07 3230 2800
11 April 2018

Colour psychology: The importance of colour in branding


Colour psychology branding


The purpose of colour is to enlighten an audience, and therefore it requires a certain level of dignity in terms of application.

Good design incorporates colour in all of its subtleties (shade, tint, hue and chroma). With this in mind, marketers and designers should use colour to relate with their audiences, rather than as a tool for psychological manipulation.

Colour often shouts, but it’s important that it also speaks to viewers in conversational and intelligent ways, particularly in the fields of packaging, advertising and branding where colour dialogues are unique.

To achieve this, a broader understanding of consumer patterns related to the psychological perceptions of colour theory is important. These perceptions are imperative when it comes to developing (or redeveloping) brand colours.

An example of colour psychology is the theoretical speculation that the world’s favourite colour, blue owes its popularity to the ocean and sky on clear, sunny days and that the often negative response to grey can be associated with rainy or overcast days.

A report published by Emerald Insight states that “Colour is a source of information. People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products and about 62-90% of this initial assessment is based on colours alone”.

The development of appropriate brand colours is important for two reasons:

  1. To differentiate your brand or product from competitors; and
  2. To influence a positive attitude or emotional reaction from consumers

Social or cultural background have a huge impact on colour psychology and associated learnt behaviours. For example, the quote “green with envy”, using red ink to mark mistakes and using white in weddings all impact an individual’s emotional response to colour.

Colour theories based on hue


Yellow is a happy hue, representing pleasant connotations of sun, brightness and warmth. This is a popular colour in terms of attraction and is often used as an eye-catching part of packaging and in road signs.

In soft, pastel and creamy tones yellow transcends to create a perception of calm.


Red hues are associated with danger or mistakes and often provoke a physical reaction by raising blood pressure.  Red is also associated with making time slow down (i.e. stopping) and is often used in road signs.


Orange draws attention as well as stimulates the appetite. The bright and powerful properties of orange have become a popular colour amongst marketers for cleaning products.


Blue stimulates creativity and stifles hunger. It is a Popular choice amongst restaurants who want to encourage customers to linger, making them more likely to add to their orders. Blue is also associated with making objects seem lighter and time pass quickly


Green is primarily associated with nature, trees & vegetation which gives it a relaxing quality. Dark green is often associated with wealth and status and Light (pea) green can be associated with nausea. Green can also have connotations associated with death, poison and supernatural phenomena.

Despite many convincing reasons as to why brands incorporate certain colours to influence an overall positive consumer response, the truth of the matter is that colour is far too dependent on personal experience to be universally translated to specific feelings.

However, a thorough understanding of your target market means that your brand colours can create a strategic approach to attract and engage your customer.


Wahoo Advertising

Want to get your brand colours, right?

Talk to us today about a complimentary branding consultation!

Wahoo Advertising

Back to Blog.