Non-Verbal Communication: Why Your Branding Material Colors Matter

Colorful smoke aligns like a rainbow going in order from left to right, red, yellow, green, blue, and purple.


Color is all around us, brightening our world and influencing our choices – often without us knowing. It is a form of non-verbal communication in our society. It can awaken thoughts of memories, stimulate the senses and represent abstract ideas.

With branding materials color tells the consumer a story of who the company is and what they are about. It is a first impression. As such, color is one of the most important aspects of design. Certain colors impact your audience in different ways and using the wrong color could drive conversions away from your business. You can see the impact in the most successful companies’ marketing materials.

How Can You Use Color In Your Branding Materials to Impact Your Audience?

More importantly, how are your color choices impacting your brand messaging? Join Velocity as we explore the meanings and psychological impact of colors in marketing.


1. Red: Stimulating, High Energy, Increase in Energy

Consider red as having the opposite effect as the color blue. Red is considered a provocative and stimulating color that ties the human mind with exhilaration and high energy. It establishes a feeling of authority or knowledge. Red has also long been linked with intense feelings as a chemical message is sent to your adrenal medulla and releases epinephrine- thus, causing you to breathe more rapidly and increasing your heart rate. Red branded merchandise can make your audience feel more pressured, wanting to make quick/impulsive decisions. However, it also connects many to feelings of sophistication or authority. 

Companies Using Red in Marketing Materials: Target, CNN, Coca-Cola 

Should You Use Red?: If your company wants to communicate messages like youth, high-energy, or modern (especially on social media), red is the color for you. Are you a university attempting to attract students? Red will give you authority, while also appealing to the younger generation.


2. Orange: Friendly, Young, Bold


Orange is thought to be a friendly color, sometimes associated with autumn foliage. Its brightness appeals to the joy of pumpkins, youth, and family. Orange is also perceived as a color that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It is an extroverted color; it’s exciting, dramatic, and fun. Orange inspires a feeling of boldness, not afraid to stand out. As a bright color, it tends to be very successful at grabbing attention.

Companies Using Orange in Marketing: Fanta, Dunkin’, Reese’s

Should You Use Orange Branded Materials?: If your main audience or customer base is young, orange is the color for your company. It’s the color to use when you’re favoring light-hearted marketing, making jokes, or references to pop culture. It also helps if you are a member of a heavily populated industry, like higher education or automobiles. Orange will give you an edge, help you stand out. 

Power of the color orange


3. Yellow: Positivity, A Ray of Sunshine

Yellow invokes the image of a bright ray of sunlight shining down. This color communicates positive energy, cheerfulness, originality, and warmth. It is eye-catching and joyful. Yellow is another way to stand out, reminding people of positivity and excitement. Seeing yellow inspires people, reminding them of new opportunities available with each sunrise. Inspire people and spread a feeling of joy/warmth, with this color.

Companies Using Yellow in Marketing: Nikon, McDonald’s, Post-It

Should Your Branded Swag Be Yellow?: If your company offers quick solutions or accessible options, yellow is a great color for you. It will give people that boost of happiness, made stronger by the dopamine rush of finding a solution quickly. If you are using brand messaging to state that you are positive or trying to impact the world positively, yellow shares that feeling. 


4. Green: Growth, Calm, Refreshing


Green branded materials offer a wide array of pleasant responses, all depending on the shade of green you choose. In general, green is linked to nature, health, wealth, and even money. Deep greens are associated with the earth, binding you to positivity, regrowth, and opportunity. Mint green is associated with freshness. Bright greens are related to grass, the first bulbs of spring, and renewed energy. Ultimately, green is tied to nature, the surrounding environment, and brings a grounded feeling. It’s peaceful, calming, and refreshing. 

Companies Using Green in Marketing: Starbucks, Android, L.L. Bean

Should You Use Green?: Does your company offer a product or service related to the environment? Do you strive for an environmentally friendly image? Deeper green would be a great color to include in your marketing and branding. If you want to be associated with nature, or even regrowth or new opportunities, lighter greens are a wonderful way to impart that to your audience. 

Discuss psychology of colors in marketing.


5. Blue: Constant, Dependable, Trustworthy 

Blue is strongly associated with the sky and water – a constant in our daily lives. Because of the constant exposure to the color, blue is psychologically linked to feelings of dependability, a calming effect, and trust. Darker blue also inspires confidence, reflecting stability and productivity. 

Companies Using Blue in Marketing: Disney, PayPal, LinkedIn, Velocity

Should You Use Blue?: When you want to appear like a company there for your audience every day or incorporate yourself as a staple in their lives. It also helps with influencing feelings of productivity. If you want people to feel that you are dependable, or you are in an industry that values dependability, blue is a great choice! Feature it prominently in your custom marketing materials.


6. Purple: Elegance, Creativity, Royal

Purple is complex – in a good way. It’s created by combining a calming, reassuring cool blue with a vibrant and exciting red. This combination then becomes sensual, elegant, eccentric, and historically royal. It is mysterious, creative, and even spiritual. Purple can be a great attention-getter. This color is all about the context in which it is used. Most commonly, purple inspires feelings of creativity, opulence, and elegance. It can give an aura of regality, or it can give you a burst of inspiration. 

Companies Using Purple in Marketing: Purple Mattress, FedEx, Cadbury 

Should You Use Purple?: Purple can be a difficult color to use in marketing materials correctly. In marketing and asset management, you’ll see it most commonly used in brands imparting a feeling of elegance. That’s where Purple Mattress benefits, bringing a feeling of elegance and regality to choosing a mattress. However, you can also use purple to impart a feeling of sophistication. If you want to elevate your brand or make it feel like a higher-end option, purple is the perfect color to include in your marketing. 

Power of Pink


7. Pink: Fun, Energy, Romantic

Pink can be fun and exciting. It’s a color associated with youth and vibrancy.  Pink is often bright, joyful, and light. However, it can also be associated with a fad or trendy. Softer pinks inspire feelings like sweetness and a new beginning, while bolder pinks are romantic and intriguing. It reminds people of romance, bringing to mind happy times with loved ones. The vibrancy of pink evokes feelings of energy, youthfulness, confidence, and even fun! 

Companies Using Pink in Marketing: Victoria’s Secret, Lyft, Barbie

Should You Use Pink?: Are you targeting couples? Lighter pink will impart a feeling of romance and love, lingering across your entire brand. Is your product or service meant to bring joy or fun to the lives of your consumers? Pink is perfect for emphasizing youth and energy across your marketing materials.


8. Brown: Warmth, Reliable, Durable

Brown is a warm, rustic color that is associated with earthy durability. Brown can elicit a positive response in people, reminding them of warmth and connection. It stirs feelings of reliability and dependability. However, some shades of brown may remind you of dirt or dirtiness. Because of this, brown is not the color most used in high fashion. 

Companies Using Brown in Marketing: UPS, Hershey’s, Cracker Barrel

Should You Use Brown?: Brown is the perfect color to impart a feeling of reliability. That’s why so much of UPS’s marketing uses the color brown. They want you to feel reassured that they are a reliable option for delivering your packages. You can also use brown in your marketing materials if your business offers a warm and reassuring feeling, like Cracker Barrel. 


With so many color choices, designing your marketing materials can feel very overwhelming. Velocity is here to help. Our team of creative experts will work with you to design your marketing materials and promotional products perfectly – down to each color. Even better? We’ll print your marketing materials and get them to you within 24-48 hours. 

Contact us to get started in designing your materials and choosing the best colors. Velocity is here to help you.