The Colors of Your Mind

Color counts when it comes to conveying eco-friendliness in a company logo, and which color conveys it best might surprise you.

Color counts when it comes to conveying eco-friendliness in a company logo, and which color conveys it best might surprise you.

If you want your customers, donors or patrons to view you as environmentally friendly, use green or blue in your logo.

Research performed by Aparna Sundar of the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business and published in the "Journal of Business Ethics" concludes that color counts in identity branding.

"What we're finding is that color is one of those things that actually biases the way consumers make ethical judgments," Sundar says.

Green seems the obvious choice to convey eco-friendliness, but Sundar's research suggests that blue is "greener than green."

The research involved showing shoppers fake logos consisting of colors in existing logos. Results indicated that shoppers viewed "Walmart's blue and Sam's green to be more eco-friendly than Trader Joe's red."

There is a flipside to the research findings. When shoppers were exposed to a make-believe brand in "morally ambiguous scenarios," they gave the benefit of the doubt to brands that used eco-friendly colors in their logos. However, shoppers were more critical of a brand with an eco-friendly color when it was linked to an unethical practice.

"While individual differences still play a role in the observed effect of color, Sundar's research suggests the color used in a logo has far-reaching consequences on consumers' perceptions," according to a UO press release.

Previous research indicates people form subconscious opinions of brands, often based on the color of their logos, in as little as 90 seconds.

Clearly, color choices matter in designing a logo or other branding material. Pick them wisely.