Psychology of colour

The best colour for your brand

A splash of colour can make a big impact on your brand

Colour and the use of colour in branding is fascinating. As is often the case, psychology plays in a role in how people interpret the colour and design you have chosen for your logo. This is often why you will find psychologists or people with a psychology degree working in the field of advertising. There are many messages conveyed through a logo, or what is seemingly a simple message or picture. Ultimately, people often do not realize the value of choosing the appropriate colour for their industry and as a way of standing out among competitors.

Here are some interesting facts about the psychology of colour.

Did you know…

Men and women have different preferences in colour. You should consider the preferences of men and women before selecting your brand colours. Their eye will naturally be drawn to colours that they find appealing.

The most popular colours of purchased vehicles are black, grey and white shades Click To Tweet

Men and Women

When you choose a colour you should think about who you are trying to connect with. Is it men or women? If it is men, take a hard pass on purple which is one of the most disliked colours for men.

If you are trying to gather the attention of women, stay away from brown and some shades of orange for your brand Click To Tweet

The power of colour

Colour is a way of communicating, and it is far more powerful than people realize. Various colour combinations communicate different characteristics of your brand. Green is typically associated with creativity, while blue is seen as a colour associated with more serious industries. If you pay attention to many brands out there you will find blue in many logos associated with lawyers, physicians and insurance companies.

Brand Rebel

When you are creating your brand you should ensure that there is a touch of your personality integrated into every aspect, this is often the difference between you and your competition. However, your favourite colour may not be the best choice for your logo or brand. People are drawn to what they find appealing, so it’s important to consider that the colour you love may not make the branding cut. For example, you typically don’t want to use feminine colours if you are targeting a male demographic. It may seem old school and outdated in thinking, however, some types of associations are culturally ingrained and difficult to break. People look to their culture as a way of understanding how to fit in, and even though many people may not want to admit it, we often conform to social norms to ensure our place within our chosen social group. The rules change slightly depending on the group people are interested in becoming part of, but that need to integrate is primal. So challenging some norms would be very challenging.


You will notice that brands targeting men for certain products have an affinity towards black and red (think cologne). Black is the colour associated with power, mystery, strength, authority, rebellion and sophistication. Red communicates energy, danger, strength, power, passion and desire.

The power of colour

Waitresses wearing red get bigger tips from male customers

– Science Daily

Depending on where you live you could possibly be exposed to thousands of advertisements per day. Going with the flow and using colours that naturally draw the eye of your target audience will ensure that you will be remembered.

you may be exposed to 4000 to 10,000 ads per day.

– Forbes

You want to reach the demographic you are targeting and to make sure that your brand colour isn’t off-putting. Ironically, it seems that most people don’t spend that much time contemplating the colour(s) you have chosen, however, people take in more information than they are even aware of. They may feel ‘put off’ by a brand logo without a conscious understanding as to why.

Global Brand

If you are selling products online on a global scale, you will need to consider the meaning attached to your choice of colour in every culture you are trying to reach. As an example, yellow is associated with happiness and warmth in North American culture. Conversely, in Latin American, yellow is seen as a sign of death, sorrow and mourning.

It is worth the time to investigate your brand colours further. It is also important to stick to two colours for your brand. One colourful statement, mixed with a neutral colour. There are some exceptions that do work (Google) but two colours are typically the number you want to aim for.

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