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What Your College Marketing Color Choices Say About You

Luke Tatge


Your college or university's color game is probably driven by a history of insignia and logo designs over the years. But what do your color choices in your marketing mean, exactly? As it pertains to psychological perception, you'd be surprised what these hue selections—be they in marketing materials, communications or even physical surroundings—mean to your target audience. (Though no color connotation is hard and fast and much has to do with your personal experiences, there are some fun through-lines to point out.)

Here are a few of the messages you might be sending thru your color choices.

We're optimistic about your future.

According to a study from The Logo Company, shades in the yellow, gold or orange range tend to communicate feelings of positivity, clear-headedness and optimism. So surrounding yourself and your marketing in this area of the color spectrum can have a confidence-boosting effect on your student body. Additionally, a study from Joe Hallock finds that these shades tend to resonate a bit more with female students than male. 

We're Safe and Welcoming.

So what about greens? As you'd suspect, the common connotation with this shade is that of growth, healthfulness and protection. Marketing your campus with greens says to a potential student recruit that you offer a peaceful refuge for their college years—that you offer a space perhaps more in touch with nature. The Hallock study additionally finds that greens tend to be more powerful for males than females. Another study from HubSpot indicates that those people who most identify with greens tend to be open, friendly and authentic people.

We're strong and dependable.

Then there's the across-the-board favorite among consumers—blue. What does blue say to your potential college or university students? Studies have shown that blue tends to evoke feelings of dependability and strength—using blue in your college's marketing perhaps gives your campus a sense of trustworthiness. In addition, the HubSpot study posits that those who gravitate toward blue in advertising tend to be people who are loyal, respectful and social butterflies.

We're innovative and boundary-pushing.

Reds and purples tend to play in the same sandbox when it comes to psychological reactions—the study from The Logo Company cites that marketing that uses these colors invokes imagination, innovation and boldness. Colleges or universities who make use of these colors may say to student recruits that they are always growing and changing and keeping on their toes when it comes to academic offerings. HubSpot's study found that those who resonate with red have adventurous spirits, while those who resonate with purple tend to be understanding in nature.

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