Color Theory in the Digital World 

Posted at 2nd-Jan-2018 in Uncategorized | Leave a reply

What catches your eye as you scroll through your feed? Chances are, it’s the colorful, beautiful images that align with that company’s branding. Color theory plays a vital roll in how people view your content and if they view it at all.

Color theory is the art and science of colors. How colors mix, how people perceive certain colors, and the messages those colors communicate. 90 percent of snap judgments made about products are based on color. In a digital world where eye-catching content reigns supreme, the knowledge of color theory couldn’t be more relevant.

When thinking of an artistic strategy for your brand, the design comes first. After creating a design that subtly leads the eye to the areas of the images you wish the viewer to focus on, implement color theory to send a deeper message about the design. Is your design a Call To Action? Use red, a color that attracts attention more than any other color. Is your campaign focused on how trustworthy your brand is? Pull in blue, a color related to calm authority.

A top reason brands decide to invest in social media marketing is for branding reasons. Social media platforms provide a great landscape to reiterate or update your brand’s aesthetic. An aesthetic is how your mind interprets something as beautiful or ugly. It’s important to know your brand’s color and design aesthetic since 80 percent of consumers think color increases brand recognition.

Brand’s Using Design & Color Aesthetic

  • Eat By Chloe 
    The time, effort, and planning of this Instagram account can be appreciated. Organized by color, their grid seems to have a very satisfying effect, as reflected by its 85.4K followers. The unique aspect of this account is a restaurant, Eat by Chloe, incorporates food items in almost every post. However, they do this in a unique and subtle way. Very contrasted by the flood of “food porn” accounts on the platform.


  • Byredo 
    Byredo takes cool-kid design aesthetic and splashes it with a millennial-friendly color theme. Interesting design leads your eye around the grid, while bold pops of color cause you to linger a bit longer on certain images as you scroll.

  • Gucci
    When developing a design for their #GucciCruise18 campaign, Gucci employed the concepts of color theory and design to create an Instagram feed to remember.  The dark pallet evokes luxury while the classical style of painting and unique framed shapes provide a contrast to the typical square images of Instagram.

Brand Logos Implementing Color Theory

Not only does the content you produce need to align with your brand messaging and aesthetic, but so does the logo and packaging of your company. Here are a few examples of brands implementing the color theory in their logos.

Cadbury Chocolate uses Gold and Purples as their primary colors to evoke the idea that chocolate is luxurious. And that their chocolate, in particular, is chocolate royalty.


LEGO uses red as their logo color to show playfulness. Red also increases heart rate for brands trying to create urgency or impulse buys (perfect for toys).

The New York Times uses black to show that they are well-established and sophisticated.

American Express chose blue for their branding to show they are professional and logical, but not invasive. Blue tones are ideal for brands who want to emphasize trust and security.

Tips for Implementing Color Theory:

  1. Research which colors fit within your brand’s messaging. Incorporate this specific set of colors into your visual identity and branding.
  2. Test a few color schemes in your ad sets. Monitor which colors are performing best with your selected demographic and build on visual identity from your research.
  3. Increase conversions with color contrasts. Major color contrasts (pairing complementary colors together) draws the eye to a specific element on a page or ad, like your call to action. Often, red and yellow tend to perform best when choosing a CTA color, but testing is essential to find what works best for your brand. Keep in mind, however, that color contrasts do not perform well when it comes to text. See below:
Inline image 9

One thing to remember when it comes to color theory is that color is subjective. Be sure to test your brand’s visual identity with your target demographic. Once you find an aesthetic that works, stick to it! Color theory, when implemented with your artistic strategy, is essential when it comes to digital branding.

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