The Effect of Colour as Intellectual Property

October 15, 2015

We all know the theory that colours can evoke an emotional response in us, due to our cultural dispositions - i.e. the colour blue conveys trust, coldness and relaxation, red conveys warmth, anger and love and yellow tones convey feelings of happiness, summer and jealousy. But these theories and opinions are extremely loosely tied with an even broader opinion of the colour itself. But there are a number of brands that have been around for so long now, that we have been so exposed to, that their trademarked colours are sparking their own emotional predisposition in audiences.

While a corporation cannot officially own its own colour, they have every right to trademark a Pantone colour within their industry, if they can wholeheartedly justify that it represents their brand. This means that if a fast food company has trademarked a certain yellow (ahem McDonalds ahem Pantone 123 French Fry Gold) then no other fast food company can use that colour within their branding.

We love the effect these brand giants have had on society so took a look into a few of the trademarked brand colours and the impact of the emotional response they are reflecting on society.

Tiffany Blue - Craftsmanship, Exclusivity, Wealth
Barbie Pink - Girliness, Fantasy, Beauty
Christian Louboutin Red - Fashion, Luxury, Seduction
Cadbury Purple - Regal yet Accessible, Entertainimg
Target Red - Value, Family, Budget
UPS Pullman Brown - Security, Trust, Heritage
Minion Yellow - Hope, Joy, Optimism
Starbucks Emerald Green - Loyalty, Natural

Source: Washington Post, Junkee, Pantone,