The Psychology of Colour in Design

The Psychology of Colour in Design

Colours speak different languages and evoke different emotions.

Years of studies and research have shown just how influential this design element can be to customer perceptions and decisions. And because it is inextricably linked to branding, proper understanding of the psychology of colour in design can prove vital in helping you make informed branding and design decisions and understanding how customers and potential customers may interact or relate with your brand and its products or services.


Quick facts about colour and design

  • Up to 93% of consumers report that visual perceptions may influence their purchasing judgments, according to ColourFast Printing.
  • Over 80% of consumers believe that while colour may increase brand recognition, it could also be the main reason they’ll end up buying or not buying a product.
  • Joe Hallock’s colour assignment report also revealed that gender differences may impact colour preferences and that while blue is the most acceptable colour for both genders, brown is the least preferred colour.

For brand recognition, colour choices can influence comprehension by as much as 73%, influence learning by up to 68%, and impact reading by about 40%.


How different colours impact design

If you want to build a brand your audience can’t resist, your choice of colours must be based on the best options that will resonate most with your target audience. This should impact everything about your brand from logo design to product design, web design, etc.


So, how exactly do most people react to most colours?

  • Blue colours evoke the emotions of trust, safety, calm, and relaxation. Like the blue sky, this colour is often associated with friendliness and happiness both of which are a great way to initiate trust. Facebook, Ford, VISA, and Barclays understand the enormous power of blue and have woven this into their brand and design.
  • Black is associated with strength, power, and formality. It is not only the strongest colour on the colour spectrum, but it’s also one of the most desirable. Black fonts have been used in typography since time immemorial. If you want to create an emotion of power, black is good and will be cool alongside most other colours. Nike, Apple, BBC, MTV are just a few of the brands that use this colour.
  • Green symbolizes nature and the natural world so it’s synonymous with trees, plants, and the environment. While it’s often the colour of choice for most agro-businesses and retailers of organic foods and beverages, financial-based businesses also use it to symbolize trust and safety as well. Companies like Tropicana, Whole Foods, and Spotify use the green colour.
  • Red evokes feelings of urgency, attention, and a sense of importance. It could be used when trying to grab the audience’s attention or when giving warnings about a particular danger. Netflix, CNN, and Target are just a few of the many companies winning with this colour.
  • Pink is often seen as feminine but aside from being a girl’s colour, it can also evoke emotions of joy and playfulness. LG, Lyft, T Mobile, and more have this as their primary brand colour.


Final notes

Colour plays a very important role as a core element of your brand and design. According to the Harvard Business Review, choosing the right colours can increase ease of comprehension. This, of course, is necessary when you’re trying to convey your brand message.

While we agree that colour is too dependent on personal experiences to be classified into specific classes of universal feelings and emotions, you’ll be better off choosing colours that will resonate better with your audience to give you an edge over the competition.

Choosing the right colours should take center stage in your web design strategies every other area of your branding efforts. Should you ever need a competent and experienced web design agency for your company in Squamish, Whistler, Vancouver, and beyond, Black Tusk Web’s web design experts will be more than happy to help you build websites that suit your brand and resonate with your audience.

Contact us today and get your free consultation!