Q: Why did the color wheel turn to a therapist?
A: Because it was tired of all the color conflicts and needed to find some harmony!

‘Clownin with Color’ Illustration by Angelo Lagdameo

Color theory is a field of study that explores the use and impact of color in design, art, and visual communication. It encompasses a set of principles that provide guidelines for selecting and combining colors in a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing manner. The basic concepts of color theory include color wheel, color harmony, color context, and color symbolism. By understanding these principles, designers and artists can effectively communicate emotions, convey information, and create visual interest through color. Color theory draws on the science of light and color, as well as the psychological and cultural associations with different hues, to inform its guidelines.

Color is a powerful tool in branding and can significantly impact the perception and success of a company. Color theory provides a systematic approach to selecting the most appropriate colors for a brand’s visual identity. To determine a company’s brand colors, it’s important to understand the meanings and emotions that different colors can evoke.

‘Red for an Online Dating App’ Illustration by Angelo Lagdameo

One of the first steps in using color theory to determine a brand’s colors is considering the company’s target audience. Different colors can appeal to different age groups, genders, and cultural backgrounds, and it’s important to choose colors that resonate with the target audience. For example, blue may be associated with trust and professionalism, making it a good choice for a financial or legal company, while red may evoke excitement and energy, making it a good choice for a sports or entertainment company.

‘Tech Workers in Blue’ Illustration by Angelo Lagdameo

Another critical factor to consider is the company’s industry and the image it wants to convey. For example, certain colors are often associated with specific industries, such as green for environmentalism, cool hues for healthcare, and yellow tones for food and hospitality. Therefore, when choosing a brand’s colors, it’s crucial to consider the company’s industry and the image it wants to convey and choose colors that align with these goals.

The next step is considering the meanings and emotions associated with different colors. Different colors can evoke other emotions and reactions, so choosing colors that accurately reflect the company’s values and personality is paramount. For example, green may evoke growth, calmness, and nature, while orange may evoke excitement, friendliness, and warmth.

‘Orange for Movie Theater Concessions’ Illustration by Angelo Lagdameo

It’s also important to consider the psychological effects of color. Color can profoundly impact people’s moods and emotions, and it’s integral to choose colors that will create the desired mood and impression. For example, red may evoke excitement and energy for an online dating app, while purple may add a brand of friendliness and inclusivity to a national fitness center franchise.

‘Purple for a Friendly Gym’ Illustration by Angelo Lagdameo

When choosing brand colors, it’s also fundamental to consider the colors’ compatibility with one another. Some colors work well together, while others may clash or create a conflicting message. A color wheel can be helpful in determining which colors complement each other, and it’s paramount to choose colors that work well together to create a cohesive and consistent brand image.

It’s also important to consider the colors’ versatility and how they will be used in different media and environments. Colors can appear differently on different screens and in different lighting conditions, and it’s necessary to choose colors that will maintain their integrity and consistency across various media and environments.

In conclusion, color is a powerful tool in branding and can significantly impact the perception and success of a company. Using color theory, a company can determine the most appropriate colors for its brand and create a visual identity that accurately reflects its values, personality, and goals. When choosing brand colors—consider the target audience, industry, meanings and emotions associated with different colors, the psychological effects of color, color compatibility, and versatility. By considering these factors, a company can create a cohesive and consistent brand image that resonates with its target audience and accurately reflects its values and personality.

‘Be a Color Wheel Warrior’ Illustration by Angelo Lagdameo

For some thought-starters, try to answer the following questions with your fellow artists, designers, or color enthusiasts:

  1. How can a company effectively use color to differentiate their brand and create a unique identity?
  2. How do cultural and societal changes impact the meaning and perception of specific brand colors over time?
  3. How does the development of digital technology and its capabilities impact the study and application of color theory in design and art?

If your company is looking to refresh their brand color palette. Contact us and we’ll get you started with a quote. Happy coloring!

Angelo Lagdameo
Brand Consultant, Design Practitioner


Branding, Design


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