The psychology of colour

ChrisChris Smallwood

We love adding a splash of colour to everything we do, but what does it actually mean?

Research has shown that each colour elicits a certain type of response from the audience.

Whilst there are lots of other factors that have an impact on how we respond to certain colours (e.g. upbringing, culture, personal preference, context etc.), in general terms, you can predict the type of responses a certain colour will elicit which can only help you when it comes to picking the right colour for your brand.

So, what do all the colours mean?

Red

Arguably the most powerful colour which elicits strong emotional responses. Often stimulates people to take risks. May stimulate feelings such as power, passion, hunger, energy, aggression or danger.

Companies who use red well:

Yellow

Represents youthfulness and, optimism and encourages communication. Yellow increases the feeling of cheerfulness and warmth, stimulates mental processes and shows clarity.

Companies who use yellow well:

Blue

Often associated with brands that are looking to instil a sense of trust and reliability in their audiences, blue is known to be a calming colour which encourages order and self-expression.

Companies who use blue well:

Orange

A high energy colour that stimulates feelings of energy, balance and warmth. Orange reflects excitement and enthusiasm and can be used to create a call-to-action and, when used in branding, represents a friendly, cheerful, confident brand.

Companies who use orange well:

Green

Is frequently associated with nature, health and luck. It is most certainly the colour of choice for more sustainability conscious brands, who use the colour to symbolise their commitment to their environment. Green can be used to relax people and can also symbolises money.

Companies who use green well:

Purple

Can stimulate feelings of royalty, wisdom and luxury. Often used to soothe or calm audiences, it tends to be used in beauty and anti-aging product branding.

Companies who use purple well:

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