The Power of Color—An In-Depth Look at the Perception of Law’s Top 3 Choices

By Jim Weber

Color.  It can make you feel.  Make you pay attention.  Make you remember.

While the topic of color theory, color psychology and the effects of color in advertising is broad, we will focus on the top three colors used in large law firm branding, and how those colors can influence a potential client's impression.

Color's Emotional Response

One study* found that people form impressions within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with people or products.  The most amazing part of the study revealed that up to 90% of those impressions are based on color(s) alone. 

Color can enhance emotions such as excitement, anxiety, depression and relaxation.  It can stimulate or dampen appetite.  While the perceptions color creates can be shaped by personal experiences, there are commonalities.  These commonalities can be used when choosing colors for brands, marketing, websites and communication.

Now let's discuss the colors found in some of the largest American-based law firms.

#1 – Blue

Blue is associated with depth and stability.  It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence and intelligence.  Blue inspires feelings of calmness and security.  For these reasons, over 45% of large law firms use blue in their branding.

The color blue is also very versatile in design.  It can be vibrant and friendly or cool and steady.  When used with warm colors, like yellow or red, it can create high-impact, memorable designs.  Light blue is generally refreshing—bringing a soft, calming energy to any brand.  Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness.

#2 – Red

Red is associated with energy and passion.  It symbolizes strength, power and determination.  Red inspires feelings of importance.  For these reasons, over 26% of large law firms use red in their branding.

The color red attracts attention, making it useful in branding and marketing.  It can be used to make people make quick decisions (which is why it is often found in "buy now" buttons).  Bright red is generally associated with boldness, energy and passion.  Dark red, burgundy and maroon represent power, endurance and leadership.

#3 – Green

Green is the color of nature.  It symbolizes growth, stability and freshness.  Green inspires feelings of safety.  It is also commonly associated with money.  For these reasons, over 15% of large law firms use green in their branding.

The color green is a balanced color that stands out next to both warm colors (red, orange and yellow) and cool colors (blue and purple).  Green suggests stability and endurance.  Light or bright green is generally associated with friendliness, youth and endurance.  Dark green represents wealth, ambition and determination.

Underused Colors

The use of these underused colors can instantly make a law firm stand out.

#1 – Yellow

Yellow is associated with energy and intellect.  It symbolizes success, understanding and creativity.  Yellow inspires feelings of confidence.  Yet only 1% of large law firms use yellow in their branding.  (When you include gold in the yellow family, that number jumps to nearly 16%.)

#2 – Orange

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow.  It symbolizes enthusiasm, success and creativity.  Orange inspires feelings of determination and encouragement.  Nonetheless, only 5% of large law firms use orange in their branding.

#3 – Purple

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red.  It symbolizes healing, wisdom, strength and ambition.  Purple inspires feelings of dignity, creativity and mystery; but still, only 1% of large law firms use purple in their branding.

Accent Colors

The colors black, gray and brown are often used in multi-color logos, and as accent colors to the more vibrant colors discussed above.

The Power of Color

It is true that color can effect perception, memory and emotions.  Additionally, personal experiences, surroundings and circumstances can shape that perception.  However, every law firm can use the power of color to project its culture, brand and image.

 *Research conducted by ALL-STATE Legal in February 2018 of the National Law Journal's top 500 law firms released in June 2017.  Additional information collected via an ALL-STATE Legal February 2018 survey of over 300 law firms.

Jim Weber is a Sales Representative for ALL-STATE Legal.  Founded in 1946, ALL-STATE Legal is the legal industry’s most trusted rebranding specialty printer with over 20 major rebrands over the past year, a national footprint, a best-in-class online ordering platform and an experienced client service team.  Jim may be reached at [email protected].

Share this post: