Colour psychology: Make people love your brand and get big results

By Erin Gleig, EMG Design

How to use colour psychology to improve trust.

The entertainment and advertising industry uses colour psychology to persuade their audience’s emotions. People are aware that colour persuades their actions. They haven’t become less sensitized. We are hard-wired to like colour. It is human nature.

Back in college (many years ago – hah!) I was taking a film history course. One topic covered was how filmmakers use colour psychology to persuade their audience to feel a certain way. I remember being very intrigued by this. Being able to persuade a person’s emotions using colour seemed like a secret superpower. But, of course, it wasn’t so secret. Colour has an impact on our emotions, our perceptions, and our spiritual and physical well-being. In today’s competitive online world, a viewer often makes their first impression of branding within three seconds. The first aspect of a website design that viewers notice is colour. Colour psychology plays an important part in the success of your marketing.

How colour psychology can influence consumer behaviour.

Colour does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.
-Pierre Bonnard
Filmmakers, animators and photographers will often alter an image with a warm or cool filter to emphasize a mood. Marketers use colour to persuade a viewer to conduct a certain action or invoke trust from the viewer. Warm colours make the viewer feel happy, comfortable or excited. Cool colours imply stability, refreshment and vitality. The psychology of colour is a powerful tool that can either help or hinder your marketing efforts. Consumers often make their choices based on colour preferences, sometimes unknowingly. What colour should you use for your brand? How do you decide which colours to use?

Colour is an important tool in website design.

Most business owners recognize the need for a well-designed website. Many don’t realize how colour can affect potential client’s impression of their brand. Colour and can influence a person’s decision on whether to buy your product. Vivid, bold colours can be aggressive and promotional. As a result, you give the impressions of being pushy or not transparent with your terms of service. Colours that evoke calmness such as light blues, grays and beige can are more trustworthy. This is because they represent competency and present a soothing atmosphere to the customer. One of the many aspects that a designer considers when designing a new brand design is colour. In this article, I’m going to talk about what you should think about when choosing colours for your brand.

Colour, Quality and Age

Colour can influence a person’s perception of the quality of a product. Products using dark colours are viewed as higher quality and more expensive products. Pink is youthful and average-priced whereas neutral colours are more expensive.

Age also affects our colour preferences. As we get older our tastes change. Children enjoy glitz. If your company is selling children’s products, consider glitter and metallic. Children love sparkly objects. Older generations find lighter colours and neutral palettes more appealing. This is partly due to the fact that as we age colours appear darker.

If you want to imply excitement, pleasure and happiness use saturated bold colours.

When deciding your brand colours consider the cultural meaning. Colours often have different meanings, sometimes contradictory, in different cultures. In Western cultures, red is perceived as love, passion and excitement. In the Middle East, red means danger, evil and caution.

If you want to imply excitement, pleasure and happiness use saturated bold colours.

What’s gender got to do with it?

If men are your target audience, don’t choose purple for your brand colour. Men and women have different preferences for colour. Both genders viewed blue has their favourite colour. But, purple is often cited a women’s favourite colour. Many women state that purple is their favourite colour. Whereas men usually dislike purple.

Financial status also affects a person’s colour preferences. Are you trying to appeal to a blue-collar audience? You should consider primary colours. Wealthier demographics find pastel shades more appealing.

Age, culture, wealth and gender affect a person’s colour preferences.

Breaking it down

Red is associated with sexuality, lust and appetite. It is also associated with power and competitiveness (used in sports).

Blue is associated with calmness, stability, and reassurance. It is the favourite colour of both men and women.

Yellow is associated with excitement, warmth and happiness. Yellow is often used to attract attention such as traffic signage.

Green is associated with wealth, calmness, peace and gentle or approachable. It can also mean sickness in pea green tones.

Black is associated with darkness, sophistication and seriousness.

One of my favourite tools for choosing colour schemes is

Increase your audience’s loyalty by researching their colour preferences. Your ideal customer will invest more time on your website if they find your brand appealing. Using colour psychology to relate to your audience can increase your bottom line.

Need help designing your brand? Connect with me to discuss how my branding services can help you excel your business.

Share this post

Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig builds marketable online identities for Arts, Culture and Non-profit organizations. She is the owner of EMG Design, a digital design studio in Delta, Canada. Connect with Erin at Twitter @designemg.

Are you an Arts Organization that needs help executing your marketing?

With several years experience helping theatre companies and non-profits with their digital marketing needs I can save you time and reach a wider audience. Let’s chat! View my services offered by EMG Design.

You might find these articles helpful: