Starbucks green. Coke red. McDonald's golden arches.
Color can be a powerful visual branding tool. Color plays on our emotions, and can shape how we feel about the businesses they represent. But the same basic color can be used to tell different brand stories.
Purple dye was once the most expensive dye, and because of that, it has ties to luxury and royalty. Its dark and rich color also ties it into spirituality and mystery.
Purple isn't commonly used in visual brands, likely because of its mysterious nature. It's becoming popular lately with the new-age movement, as well as with other spiritually-focused organizations. But there are ways to utilize purple that aren't quite so ethereal.
Here's how three major brands are using purple well.
Hallmark alternates between this purple logo and a gold version, but it's clear from their extended marketing that this deep, mature purple is the cornerstone color in the Hallmark visual brand.
The combination of purple and gold ties into the crown icon in the logo, and the clear goal of that combination to give the impression that giving Hallmark cards and gifts is giving someone the royal treatment.
It's worth noting that within the strict Hallmark visual brand, they use a muted and serious purple that appeals to their more mature average customer, but within their product range they incorporate more lively and vibrant purples.
Twitch is a live-streaming platform where gamers, artists, and businesses host live streams. It pre-dates Facebook and Instagram's live options, and has built a rich user base, especially among gamers.
Dark-themed websites are popular within the gaming community, and the overall design of Twitch's platform emphasizes that it is unlike other social media.
Perhaps the choice of purple as the main brand color was specifically because it is a rarely-used color that works within the mainstream gaming aesthetic.
Cadbury is a London-based candy brand that uses purple to speak to the luxurious taste of their chocolates. They use a rich and varied range of purples that gives their branding depth.
That depth mirrors the detail shots of the candy found on the front of the packaging.
The high level of detail, in addition to their use of purple, is another way Cadbury hints at the luxurious nature of their products.
A uncommon CHOICE
Even though these three brands use purple to create different feelings, all of them use the rarity of purple to make their products feel valuable and unique.
Hallmark uses purple to remind you to treat your loved ones like royalty.
Twitch uses purple to stand out from their social media competitors.
Cadbury uses purple to make their chocolate feel rich and indulgent.
Purple may be an unpopular choice for visual brands, but when used strategically, you can create a noteworthy visual brand from it.
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