Colour psychology in marketing

Colour psychology studies the way that colours affect human emotion, behaviour and decision-making processes.  The impact that colour has is also affected by the shade and tone of the colour: a brighter shade will have a different effect on people than darker tones or pastels of the same base colour.  Understanding the basics of colour psychology is essential in making sure that your brand makes a positive impression and appeals to your target market.


Red is the most dynamic of the colours.  Depending on the tone or shade, it invokes opposing emotions.  It can be passion, love, energy and excitement. However, it can also reflect anger or signal a warning against danger.


Orange is a bright colour, combining red and yellow to bring about feelings of enthusiasm and vitality. Playful, friendly and energetic, it is a great way of capturing people’s attention.


Yellow is the colour of sunshine, and is used to evoke feelings of youth, joy, and optimism.  It’s an attention-grabbing and cheerful colour.  In excess amounts, it can be overwhelming and make people self-critical, so use it sparingly or in combination with another colour.


The colour green is refreshing. Human emotion will automatically connect it with nature and life or new growth.  People also associate it with health, wealth, and relaxation.


Blues is calming and tranquil.  Commonly people’s favourite colour it also evokes feelings of security and trust.  It’s an effective colour in the world of business and marketing.  The sense of professionalism and friendliness it produces in people has made it a popular colour for networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Often associated with royalty, purple represents luxury and wealth.  A blend of blue and red, purple combines red’s passion and energy with blue’s trust and tranquillity. As a result, the colour purple often also represents mystery, creativity, and spirituality.


Pink is the colour of femanine youth.  As a softer version of the bold red, the energetic passion is tamed into more of a sense of compassion, nurture, and unconditional love.  Rather than exciting, it soothes and relates to romance, empathy and sensitivity.  Most often used in advertising for women’s beauty products or to appeal to young girls.


Brown is a strong, reliable colour.  Its earthy tones communicate warmth, support and stability.  While it can seem too reserved and boring to some, used correctly, it also communicates something old-fashioned or well-established.  If you want to create the feeling that your brand is dependable or classic, brown is a good colour choice.


Gold is a colour best used sparingly, in small details and highlights.  Used in this fashion it conveys luxury, confidence and charm.  It’s naturally attractive to people as the symbol of wealth and prosperity.

However, an over-use of gold appears ostentatious or proud and may distance your brand from the target market.


 Both a classic and powerful colour, it’s also modern and luxurious.  It conveys sophistication, power and independence.  Black can be used to make bold statements or to evoke mystery.  It is reserved, and best used sparingly because it is so heavy, and too much can be intimidating for the audience.


White is ever the symbol of innocence, purity and virtue.  As a completely neutral shade, it also represents simplicity, cleanliness, and new beginnings.  Based on the way that it’s used, it can communicate affordability or high-end prestige. As with gold and black, use it minimally: too much white space can cause feelings of emptiness and isolation.

If you need any help to pick colors for your brand I would be happy to advice you!

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