What Is Your Brand Communicating to the Subconscious Brain?

What Is Your Brand Communicating to the Subconscious Brain?
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By Shirin Oreizy

We can all agree that having a creative eye helps when marketing your brand. Finding the right color, image and typography for your business is not only important aesthetically, but it also frames your brain into thinking and feeling that it needs what you have to offer.

Sad and happy memories attach themselves to colors, people, smells, images and events. Your company’s goal is to create an experience using colors and images that hopefully trigger the emotional responses you’re looking for. Understanding the psychology behind colors and images is key to attracting customers to your business.

Here are four elements to consider:

1. Are your colors speaking your language?

There is a universal theme to most primary colors. For instance, red is a color of power, blue shows trust and orange illustrates energy. Appropriately attaching the right color to your brand can propel the desired emotion. Within the first 90 seconds of interaction, 62% to 90% of that interaction is influenced by color alone. Color also attaches to memories; therefore, adding color to a bland product or display can help process and store that image much more easily.

2. Shapes don't just look pretty; they mean something.

Shapes also speak to our brains. Did you know that certain types of shapes, such as triangles, send out messages of masculinity unlike their circular counterparts, which give the feeling of unity and partnership? When choosing your brand, it’s important to understand the feeling and emotion you want to express through your logo. Three basic shapes are geometric, organic or natural and abstract shapes. Lines, images and shapes all convey a feeling that needs to be in line (no pun intended) with your company’s message.

3. Your font can tie it all together; choose it wisely.

Typography is another important element to conveying your message and presenting a bold look. You may feel that the shape of your logo is too masculine. It can be softened by your choice in typography. Using all three elements (color, shapes and typography) harmoniously stimulates the brain to remember your brand more effectively.

Paying attention to the unified whole is best known as Gestalt principles. Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye by Rudolf Arnheim explains the basic principles of Gestalt: similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, figure and ground, symmetry and order. You don’t need to utilize all the principles within your logo or branding, but creating your brand structure within at least one of these principles can make for an effective campaign.

4. Know your message.

Take some time getting to know who you are as a company and what values you want to convey to your audience. Your mission, or “why” statement, should be the blueprint for creating your perfect brand. The process of digesting visual messages is psychologically subjective. Your goal is to tap into your company’s primary message by using Gestalt principles through color, shapes and typography.


Shirin Oreizy is the founder of Next Step, an award-winning marketing agency that uses behavioral science to drive user behavior.

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