The Importance of Colour Psychology


Colour psychology is the study of how colour affects our mood and perceptions. It’s used widely in marketing, advertising, interior design and fashion.

Colours evoke emotions and feelings, as well as memories. It’s well known that blue is associated with calmness, trust, and stability; hence why so many companies use blue on their logos and branding. Red is associated with food, passion, excitement, and danger.

Below is a list of colours and the feelings they evoke:

Red: passion, excitement, danger, energy, love. Red is a popular choice for restaurant branding; Mcdonald's, KFC, and many other food brands choose red as the main colour or the secondary colour in their designs. Red is the colour of juicy tomatoes and fresh meat.

Orange: creativity, warmth, friendliness, enthusiasm. Orange is also popular with food companies. Orange makes us think of fresh orange juice and summer days, and also of fire (such as a flame grill).

Yellow: happiness, optimism, clarity, energy, caution. As with orange, yellow is associated with summer, sunshine, and golden sand on beaches. Yellow is commonly used by restaurant brands.

Green: nature, balance, growth, harmony, health. Green is widely used by companies that want to be perceived as eco-friendly. Green also makes us think of fresh lettuce and cucumber.

Blue: calmness, trust, wisdom, intelligence, stability, and also blue skies on a summer’s day.

Purple: royalty, luxury, creativity, spirituality, mystery. The colour of grapes and fresh flowers.

Pink: femininity, romance, compassion, nurturing. Pink and purple both look great as background colours behind food images, particularly if the image contains green lettuce. Pale pink is commonly used on wedding invitations and in children’s books, as it is both fun and romantic.

Brown: stability, reliability, warmth, earthiness. The colour of bread and grilled meat.

Black: sophistication, power, elegance, mystery, mourning. Black is often associated with masculinity, so it’s a popular choice for marketing products for men. It’s also seen as a minimalist colour.

White: purity, simplicity, clarity, innocence, cleanliness. The colour of white rice and white bread.

Gray: neutrality, balance, sophistication, practicality

Gold: luxury, wealth, success, achievement, wisdom. Like yellow, gold is commonly used by restaurant brands.

Silver: modernity, technology, sophistication, elegance

These colour associations can be used to influence customer emotions and choices. A fast food restaurant can use red to stimulate appetite, and red is also associated with speed, so hungry consumers can envisage their food arriving quickly. Waiting rooms and hospitals can use blue to create a calming, clean and reassuring atmosphere. Pink is used to appeal to children and women. Banks use green and blue to convey trust and stability.

By choosing the right colours for your brand, you can create a mood that aligns with your goals (such as creating food cravings or a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere). To discuss your design goals with me further, please contact me.


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