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Colour Psychology

by Faith Lisondra

August 28, 2019

Tutorials 5 min read

Understanding Colour Psychology and How It Affects Your Brand

Noticed how green hues keep you calm while reds let you stay on your toes? Or maybe how orange ignites excitement while blue makes you feel secure? 

Without a doubt, colours are powerful. They influence human emotion and dictate reactions. 

If there is one thing startups and budding entrepreneurs need to reflect on, it’s this: Colour psychology plays a big role in running a business.

Colour increases brand recognition by 80%.  It can even be the sole reason customers make a purchase! 

This leads to the most important question: What are the right colours for your brand? 

Defining your brand

Defining your brand

We often associate blue with huge brands like Microsoft, Facebook, and Samsung. But that doesn’t mean blue automatically works for your business.

Before hopping on the colour bandwagon, there are a few things to consider when choosing your brand’s colours.

  • Your audience — Who are you marketing to? Kids, adults, professionals? Different colours appeal to different people. 
  • Your brand personality — Make sure to have a good grasp of your brand personality when choosing a colour scheme. Is your brand playful or serious? Masculine or feminine? 
  • The competitionCustomers won’t return to a store if they dislike the aesthetic. Sometimes, you need to analyze how your competitors do it and then apply it to your biz. 

Using colour psychology to your business’ advantage 

Let’s get to it! Learn how people react to certain colours — and use this knowledge to create an effective brand aesthetic. 

Red evokes energy and intensity 

Red evokes energy and intensity 

Use red when… Avoid red when…
  • Stimulating appetite. Famous food chains like McDonald’s and Indonesia-based California Fried Chicken use red and yellow as main branding colours. 
  • Implying high energy. Red increases a person’s heart rate and breathing. 
  • Applying a sense of urgency. Red is often seen on clearance sales and limited-time offers. 
  • Offering professional services. People often associate red with danger. 
  • Posting nature or environment-related content. Red and nature don’t make the most fitting combo. 

Orange and yellow trigger excitement 

Orange and yellow trigger excitement 

Use orange and yellow when… Avoid orange and yellow when…
  • Stimulating impulse. Orange is a common colour among ecommerce sites, such as Lazada and Shopee, as it draws in impulsive buyers. 
  • Drawing attention to your CTA. Orange makes your calls-to-action pop. 
  • Creating a sense of happiness. Soft yellows evoke a calm, light feeling. 
  • Selling luxury items. The wrong shade of yellow cheapen your brand.

 

Greens and browns are for nature 

Greens and browns are for nature 

Use green and brown when… Avoid green and brown when…
  • Showing nature-related content. It’s a great colour scheme for tour agencies, eco-friendly shops, and environmental organisations. 
  • Encouraging appetite. Browns work best for coffee and chocolate brands. 
  • Offering earth-related services. Think real estate, veterinary, and furniture businesses. 
  • Having tech content. Earth colours and technology just don’t mix. 
  • Trying to grab attention. Browns can look bland and conservative.
  • Offering luxury goods. While green is associated with money, it doesn’t appeal well with luxury items. 

Blue is for security and dependability

Blue is for security and dependability

Use blue when… Avoid blue when…
  • Dealing with intelligence and security. Large corporations, like banks and IT companies, use blue to promote trust and dependability.  
  • Catering to professionals. LinkedIn makes a good example. 
  • Offering government and health services. People use blue to imply safety and non-invasiveness. 
  • Having food-related content. Blue hues tend to curb appetite. 
  • Maintaining a friendly approach. Deeper shades of blue (or too much of it) can make your brand seem cold and uncaring.  

Purple is for sophistication

Purple is for sophistication

Use purple when… Avoid purple when…
  • Selling luxury goods. Purple refers to royalty and wealth. 
  • Establishing romance. Light purples make great brand colours for dating sites. 
  • Dealing with beauty-related content. Purple is often seen on anti-ageing products. 
  • Trying to grab attention. Purple soothes more than it captivates. 
  • Having a fun brand personality. Deeper purple hues can make your brand feel aloof or withdrawn.

Pink is for femininity and romance 

Pink is for femininity and romance 

Use pink when… Avoid pink when…
  • Offering feminine content. Pink connects to women and young girls. 
  • Trying to keep customers calm. Foodpanda — a mobile food delivery service — use pink to keep customers calm while they wait.  
  • Trying to establish authority. Pink hues can make your website feel too flashy and sentimental. 

Black and white for the minimalist 

Black and white for the minimalist 

Use black and white when… Avoid black and white when…
  • Keeping a minimalist aesthetic. Black and white take on a sleek, modern feel. 
  • Conveying a sense of luxury. Chanel and Dior use black and white to exude prestige and exclusivity. 
  • Referring to purity. White goes well with beauty and wellness brands and wedding boutiques. 
  • Brand personality is light and friendly. Too much black can feel menacing and uncomfortable. 
  • Running an online shop. A monochromatic ecommerce site can drive consumers’ minds to wander due to lack of stimulation. 

Applying your brand’s colours to your website 

You’ve learned about colour psychology and applied it to your brand’s design. 

Now, use your logo and integrate its colour scheme seamlessly into your website with the Sitebeat Colour Wizard

Once you’ve signed up to Sitebeat, follow these simple steps: 

  1. On the Sitebeat Editor, click Theme
  2. Select Colours.
  3. Click Colour Wizard 
  4. Upload or drag and drop your logo or any photo inspiration. Hit Take Colours.

  5. Drag and drop the defined colours to set your colour scheme.
  6. Hit Save and Publish your new website. 

Find your true colours

Find your true colours
 

Colour psychology is crucial to your brand, but you don’t always have to play by the book. You’ve learned the rules — now it’s on your hands to follow or break them. See which colours work for your business, and don’t be afraid to make changes when needed! 

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Defining your brand
Red evokes energy and intensity 
Orange and yellow trigger excitement 
Greens and browns are for nature 
Blue is for security and dependability
Purple is for sophistication
Pink is for femininity and romance 
Black and white for the minimalist 
Find your true colours