We may be aware of the different colours used around us, but we rarely stop to think about why colour has been used. There are a number of brands that we instinctively associate with certain colours without thought and would only consider their colour significant if they made a change.
So, let’s take a look at how colour is used and better understand how it functions.
While all industries use colour to gain some advantage in the market, how filmmakers use colour can provide some clues as to how it can be effectively used. Before an actor has uttered a word, colour is used to set the scene. Some movies are just colourful and provide a feast for the eyes. James Cameron’s CGI fest Avatar is a good example of a colourful film with the blue skin of the natives and the mesmerising world of Pandora. We can see in other forms of entertainment that sometimes you just want to throw as much colour at the screen as possible. Casino game developers often use many bright colours to create appealing gaming experiences typified by the popular Rainbow Riches slot. Often these types of games among the arsenal offered by a casino online will appear more reserved and the feast of colour appears when the player starts to make some progression or activates a feature within the game.
While simply creating colourful scenes can make a film more appealing, colour can also be used to tell the story. In filmmaking, there isn’t a set of rules that dictate which colour should be used to invoke the emotion of a particular scene and Wes Anderson is a standout through the way he uses bright and optimistic colours in the inverse sense in his films. For the viewer, rarely is the process of using colour in a film considered, although, the yellow filter that is always employed in movies in Mexico, India, or Southeast Asia has become a noticeable and raised complaints about depicting these locations in mostly negative stereotypes.
Directors aren’t tied to specific colours for how they convey things, but there are some common themes that can be picked up. While we might not notice its use, a large amount of pre-production time will be spent working with mood boards and dedicated storyboard software to ensure the movie colour palette brings the ideas to life.
Colours all around
Colours have the power to elicit feelings that can affect our purchasing decisions and the primary colours are often favoured.
Blue is a popular choice for brands as can be seen in the finance sphere with the emergence of PayPal and the long-standing Visa good examples. It’s also a popular choice in social media as Twitter and Facebook utilise different shades in their branding. Red is also highly popular and the predominance of food and drink companies that use red suggests a proclivity to conjure hunger or act immediately to order or eat foodstuffs.
Yellow alone is said to symbolise optimism and promise for the future. Best Buy, Hertz, IKEA and Nikon all use yellow, but it needs to be combined with another complementary colour to work. Black and yellow branding is often used in business to stand out and while these colours are also used in warning safety signs to indicate a general hazard or danger, they don’t have negative connotations associated with them. The two colours provide balance and contrast to give a cheerful and eye-catching signal that we see often with companies such as Caterpillar and McDonald’s. Black and yellow are also often used in point-of-sale signage to indicate a sale, promotion or discount.Colour is often overlooked as we focus on more specific elements of branding, but it remains a potent tool that still holds an influence over us.