Orange – Fun and Friendly
One of the things people remember first about a brand is it’s colour choices. In this series of articles, we’ll be looking at what each colour says about a brand, how it makes people react and what messages it sends. This article looks at the colour orange and the brand messages it promotes.
Orange is a secondary colour, the product of mixing red and yellow and as such is a warm colour. Warm colours are often seen as exciting and warming, often being associated with fire and the sun.
Orange is the colour of excitement. It is a more gentle colour than red, so better inspires enthusiasm. It also stimulates conversation and imparts a message of affordability. Orange is the colour of risk-takers, sociability, extroversion and vibrancy.
Orange is often used to grab attention, but not in such a heavy handed way as red. It is often used to communicate that something is both affordable and of reasonable quality. When combined with black, it offers a stark contrast and is most frequently used to symbolise Halloween.
Brands that use orange as their main colour tend to be trying to come across as fun, exciting and adventurous or affordable and warm-hearted. Here are some well known examples.
The Harley-Davidson use a high-contrast colour palette to great effect. The stark black and orange scheme gives the impression of being adventurous, talking to the risk-takers and extroverts in us. This is a great choice for an outdoor brand who’s primary focus is on exciting past times.
Utilising a bright orange, Easy Jet wants to stand out from the competition. It leans heavily on the affordability aspect of the colour to advertise as a budget airline. As orange also reflects a social aspect, the impression given is of great customer service on a budget.
A more subtle use of orange, the Amazon ‘smile’ evokes excitement, but also affordability and customer service. The smile also doubles as an arrow, giving the impression of speed and excitement thanks to the colour. Perfect for a company specialising in quickly delivering a range of goods.
The Firefox logo uses a mix of colour and images to evoke a feeling of fun and enthusiasm. The deep orange colour with the addition of yellow adds the idea of optimism to the mix of fun that the orange brings. The blue in the logo helps add a cool complement to the warm colours, with blue being the exact opposite of orange on the colour wheel.
Tips for using Orange
As with any colours, it is important to understand what your brand message is and whether your colour choices complement this. Oranges are great for adding a bit of excitement and to your brand identity. While not as versatile as colours like green or red, they exhibit a certain creative flair that can catch the eye in a more subtle manner than the brighter reds. They are great for affordable hotels, restaurants and most importantly, youth-oriented markets.
There are some negative emotions that orange can convey, so it is important to understand these and avoid these messages. Orange can be seen as superficial, so it is extra important to make sure your branding is sincere if you use a lot of it. It can be seen as cheap if used to show value incorrectly. Ensure that if you are trying to use it to show affordability that you still create a professional image.
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