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Image reading Colour Trends 2011

Business Brand Colour Trends for 2011

What colours will be fashionable for business brands in 2011?

I’ve blogged previously about marketing and communications during the recent economic downturn. One of the many considerations that businesses have faced is deciding how their brand should be perceived.

Colour is an interesting aspect of a brand, and one which has highlighted the ups and downs of business confidence in the last few years. Rest assured, colour will remain important as we head into 2011. A few years ago, business confidence was high and companies were bright and bold with their colour palettes. In the last few years, vibrant colours have become few and far between as businesses dress themselves with muted and more ‘responsible’ colours.

There are two aspects to colour schemes within a corporate identity:

1. Brand colour schemes

Firstly, there are the brand colour schemes — the colours used in the logos, on signage and on the side of trucks. These colours are generally fixed and should not change. For example, one would not expect Sainsbury’s to drop their orange of Barclays to switch from their blue.

2. Supporting colour schemes

Most brands also have  secondary or supporting colour schemes. These colours are the ones that can vary, and these are the colours we should be watching to identify patterns and trends.

Looking at popular colour schemes online and in the press, we would expect supporting colour schemes to remain subdued for the foreseeable future, using muted colours rather than vibrant colour palettes. Here’s a few examples of popular colour schemes from the COLOURlovers website .

Examples of popular colour schemes 2010-2011

Interestingly, the two examples I mentioned above — Sainsbury’s and Barclays — are currently using muted colour schemes to support their brands, online and on the ground:


So what colour tends should we expect to see in 2011? With the economy uncertain, expect Corporates and B2B brands to be doing the same as they’ve been doing for the last 12 months? Muted, business-like, responsible supporting colour schemes to sit alongside existing brand colours.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how colour can influence the way your business is perceived.

Simon Verrall

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