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The psychology of colour

Are you using the right colours for your business?

Have you ever considered why easyJet might have chosen that unmistakable orange? Or why blue is the colour of financial institutions like KPMG and Barclays? Why do the food shops Holland & Barrett and Waitrose use green in their branding?

These colour choices were no accident. Colour plays a vital, yet perhaps subconscious, role in how we perceive and react to a business, so it is important to consider the colours you will use to represent your company. Below is an overview of the psychology associated with certain colours in Western culture.

•      Blue is most people’s favourite colour, and it represents trustworthiness, stability and honesty. It’s therefore a popular corporate colour, especially for financial institutions.

•      Green is the symbol of freshness, health and healing, so is ideal for health product or food shops, or any company whose activities have a strong emphasis on the environment.

•      Red is the colour of danger, passion and love. It increases our heart rate and encourages a passionate response from people. It’s a colour that can encourage people to take action and make a purchase.

•      Yellow is associated with sunshine, happiness and optimism. It is a good colour to use for children’s products as it appeals to their sense of imagination.

•      Pink represents caring and nurturing, and is a calming colour. It is often used by charities, and appeals to women. It is also a good colour to use in spas, to aid relaxation.

•      Purple is the colour of royalty, wealth and spirituality. Using purple can denote a superior product or service, and is also popular with creative agencies.

•      Black suggests sophistication, power and control. It’s a popular colour for business selling luxury goods. Using black packaging can also make a product seem of higher perceived value.

•      Brown is the symbol of maturity, comfort and earthiness. It appeals to men, and is ideal for any companies who have “earth” related activities (such as landscaping).

•     White represents purity, equality and cleanliness. White backgrounds on websites suggest order and simplicity. It’s a good colour to use for kitchen and bathroom products, and skin care products.

•      Orange is the colour of fun and vitality, and affordability. It is also a popular colour used inside fast food restaurants, as it stimulates the appetite and encourages people to eat faster. It is however the most disliked colour in the Western world.

However, colours do not mean the same thing all over the world. It is important for multinational companies to consider the meaning of colours in other cultures. For example:

In India, red is the symbol of purity, and brown is the colour of mourning. In China, yellow is associated with royalty, and white represents death. Pink is used for baby boys in Belgium (and blue for baby girls), and black is the colour of evil in the Middle East. And mourning is symbolised by purple in Brazil, but blue in Korea!

Your colour choice should therefore be carefully considered when choosing your logo and brand theme. Once you have decided, Flyerzone allows you to choose your design for your printed products by colour, making it easy for you to effectively use the psychology of colour to your business’s advantage.

So, will it be punchy orange or steady blue? Your colour choice could be the key to your brand’s success!

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