business branding colours… meaning of black

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Business Branding - Black - logos.

When used by a brand whose personality communicates the qualities of black, they can be seen as sophisticated, aspirational and industry leaders. For those brands who fail to up hold this and the negative qualities will be felt. Even more so if a brand isn’t aware of the effects teaming black with another colour has. This can completely change the meaning of a colour and how the brand is seen by its ideal clients.Description:

colour psychology
Black, when used correctly can communicate glamour, sophistication, exclusivity. It adds substance and gravitas, a brand to be reckoned with and, to be taken seriously.

Black is one of those colours that truly only resonates with one personality type, described as winter. Business brands that use this colour without it expressing their true personality type are likely to convey feelings of heaviness, oppression. Black can be seen as menacing, unapproachable, scary or overly serious.

three brands who successfully use black
Here are just 3 brands who use black as their primary brand colour to great success. They are industry leaders, aspirational and cutting edge. Their products and services are of exceptional quality, there is no compromise.

Business Branding - Black - Yves Saint Lauren. This opens a new browser window.

Business Branding - Black - Adidas. This opens a new browser window.

Business Branding - Black - Chanel. This opens a new browser window.

colour balance
Do you have another colour or colours making up your brand identity? Take care when selecting other colours and their tones as they will also have their own psychological properties.  You could, inadvertently being sending out a completely different message to the one you intended.

There is a current trend for women’s networking group to team black with pink, which communicates a very different meaning; one of militant feminism instead of feminine, caring and nurturing.

Business Branding - pink - Womens Networking Groups.

Black is often seen in branding as a neutral colour. As you can see this is far from the case.

brand analysis
If you would like to know if pink is the right colour for your business brand and just as important the exact tone of pink, then why not see if a  brand colour analysis is right for you. My clients find when they get their branding colours right, they really get how it represents their brand’s personality and how the right tone will increase brand recognition, attracting their target clientele and lead to increased sales.

How do you respond to a brand that uses black as their primary brand colour? How does it make you feel?

To find out more about the effects colour has on your brand download my free e-book 7 mistakes most business owners make with their branding colours.

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also be interested in other articles relating to colour in business branding.

Yves Saint LaurenAdidas and Chanel.

Share the knowledge


  1. Tanya Rennick on September 3, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Black certainly conveys a feeling of sophistication, elegance and class. Black American Express, Black Diamonds and my very own Black Pearl Club! As the most exclusive of all my membership clubs within the Oyster organisation, it has its very own identity, and I chose black to communicate and connect of with my discriminating and select members.

    • admin on September 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Spot on Tanya. Your Black Pearl club is exclusive and elite. It definitely does have a high level of prestige. It definitely isn’t for everyone.

      These are some of the positive traits. Like every colour there are also negative traits as well. Staying true to your brand personality and values and these shouldn’t be felt.

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