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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

Colour psychology: the future’s bright, the branding’s orange

Colour Psychology: Orange (with slices of oranges in the background)

Orange may get its name from the fruit, but that doesn’t limit its potential to just being used for fruit juice and fizzy drinks packaging. Its bright, warming, happy outlook makes it a great brand colour for almost any industry. Let’s explore!

The brand colour orange

Orange is inviting and friendly – its lighter shades are bright and playful, whilst its darker hues are more grown-up, providing a sound alternative to red.

Popular brands like Penguin Books, Fanta, Flymo and Nickelodeon use orange in abundance, but it can be equally as effective when used as an accent colour, as Amazon and MasterCard do.

Companies that use orange in their logos: Penguin Books, Fanta, Flymo, Nickelodeon, Mastercard, Amazon

Some shades can be overpowering in large quantities so if you want to dabble in this part of the spectrum, consider the prominence of your preferred Pantone reference.

Read more from our colour series: Colour psychology: Back to black

Standout features

Orange’s eye-catching qualities account for items like traffic cones and high visibility clothing. They also make it ideal for companies that need or want to be seen and stand out on the road, like RAC and TNT.

Example of standout features on the road

Orange might be thought of as a budget colour – and you could cite EasyJet as evidence of that – but it’s no stranger to high-end brands. Hermes uses orange in its logo, as does Harley Davidson, both providing premium products in their respective markets.

If you’re keen on (or forced to engage in) DIY, orange will be a familiar colour. B&Q uses it as its primary colour, while Homebase uses it as an accent to their main green hue. This transfers across the Atlantic, where the largest home improvement company in the US, the Home Depot, uses orange too.

My darling, clementine

In the US, this fresh, fruity hue is the colour of convicts’ jumpsuits. It’s “the new black”, according to the hit TV show (and, as proof, even the ‘black box’ on planes is actually an easy-to-find orange).

Picture of a person in prison wearing an orange jumpsuit

In Egypt, it’s associated with mourning. In Columbia, it represents fertility. As the colour of the expensive and highly prized spice saffron, orange is considered lucky in some cultures.

Still on culture, orange has strong associations with the Dutch, accounting for a brief change of name for New York to New Orange in the 1670s. The swap lasted for around a year before the city returned to British control and the name we’re all so familiar with today.

If you’re open to a little orange, or any other colour that bring your brand the recognition it deserves, then get in touch and maybe we can work together.

More from the brand colour psychology series

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