Katrina Balmaceda


Content Strategist | With Content

Ever wonder why you get the sudden urge for a burger when you drive past the Golden Arches? Or why you buy something you didn’t actually need at the department store?

It’s probably due in part to the influence of colors. They can affect how a person reacts and responds to a particular situation or stimuli.

Take, for example, the case of Heinz’s Ez Squirt.

In 2000, Heinz rolled out their novelty ketchup in a range of vibrant colors. They began with the color green as part of a promotional tie-in with the release of the animated movie Shrek. As you know, the film was a massive hit with kids. The green ketchup flew off the shelves. But once the movie began to fade into memory, sales fell, too.

 

Unfortunately, the additional ketchup colors that Heinz launched did not do well either. Turns out, consumers were rather put off by the idea of ketchup being an incongruous shade of blue or pink.

EZ Squirt was eventually pulled from the market in 2006.

The point is, color can influence the way we feel and behave. A study on the impact of color on marketing found that people based 62 to 90 percent of their initial impressions about a product on color.

In other words, the color you pick for the wall of your new retail space can have a direct impact on sales, while your choice of hue for the company logo can influence how customers perceive you. This is why color psychology is used so pervasively in marketing and branding.

The right color combination projects a certain image and evokes feelings that allow you to attract, influence, and retain your target audience.


Making the case for fonts

Ever heard the phrase, “The shoes make the man”?

Fonts and typefaces are to design, what shoes are to your outfit. You could be dressed to the nines from your head down to the ankles—but if your shoes are scuffed and dirty, it might leave a bad impression.

Keep in mind that even if the typography only makes up a tenth of your design, it can still have a major impact on brand identity and perception.

Fonts and typefaces either complement the entire look and tone of a brand, or take it in a completely wrong direction.

With that in mind, we’ve now made it possible for our PRO users to upload their own fonts onto Piktochart! Selecting the right typography really impacts the look, feel, and mood of your visual – so you’ll now be able to customize your projects even further.

Take a look at the below GIF to see how to start uploading.

Good to know right? Now let us take a look at the retail, healthcare, and finance sectors and their use of color and typefaces in some detail.


Retail


Colors

Retail industry brands typically go for vibrant, loud colors as a way to stand out. The colors also serve two other purposes—to help relay the brand message and to enhance a customer’s shopping experience.

There are no firm rules about which colors retail brands should use, but vibrant colors like red, orange, yellow and green are frequently the hues of choice. (To create contrast, these colors are often paired with blue or black.)

The primary goal of any retail brand is to leave a strong and lasting impression on consumers, and these bold colors get the job done.

Colors such as red and orange also imbue brands with a sense of power, optimism, dynamism, and confidence. In general, the retail industry also tends to use hues and tints more than tones and shades.


Gray, on the other hand, is hardly ever the color of choice in retail industry visuals. The nondescript color expresses dullness and a lack of confidence.


Fonts

Fonts are generally considered the ‘face’ of the brand in the retail industry. So while layouts do change, the fonts need to be legible and communicate brand identity to customers.

After all, brands want a consistent message to be delivered to their customers. And if customers can’t read your message clearly, they might simply move on.


In retail, Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica, Muli, and Futura are favored for their boldness and are suitable for strong headlines.

For subheadings and body text, fonts that are high in readability, such as Asap, Karla, and Nunito, are recommended.

Serif fonts (e.g., Arapey and Playfair Display) or Slab Serif fonts (e.g., Arvo) can be used partially for titles or headlines. If you are experimenting with typography, you may want to pair Serif fonts with Sans Serif. This classic duo complement each other well, and can add some nice contrast and create visual interest.

However, do note that Serif fonts are not generally recommended for body texts as they give off too much of a classic, traditional vibe.


The modern take


E-commerce retailers like Warby Parker and Thinx exude understatedness and timelessness by using simple black fonts and a good amount of white space.

Meanwhile, the logo of fashion curation brand ThreadBeast may be short on color, but makes up for it with a cursive font that looks like it may be woven from thread. In this case, the font alludes to a key component (thread) of the product being sold (clothes).

Online retail brands like the aforementioned attracts customers with easy-to-navigate and user-friendly platforms that make the buying process as simple as possible. A minimalist aesthetic effectively communicates the message of fuss-free functionality.

Hand-drawn logos, which inject unique personality into each individual brand, have also become a popular trend in retail, as have logos with a retro or vintage feel that harken back to the ‘good old days.’ Such logos reflect the brand’s personality and appeal to niche markets.

Below are some visual examples from Piktochart templates with ideal color and font pairings. Get inspired!

1. Arapey for the headline, paired with Lato for body text

2. Splash of pastel colors to attract female customers


Healthcare


Colors

Traditionally, the healthcare and medical sectors can be identified by a very distinguishable color palette. Cool tones such as blue and green, in particular, are frequently selected to relay a sense of calm, trustworthiness, professionalism, and reliability.

As a balance to the coolness, shades such as orange and red may be introduced to contribute feelings of optimism, warmth, and happiness.

While verdant, grass-like hues are often the color of choice, louder and brighter shades such as neon green are avoided in healthcare branding. Not only is this shade of green jarring to the eye, it also denotes frivolity, which is not in line with the image of professionalism that the healthcare industry wishes to project.

Brown is also unpopular within the industry, as it is considered to be lacking in sophistication.


Fonts

In the healthcare industry, the role of the font is to portray professionalism and reliability without sacrificing readability.

Modern Serif fonts that evoke strength and security (such as Arapey and Droid Serif) are often paired with Sans Serif ones (such as Roboto and Overpass), which conjure feelings of dynamism and professionalism.

On the other hand, the use of handwritten fonts such as Oleo Script and fancy fonts such as Codystar are discouraged, as they are overly playful and lack the necessary gravitas.


The modern take

Some newer, more modern healthcare companies are choosing a less traditional route to establish their brand identity. For example, healthtech companies, such as Babylon Health and Univfy, have experimented with color gradients (where hues gently transition from one shade to another). Others, like Embleema, have chosen a cleaner, more minimalist aesthetic.

Making bolder and more unusual choices in color and typography allow these brands to stand out and also present themselves as fresh, forward-looking companies at the cutting edge of technology.

1. Sans Serif fonts like Muli and Lato are chosen due to high readability

2. Dark blue is the main color, which is paired with a bright color like orange as the secondary color


Financial Services


Colors

As a general rule, financial services brands prefer a toned-down color palette in order to establish feelings of trust and reliability.


There is also a certain consistency in the way color is used among the major brands: Typically, one color is chosen as the main feature, then paired with a secondary color to help make the logo pop.

Take DBS and OCBC, for instance. While both banks use red as their primary color, the red in DBS is combined with black to convey strength and aggression. Meanwhile, OCBC plays with color negative to create contrast and emphasize the red part of its logo.

Blue, black, and red are the commonly used colors in banking and finance. Blue represents loyalty, professionalism and trustworthiness; black signifies ambition and security; and red denotes power and passion.

These are often paired with green, orange and yellow—colors that provide balance and contrast, and allow brands to reach out to a wider target audience.

On the other hand, the finance industry traditionally shies away from pink and purple, which are deemed to denote softness and to lack strength. Brown, which is associated with a passive personality, is likewise rarely seen in the finance sector.


Fonts

The financial services industry is similar to the healthcare industry in that both typically seek out fonts that embody professionalism and reliability.

However, unlike the healthcare sector, the finance industry is now attempting to use more modern fonts and new color palettes.

They want their audience to know that although financial institutions may have been around for a while, they are not necessarily old and staid. They can be dynamic innovators.


Typically, modern Sans Serif fonts that project strength, reliability, and stability (such as Montserrat, Futura Medium, and Overpass) and Sans Serif fonts with a strong personality (like Arsenal) are generally used in the financial services industry.

‘Rounded’ Sans Serif fonts like Capriola and Comfortaa are to be avoided, while fonts with sharp edges and stronger personalities are favored.

On the other hand, handwritten fonts such as Bad Script, Caveat and Euphoria Script, and fancy fonts such as Frederika the Great are not encouraged as they come across as casual and playful.


The modern take


Interestingly, e-payment systems, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, have been relatively conservative in their choice of typeface and colors by using modern Sans Serif fonts and colors like blue and black to convey stability and reliability.

This makes perfect sense, as the goal is to have their customers feel safe and assured about moving to a new and unfamiliar mode of banking.

1. Arsenal, a font with a strong personality, combined with a high readability font like DIN Pro

2. Playfair Display for the headline, combined with a high readability font like Asap for the body text



Change is the constant

Whether we are looking at the retail, healthcare or finance industry, it is clear that there are simply no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to design. This is especially true with the myriad of unconventional and modern businesses that have emerged.

In many cases, online channels have helped lead to the rise of the use of bold, bright and saturated tones in branding, while others are choosing less traditional styles by experimenting more boldly with fonts and typefaces.

Whether they are established name brands or startups trying to build brand identity, the goal is the same—to stand out from a sea of competitors. And the right pairing of fonts and colors can help them do so.

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