What a wonderful day I had learning about the psychology of color with Fiona Humberstone (aka The Brand Stylist) a few weeks ago. If you are not familiar with her or her work, she is a branding specialist “dedicated to empowering you to create an incredible brand.” Fiona came all the way from England to teach her first class in NYC. We gathered to learn The Theory of Color and its impact on branding and how the psychology of it connects us with our customer. In her bestselling book, How to Style Your Brand, she shows businesses how to identify color to convey their actual brand identity.
“Start by getting clearly focused and capture the personality of your business. Your business should reflect the mood that resonates most with you, your personality, what makes you unique, your brand values and how your customer perceives your brand,” says Fiona.
Use Color Psychology to:
- Help you see your brand more clearly.
- Communicate more powerfully.
- Create more loyalty to your brand.
- Understand your clients.
- Be more efficient in your creative process.
- Produce more consistent communication.
What is your Brand Identity?
“How effectively are you communicating your brand identity right now?” asks Fiona. Color Psychology is not about making your website beautiful. It’s about understanding what makes your brand unique and the message you want to communicate and what your customers value about what you do.
Her theory is to pick only two to three words which clearly identify our company. Then she connects those words to a particular season.
For example, my business keywords were:
It turns out my strongest color range which described my business was Summer/Autumn.
What is your business’s personality?
Fiona then described each of the season’s personalities.
- Summer personalities tend to be graceful, elegant, stylish, efficient, productive and well-organized.
- Autumn personalities tend to be energetic, enthusiastic, independent, love to challenge established norms are great campaigners, have a strong sense of justice.
Now that we understood the mood of our business based on the words we picked. We then connected the words to a color.
Interestingly enough these are the colors on my website. I got them right!
Hazy peaches, dark oranges, corals, turquoise, browns, greens.
Choosing the right Fonts
Finally, she spoke about choosing fonts and how they too reflect your image.
In my case, she noted that the font I use on the website for my name could lead clients not to take me seriously because the font is a bit childlike. Hmmm, I explained that I wanted my customers to know I also offered drawings. She suggested I keep the concept but with more angular lines and to use brown tones instead of gray as gray has the connotation of lacking in energy, is lifeless and dull (oh dear.)
What I learned about the psychology of color:
Fiona’s class was an in-depth study of color. Its use as an objective tool to help navigate what’s often a very subjective and emotional design process. By understanding the meaning behind each of the colors on the wheel, I see how I can use this tool to understand my own clients on a deeper level. Color psychology allows me to connect with them via their emotional mood.
Each of us running our own businesses realize that the little details can be daunting. I don’t have the eye-watering advertising budgets as most big florists do, but I can be smart about the look and feel of my online presence. I learned that even the colors I use to style my photographs make a difference!
I am happy to say Fiona will be coming back in the fall, and you too can participate in her class for the absolute essentials of color psychology. Be sure to join her mailing list and read How to Style Your Brand: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Distinctive Brand Identity.
P.S. The food at Poppy’s was amazing!
The psychology of color in action with our fresh seasonal food thanks to Poppy’s.
If you haven’t already, please sign up for my monthly email newsletter where I share a behind the scenes look at how I’m working things out in life and in my garden. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.