From Colman’s to Batman: why Yellow is used in branding

The future of Colman’s Mustard is in the news this week, and their yellow branding is back in the spotlight. The Norwich-based company introduced the familiar red and yellow livery in 1866, but Colman’s is just one of the many famous businesses to use yellow to promote their brand. So what makes yellow such an enduring colour?

Yellow branding catches the eye

Yellow, red and last month’s featured colour orange are the three most prominent colours on the spectrum. While red is the more obvious choice to grab attention in advertising, yellow is actually the most visible colour to the human eye. Because of this, yellow branding can be found in countless company logos – the restaurant chain McDonald’s, for instance. As our eyes are naturally drawn to both yellow and red, the famous “golden arches” stand out on road signs to tempt us in. Other examples of this colour mix include Burger King, Lego, and Shell. However, yellow goes well with much more than just red, because:

Yellow is a versatile colour

As a primary colour, and a crucial component of the printing colour model CMYK, yellow matches with just about everything else. Take a look around Norwich and you’ll see several local examples.  The branding for Aviva, headquartered in Norwich, is yellow and blue, and Norwich City FC wears yellow and green football kits. Norwich University of the Arts, like Peels4U, has black/grey and yellow branding, and we’re not alone. Other companies with this combination include entertainment database IMDb, camera firm Nikon, and online directory Yell. So why is yellow the colour of choice for such a wide variety of businesses?

Peels4U Thetford Norfolk Batman Logo Black Yellow Branding

Even Batman chose yellow…

Yellow branding is uplifting

I’m typing this article in a yellow room. Why? Because in colour psychology, the positive effects of yellow branding include encouraging communication and confidence, and boosting optimism, energy and happiness.

Are you ready to take on this bold, popular colour for your business brand? Our bespoke Design Consulations will help you harness the eye-catching benefits of yellow branding, so you #GetNoticed.

There’s a petition to keep Colman’s Mustard in Norwich, which you can sign here

Which Came First – the Colour Orange or the Fruit?

As the trees change colour this season, you may wonder which came first – the colour orange or the name of the orange fruit?

The colour has many ties with Autumn. The falling leaves, the Harvest Festival, roaring fires, the bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night, and of course, Halloween. Orange represents nature, danger, warmth… and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. It’s a complex colour with a colourfully complex history.

The Name of the Fruit Came First

The origin of the word “orange” comes from the Old French term for the ripe fruit: “pomme d’orenge”, or “orange apple.” The word as a colour was named after the fruit,  and first entered the English language in the 16th Century. Until then, “red” was more commonly used to describe what we’d now consider various shades of orange.  Examples include the Red Fox, the Robin Redbreast, Mars (the Red Planet), the Red Squirrel and, of course, Redheads.

After 1688, the colour turned into a political symbol, when the Protestant William of Orange (a principality in the Netherlands) overthrew James II in the Glorious Revolution. Orange became associated with Protestantism in Ireland, and is now a part of their national flag. As the shade of saffron, one of the most expensive spices in history, orange also appears on India’s flag.

The colour orange often has rare and exotic connotations. Saffron is still the costliest jar on the supermarket spice rack. The native Red Squirrel is now under threat in England from the foreign Grey. And redheads, often unfairly mocked for their unusual appearance, were once lauded by Pre-Raphaelite artists such as Rossetti.

The Colour Orange: Which Came First - the Colour or the Fruit?

Veronica Veronese by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Colour Orange in Branding

Orange is a stand out colour in branding, and is a warmer, subtler alternative to its bolder sibling Red. In colour psychology, the positive meanings of orange include creativity, enthusiasm, and optimism – remember the slogan “the future’s bright, the future’s Orange”?

Often used for autumn events, promotions and sales, the colour also features in national and international branding. Take, for instance, the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, car parts specialist Halfords, or online retailer Amazon. In local branding, the Writers’ Centre Norwich and EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices) are notable examples. And the logo for Norfolk based charity Break uses orange with the opposite colour blue, for a popular contrast also seen in the logos of corporate firms Fanta and Aldi. Peels4U recently used orange in embroidered Workwear:

Embroidered Logo Polo Shirt Suffolk Risby Workwear

Peels4U embroidered Polo Shirts for Suffolk based Coopers Cabin

Incorporate orange into your branding for a vibrant way to #GetNoticed. Our Design Consultations use Pantone colours to design an ideal logo or branding for your business to stand out. For special autumn events, promotions or sales, Peels4U offer high quality Posters, Banners, Window Graphics, LeafletsTemporary Signs and more to keep your business in season. Contact Us now or Request a Quote for more information.