The poster and title for the latest Star Wars movie have been revealed, instantly setting tongues wagging – about the colour red.

For the uninitiated, Star Wars titles are usually yellow. Red has been used a few times, very deliberately, in conjunction with certain storylines.

So the choice of red for this latest installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is saying something specific. One thing’s certain – the power of colour to set people talking, spark ideas and emotion was on full display.

Here’s a fraction of the (intelligent, detailed) discussion:

Yes, feelings matter

Colour can evoke emotion and change mood. They have a relationship to certain qualities and traits.

You can wade forever into the psychology of colour (green can calm, blue can reassure). The most important lesson is that colour elicits emotion, so it’s worth thinking what your B2B design palette (logo, website, packaging, etc.) is likely to communicate in your context to your audience.

Our friends in the Star Wars universe have established a historical emotional pattern with the colour red, and using it now invites foreboding, high-stakes and edgy excitement.

Telling your B2B story

Colour is an essential component of storytelling, leveraging that power for persuasion and emotional prompting.

Add to this the fact we’re moving from a written web to an experiential, visual one (Cisco forecasts that 85% of web traffic will be video by 2020). As more B2B organisations use video as a primary communication and marketing tool, looking to film isn’t such a bad idea.

Watch this great video essay on how colour brings stories to life [16 mins]

Brand recognition

Colour is a messenger for your brand, the same way that great copy is, or a great testimonial. It’s an abstract and subjective messenger, but a carrier of your brand just the same.

Most importantly, it’s a marketing shortcut.

People make a snap judgement about the quality of a digital experience in a few seconds. If your website loads too slowly or isn’t intuitive to find what they need, they’ll bounce off to the next provider. We apply this rapid perception everywhere, making instant connections and assessments.

If we see someone drinking something orange, we’ll probably assume it’s Fanta. A yellow car zips by you in New York, your brain is already catching the cab. Research suggests 90% of our subconscious and instant assessments are based on colour.

At Green Hat we intimately know about the relationship between colour and brand. Not only do we work with our design clients on how to define, enhance and communicate their brand with colour palettes, but we wear green hats ourselves.

The green in our brand is inspired by Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats model. (If you haven’t read it, it’s great, check it out).

The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.

B2B organisations don’t always think as much about visual identity as their B2C counterparts, but they should. In a marketplace where people are selling similar products, churning out very similar content and messaging, a palpable visual identity can – and does – cut through sameness. The emotions fire, the storytelling associations kick in, and a connection is made.

So what colour are you?

Star Wars: The Last Jedi & the power of colour

Liam Jeal
Liam is one of our Senior Designers and has more than 10 years of experience working with some of Australia’s largest brands. He has worked across all aspects of design and is highly skilled in brand strategy, brand identity design, advertising and art direction, and publication design. A natural problem-solver, Liam believes you need to truly understand the needs and challenges of the client in order for the creative to be effective.