may inspire. Because blue’s sense of peace and stability easily translate to security, many corporate and financial institutions rely on the earnest attitude conveyed through a blue logo.


Purple’s swirling blend of red and blue stimulate feelings of royalty, mysticism, and elegance. Although many brands shy away from this color because of the heavy female to male bias, purple bridges the gap between “quirky” and “regal” with ease. As a result, it’s often used on female-centric branding campaigns (such as Revlon and Hallmark) or whimsical, child-friendly brands (such as Willy Wonka Chocolate or the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization). The color’s difficulty to classify makes it a popular choice among brands intentionally shying away from the mainstream bias, such as the LGBT community, and many yoga companies or holistic wellness centers.

Psychology of colors in branding

Whether your customers respond to the marketing psychology behind colors in branding, or they simply react to the socially constructed responses that growing-up in the U.S. has conditioned them to feel, doesn’t matter. As Greg Ciotti, from Help Scout, explains: “it’s far more important for your brand’s colors to support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations.” The proof is there. People respond to colors. It’s your job to choose a color that resonates with your brand, as well as the message you hope to convey. Whether you call it psychological brand design or simply good taste, colors can have a profound impact on your bottom line – and your brand’s recognition in the consumer marketplace.

In need of some colorful, thought-provoking and creative inspiration? Contact our team of creative design professionals to help you select the perfect palette, with a host of services to compel your target audience to engage with your brand.

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I never thought when making the switch from nursing school student to an advertising major in college that I would have the opportunity to witness an open-heart surgery on a small child. But that is exactly the experience I had last month. BIGEYE had the honor to be asked by our client, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, to produce a video about their cardiology program. As part of that video, our crew was graciously allowed in the operating room to witness an amazing surgical team, lead by Dr. William DeCampli, repair little 3-year-old Emily Stone’s heart.
We literally got to participate in history being made. The hospital broke ground by trying something relatively unheard of in healthcare: using social media to share a live surgical operation with the entire world. The hospital posted images and updates of the surgery every 10 minutes through the photo sharing application Instagram, pushing the updates out via their Twitter and Facebook profiles, as well as their blog. For me, it definitely brought new meaning to a photo app that I primarily use to apply artistic filters to pictures of my food.

The response was overwhelming as the world watched and cheered on little Emily with amazing words of encouragement. It was awesome, in the truest sense of the word, to be so openly allowed into a world that is usually very closed off to the public. Pushing the envelope will always bring on a slew of questions: Why did they do this? Does social media go too far? What role can social media play in healthcare? The very nature of social media encourages debate and provides a portal for honest discussions.

Mike Schmidt, director of digital media at Arnold Palmer Hospital, said it best: “Healthcare is behind the rest of the world in being able to tell stories well through social media. There are thousands of amazing things that happen here at the hospital each and every day, and we want to share that with our community.”

Advertising, taglines, slogans and pictures of happy patients all have their place in healthcare. They play a role in communicating to the public a hospital’s message: who they are and what they stand for. But what about showing, not just telling, what really goes on? There may not be anything “pretty” about surgical procedures, but they are real, raw, and honest. We’re talking about humans saving other human’s lives. Arnold Palmer Hospital and Emily’s family were ready to take that leap by sharing this life-saving procedure with the world. The fact is, surgeons and healthcare professionals alike live and breathe this every day, and that’s what has a true impact on their patient’s lives.

Social media is here to stay and will continue to evolve and change. Yes, seeing pictures of a beating heart on your Facebook timeline may not be for everyone, but I do commend the hospital on using a tool that we are all familiar with in a new and interesting way in order to keep people informed of what’s going on behind the curtain. It breaks down barriers and can remove the mystery of the “unknown” for families that may be going through something very scary, hearing their child has  congenital heart disease.

On a very important side note, Emily is doing well. It was a joy to get to know her and her family throughout this process. She’s a brave little girl!

You can see how the story unfolded on the hospitals blog, Illuminate.  Warning: some of the pictures are graphic in nature.

Written by, Laura Adams, BIGEYE Creative Account Manager

Adaptable Creative Creative & Production Insights

For those who saw The Devil Wears Prada (c’mon boys, you know you loved it), believe Miranda Priestly when she tells Andy:
“That sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually Cerulean … That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.”

In 2000, Pantone LLC, the world’s leading color authority, decided Cerulean would be the color of the year. It made its way through fashion shows, interior decorations and graphic designs. No doubt, we caught a glimpse of Cerulean every day in the year 2000, whether in passing on a billboard, in the Target Home Furnishings section, or in Macy’s clothing department. Pantone’s Color of the Year affects our daily lives. Ms. Priestly was right (she just forgot to mention that Pantone plays an influential role in the colors designers incorporate into their pieces), so why not embrace it?

Over the past 10 years, Pantone has chosen colors like Fuchsia Rose (2001), Aqua Sky (2003) and Sand Dollar (2006) as the colors of the years—each varying in only pinks, blues and yellows, oddly enough. So it comes as no surprise that 2011’s choice is none other than the vibrant, rosy-colored Honeysuckle. That’s right, we said rosy. We thought Honeysuckle was an orangey-yellow, too.

According to Pantone, Honeysuckle’s dynamic red and pink tones encourage us to push beyond the escape and “meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of [our] everyday lives.” It’s vibrant and uplifting, sure to bring confidence and liveliness back into our world; and it’s about time. Get ready to see Honeysuckle in weddings, bedspreads, commercials and so much more. Pops of this playful pink are about to start showing up everywhere, so how are you going to utilize it?

Color can affect us both physically and emotionally, according to Kate Smith from Vibrant pinks like Honeysuckle can increase blood pressure and encourage action and confidence. It’s the color of happiness, often reminding women of the lightheartedness of their youth, according to TK person. We see pink as an international symbol of hope in the fight against breast cancer. But it’s not just a feminine color. The Japanese associate the color with masculinity, symbolizing fallen Samurai of the past in the annual blooming of the cherry blossom trees. Any chance you’re craving sweets after all this pink talk? It’s been said to do that too.

In search of a color palette to best represent your brand? Our creative team possesses the expertise to assist you in finding your perfect match – contact us today to schedule a consultation!