Black is associated with power, fear, mystery, strength, authority, elegance, formality, death, evil, and aggression, authority, rebellion, and sophistication. Black is required for all other colors to have depth and variation of hue.
In a study titled “Impact of color on marketing,” researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone, depending on the product. Regarding the role that color plays in branding, results from another study show that the relationship between brands and color hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the color being used for the particular brand (does the color “fit” what is being sold?).
A study titled “Exciting red and competent blue” also confirms that purchasing intent is greatly affected by colors due to their effect on how a brand is perceived; colors influence how customers view the “personality” of the brand in question. Who, for example, would want to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle if they didn’t get the feeling that Harleys were rugged and cool?
Additional studies have revealed our brains prefer immediately recognizable brands, which makes color an important element when creating a brand identity. One journal article even suggests it’s important for new brands to pick colors that ensure differentiation from entrenched competitors — personally, I think we’re getting into minutiae without additional context, such as how and why you’re positioning against a direct competitor, and how you’re using color to achieve that goal.
When it comes to picking the “right” color, research has found that predicting consumer reaction to color appropriateness is far more important than the individual color itself. If Harley owners buy the product in order to feel rugged, colors that work best will play to that emotion.
A brand’s logo and visual identity will comprise a number of visual cues, such as shapes, symbols, number, and words. But the number one visual component that people remember most is color. In fact, color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
The black color is the absence of color. Black is a mysterious color that is typically associated with the unknown or the negative. Black is a formal, elegant, and prestigious color. Authoritative and powerful, the color black can evoke strong emotions and too much black can be overwhelming.
In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief. The color black can be serious, professional, and conventional, but black can also represent the mysterious, sexy, and sophisticated. Black is a visually slimming color for clothing and like other dark colors, in interior design, black can make a room appear to shrink in size.
The color black affects the mind and body by helping to create an inconspicuous feeling, boosting confidence in appearance, increasing the sense of potential and possibility, or producing feelings of emptiness, gloom, or sadness.
In western countries black is the color of mourning, death, and sadness. Black often represents the emotions and actions of rebellion in teenagers and youth. The color black can represent both the positive and the negative. As the opposite of white, movies, books, print media, and television typically depict the good guy in white and the bad guy in black. In more recent times, the good guy is shown in black to create mystery around the character’s identity.
Other meanings associated with the color black:
- The phrase “black tie” refers to a formal event or dress code.
- The saying “pitch black” references no light or no visibility.
- The term “black-hearted” describes an evil person.
- A “black belt” is an expert level in martial arts.
- The expression “blackwash” is to bring things out in the open.
- The phrase “in the black” refers to having money or profiting and doing well in business.
- A “black box” is a piece of equipment or apparatus usually used in airplanes.
- A “black eye” is damage to an eye, including bruising and discoloration, or damage to one’s reputation.
- A “black sheep” is an outcast from a family or from society.
- The expression “men in black” refer to government agents.
- A “blacklist” is a list of people or organizations to boycott, avoid, or punish.
- The term “blackguard” is used to reference a bad guy or a scoundrel.
- The word “blackmail” refers to obtaining something by threat.
- The word “blackout” means a loss of electricity, loss of visibility, turning out the lights, loss of consciousness, or the act of erasing or deleting something.
- The phrase “black market” refers to the illegal trade of goods or money.
Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color black: ebony, jet, ink, lampblack, coal, soot, charcoal, raven, midnight, obsidian, onyx, sable.