Circle + Co.

Green colour theory and its use in branding

Different colours evoke different emotions and send specific messages to your audience. For example, red is energetic and blue is calming, but what about green? Let’s take a closer look at green colour theory and how this hue can affect your branding.

Green colour theory and psychology

According to research, green is the easiest colour for the eyes to process, and it’s the most visible colour from a distance. For branding purposes, green offers excellent visibility and is easy on the eyes. But it can also send a certain message to your audience. 

Green represents:

Brands that want to be viewed as environmentally friendly, sustainable, natural, organic, progressive or “green” often use this colour in their branding. Not surprisingly, this colour is used by companies in the energy, food, healthcare and finance industries.

pharmacy light sign

Which companies use green in their branding?

1
BP

Here's what BP say about their brand colours:

The colours of the Helios – named after the Greek god of the sun – suggest heat, light and nature.

2
Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank appeared to have adopted green in their logo from about 1985. Green is associated with wealth, prosperity and growth.

3
Starbucks

There is a perception of quality and luxury with certain shades of green, this could have benefited Starbucks in their choice of colours. But here's what they say about their colours:

Our green is iconic. Visible for blocks. It’s our most identifiable asset, from the color of our aprons to our logo.

We’re leaning into a family of greens to leverage brand recognition. Fresh and inviting, this expanded palette nods subtly to our heritage and propels us into a global future.

4
Whole Foods

Whole Foods connection with green aids their brand association with terms like natural, organic and healthy. 

In the wider industry, many other supermarkets and food stores use green for that positive association fresh and healthy. Brands such as Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Woolworths, Budgens, Supermercato24.

5
Garnier

A health and beauty brand, it's not surprising that Garnier have adopted green within their branding. Here's what they say about their brand:

We’re all about sustainable beauty solutions. With gentle formulas and naturally-derived ingredients, our hair care and skin care products make it easy for everyone to achieve healthy beauty every day.

Not only about beauty, Garnier is also committed to minimizing the impact on the environment as much as possible. Garnier has always developed packaging and product formulas that can be biodegradable.

6
Land Rover

Land Rover is a British brand of predominantly four-wheel drive, off-road capable vehicles, owned by multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), since 2008 a subsidiary of India's Tata Motors.

Dark green has long been a favourite colour in British cars, but additionally, due to the vehicle type, it's connection with the countryside is strong, as such green is a natural partner.

7
Android

Android, a Google company, is focused in the tech sector. Vivid shades of green work well with technology, generally for the association that green means a device is on, working and ready to go. Also, the name and logo is of an android, and science fiction is also heavily associated with green (you only need to look as far as iconic film and tv franchises like Alien, The Matrix, The X-Files, for example)

8
Spotify

Spotify was developed in the wake of Limewire (a place where free low-quality music came with complimentary computer viruses). For those who remember Limewire, the green colour scheme may have been a factor in Spotify's colour choices. 

Since its launch in 2008, Spotify has undergone some tweaks, and a move to a more vivid green is more in keeping with a modern tech company.

Small businesses, especially restaurants, also use green in their branding.

What type of companies use green for branding?

Green is used by a wide range of companies in a variety of industries, but it’s more commonly used in:

Companies that want to be viewed as progressive, environmentally friendly and youthful often use green in their branding. 

What different shades of green say about your brand.

When it comes to banding, the shade of green matters. Light and dark shades of green can deliver different messages to your audience.

Lighter shades of green represent nature, growth and sustainability

Darker shades of green are associated with wealth and prestige

Department store, Harrods, use a shade of green that conveys wealth, luxury and exclusivity. 

Energy, biotech, environmental and healthcare-related companies often use green and blue in their logos. Blue is also associated with nature as well as dependability and strength

Food companies often pair red and green in their branding. This colour combination is fiery and energetic.

Food companies often pair red and green in their branding. This colour combination is fiery and energetic.

Whether it’s paired with another colour or on its own, green is a versatile colour that can be used by brands across a wide range of industries. Its association with nature and growth make it an excellent option for food service, energy, finance and even tech. In addition, combining green with other colours, like orange, red or blue, can help deliver a more specific message to your audience.