Understanding the Colour of Valentine’s

Walk around any mall in Dubai and it’s plain to see that Valentine’s Day is most certainly here – from hearts adorning all shop facades and red themed merchandise displays, to special offers featured in the latest TimeOut magazine, one can’t help but also get caught up in the heady buzz of it all even if you don’t really celebrate the day.

The colour red, signature of festive holidays linked to the expression of feelings of endearment towards loved ones & friends, it is a very powerful colour that has many other attributes that lend itself to be used in recognizable logos like Wall’s ice cream, Coca Cola, Aramex, YouTube, Toyota, Canon and more.

A crucial component of logo design, colours convey different messages to different audiences. It’s one of the most powerful non-verbal communication forms available. The well thought out use of colour in logo design helps in creating greater impact among target groups.

There is a lot of in depth research available on the psychology of colour and applications to various cultural contexts, which adds another dimension to be considered carefully by brands that have an international presence.

Understanding colour psychology gives us an insight in the choice of red and other colour combinations used in the logo design of many of the brands that we are familiar with.

Here’s a quick look at some commonly used colours and meanings that are commonly associated with them.

Red

Red is the colour of energy & is most often used to grab attention. Associated with movement and excitement its attributes include courage, strength, warmth, stimulation, masculinity and even engendering feelings of hunger (think McDonals, Nandos, KFC).
Being the longest wavelength, red is a powerful colour. It has the property of appearing to be nearer than it is and therefore it grabs our attention first. Its effect is physical; it stimulates us and raises the pulse rate, giving the impression that time is passing faster than it is. Red is strong, and very basic. Pure red is the simplest colour, with no subtlety.

Red is the symbol of life, which interestingly is the reason why it’s worn by brides in China.

Below are examples of well known logos that use the colour red.

The meaning of other colors:

Blue

The colour blue primarily conveys trust, security & reliability to consumers making it popular with the tech & banking related companies. The colour of the sky and ocean, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives.

Green

A soothing and yet refreshing colour natural greens, from forest to lime, are considered to be tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the colour of peace and ecology.

Yellow

The colour of the sun, yellow evokes daylight and positivity & bright ideas; these are universally desirable values that can be leveraged by brands from a variety of sectors such as energy & consumer goods.

Purple

Purple embodies the balance of red simulation and blue calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone.  The colour also has a sense of mystic and royal qualities.

White

White projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. The colour white evokes purification of thoughts or actions and projects a message of fresh beginnings.