Colour psychology & using it in your business:

Colour is an incredibly large aspect of our world. Could you imagine a world without colour? Yet we often take it for granted. Colours affect our moods, influence decisions and can even affect our health and well being.

This phenomenon is described as Color Psychology.

It is a mostly subliminal and therefore very powerful way of communicating and when implemented correctly can greatly increase the selling power of products.

There is an entire discipline of marketing that revolves around Colour Psychology. These professionals devote their careers researching and initiating the right colours for the desired effect.  Sometimes all it takes is a slight tweak of shades to create the desired mood, change a message, or rejuvenate an old theme to increase interest in and sale-ability of a product.
Colour Psychology is vital in logo design, product design, packaging, album artwork and of course fashion. Even the colour of your credit card has been chosen for a reason.

Humans  are  visual  creatures.

The following is a list of the most prominent colours and the feelings and emotions they can conjure. This brief overview should give helpful insight into the world of Colour Psychology and Brand Strategy and how it can be implemented in the design and marketing of your art business or new product.

Yellow-The colour yellow actually causes the brain to release the chemical serotonin in the brain. Thus it creates feelings of optimism and happiness and is associated with fun and good times.I t has also been shown to increase creative thought.

Yellow should be used carefully in branding as studies show that intense yellow can cause tempers to flare and babies to cry more when exposed to large amounts.

When carefully placed yellow can be the perfect marketing tool for increasing sales.

yellow lemons

Red – It’s the colour of fire, passion, danger, and excitement.  It is bold and attracts the eye. Using a spot of red in an otherwise neutral landscape draws your attention, so is used to greatest effect sparingly. But it can also be used in larger blocks to create greater impact. Some of the most popular companies in the world use red in their logos and marketing. Think Coca-Cola and Nescafe.

Red is great for products associated with action as it is the colour of energy. 

red umbrellas

Orange- Being a blend of red and yellow, orange is a great compromise between the intensity and passion of red and the cheerfulness of yellow. As a result orange conjures up feelings of strength, ambition and fun.

The colour orange brings forth images of the sun, fire and flame, and flamboyance.
Orange aster

Green – We all know Green is associated with calm – just think nature, lawns and forests. The color Green is connected with good luck, fertility and generosity. As well as envy. Whilst Dark Green is linked with growth, money and masculinity.

Being the traditional color of peace, harmony and support it can be used to great effect in increasing confidence and loyalty in branding.

colour psychology - green

Blue Much of our natural world is made up of Blue – just think the sky and oceans – and as such it is a universally loved color. As we all know it brings calm, what you may not know is why. Seeing the color Blue actually causes the release of calming chemicals in the brain.

A Light Blue color in a bedroom creates tranquillity and a relaxed impression while a strong Royal Blue can feel dark and foreboding. Too much blue can impart feelings of depression and coolness so use it wisely as over use can leave consumers feeling aloof and unconnected with the product. Yet if used correctly Blue bring feelings of loyalty and dependability – the reason it is used so widely in uniforms.

Blue is the color of wisdom, reliability and contemplation.

Blue Sky With A White Cloud In The Form Of Heart

Purple- Purple is a culturally sensitive color with some people listing it as their favourite color and others disliking it almost to the point of revulsion. It can stimulate brain activity and thus can be used to great effect in advertising when used correctly.

Traditionally a representative of royalty, Purple gives a feeling of sophistication and respect.

color-psychology-8-638 (Small)

Do you know Cadbury’s actually own the copyright to their color of purple? Code number #2865c Pantone is now owned by a Chocolate company. Read the news in more detail here…

Brown- Being the color of earth, brown links well with things of organic and natural states. It creates a feeling of stability and being grounded. It is the color most associated with friendship and reliability.

In some cultures it can represent mourning so use with care.


White- Neutral and conservative, white is the union of all colors in the spectrum. White is the standard color of Wedding Dresses, Christening Gowns and Deb dresses – this is because it symbolises purity, innocence, truth and even surrender. It is also neutral and conservative.

White can be used to accentuate the absence of color and as such emphasises clarity and simplicity in advertising. It is associated with health and cleanliness – think hospitals and lab coats – and safety and sanctuary – a lighthouse, and bright light in general.

Did you know its clinically proven if you wear a white lab coat you are 95% more trusted than if you wear a pair of jeans?

colour psychology - white

Black- Black is the most complex of all the colors as it is often associated with sophistication and affluence – such as a black tie affair, – is the most used color in everyone’s wardrobe (little black dress anyone?) and is also the color of funerals and grief. It is always a serious color and can make people seem more stylish and intelligent if used correctly.- oh and its slimming!

Due to its nature it is an amazing contrasting color and is often used in design and photography websites to make images stand out. Yellow on Black is the most contrasting of all the two-tone combinations, so use this wisely and only when trying to create maximum impact.

It is always a serious color and can make people seem more stylish and intelligent if used correctly- oh and its slimming!


Conclusion- Everybody has a favourite color or theme, you may even have two or three. Think about why you are drawn to that color so much. Does it evoke memories of happy times, does it make you feel a certain way – motivated, strong, comfortable?

Color surrounds our daily lives.

Next time you are walking down the street, consciously observe the colors around you and how they affect your mood.

And remember just about every color you see down a High Street has been chosen by professional color psychologists, possibly wearing a white lab coat.

Inspiration - 8 Feb 2012 - by Rob Jennings

About Rob Jennings

When he found himself embroiled in a conversation with someone talking about their ‘customer-centric core competencies’ he realised it was time to create a Web Design Agency that was less about self promoting buzz-words and more about people and giving them the tools to understand the web.

The idea behind We Push Buttons was to create an environment where business owners can learn about building their organisation, whether it be with an outstanding website, SEO or any other marketing ideas. Coming from the art industry and online retail background he knows first hand the needs of growing a business in a tough environment.