What is the first thing your ideal customer thinks about when they see your logo?
Have you ever considered this? Did you know there are unique considerations to logos and colors in the equestrian industry different from every other industry? What makes a logo “good” for equestrians? We will answer these questions, but first, let’s step back a bit.
When we think about branding, we often think about logos first. Why? Because it’s the logo, we always remember. A logo would be nothing without the right brand identity behind it, though. We talked about why branding is essential in our recent blog post, but for this post, we are going to focus on color psychology and why the equestrian industry has unique needs.
Simple and Memorable
Your logo is sometimes the first thing your customers see when they go to your Facebook page, Instagram profile, or website. If it isn’t, it shouldn’t. You want your customer to see your logo and have it be so memorable, they will always remember it. I’ll give you a personal example.
When I first started riding again, after a 5-year break, I was at a lesson barn, and I had volunteered to clean tack for the barn owner. Seeing as I had been out of the barn for a while, I was surprised how unfamiliar I was with the new trends, brands, technology, etc., that had surfaced during my break from riding. As I was cleaning a heap of bridles, there was one that was a unique design. It didn’t have a throat latch. The leather quality was incredible. I remember seeing the anatomical and padded crown and admiring how beautiful it was. I looked everywhere for a logo or name, so I could look into purchasing one for myself. The only stamp was a tiny crown. I later did a google search using phrases like “royal equestrian” or “crown bridles”. The small crown stamp was the only clue I had to who the brand was. After searching for a while, I came across the PS of Sweden website. In the logo, there was the tiny crown stamp I had been searching for.
There are a few lessons here. One being, a simple and memorable logo is essential. You want your logo to be different from any other brand, to be easily recognizable, and to have an “icon” that easily stands out on its own. Another lesson here is to brand your products correctly. I wouldn’t have had to exhaust Google search if PS of Sweden had somehow stamped their name into the wide crown piece. At least their crown icon is easily distinguished from other brands and logos.
Brand color and the psychology behind color isn’t a new practice. Color Psychology has been taught to graphic designers for decades. Many people don’t realize the importance of color in their branding or products, though. Color can invoke different thoughts, feelings, and associations in people, so keeping color in mind when creating your brand and logos is extremely important. Here is a quick rundown of the color psychology behind the primary color palette.
While black is a neutral color, it can also create feelings of strength, authority, elegance, and formality.
White is also another neutral color, but it can also be associated with innocence, purity, perfection, coolness, and wholeness. The downside to white is if there is too much white, it can feel pretty sterile.
Red creates a feeling of urgency, danger, passion, and excitement. It’s often used for call-to-action buttons, and it will physically stimulate the body by raising the blood pressure and heart rate.
Green creates feelings of health, nature, and wealth. It’s often used in logos for environmental organizations, health foods, and products, and can be associated with money and abundant feelings.
Professional businesses and universities often use blue because it’s associated with knowledge, peace, tranquility, trust, and reliability. Brands often use it to convey security, productivity, and trust with their partners and customers. We specifically wanted the color blue in our logo for these reasons.
Purple is associated with feelings of royalty, respect, and creativity. It also tends to be related to problem-solving and ambition.
Yellow is a happy, bright color. It can create a feeling of optimism, enthusiasm, happiness, etc. It can also invoke anxiety, which actually creates a sense of urgency in consumers.
How is color psychology different for equestrian brands?
Through working with product designers and manufacturers, I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot of valuable information about equestrian product design. In one meeting, we discussed the “bug” or tag that would be added to the saddle pads. This would allow the pad to be easily identified by the brand in photographs for marketing materials. Still, the brand wouldn’t be visible or prominent enough for, let’s say, a dressage rider to be penalized. I learned there are two colors you need to be careful about using. Green and Red.
Red is a color that should be carefully considered when using it in an equestrian brand design. Suppose a product has a small red logo on it. In that case, it could easily be mistaken for a drop of blood, which could result in a competitor being eliminated or at the very least questioned on the horses’ welfare.
Green is also a color that should be carefully used. The worst thing for an equestrian is for their horse to slime them after a few grass or hay bites. Having green used in the wrong way could make the horse or rider look un-tidy or unprofessional.
Don’t completely turn your back on using green or red in your branding, but just be sure to consider these points with your product design or logo placements.