The Psychology of Colour

The Psychology of Colour. One of the oldest fields within graphic design is the psychology of colour. We use this psychological approach to understand how we interpret the shades of light we call colours. Thanks to it, we know that each colour has a meaning and an emotional charge from our evolution. Thus, colour in marketing campaigns is a very powerful tool.


As a marketing tool, the psychology of colours provides a lot of possibilities in today’s market. In fact, everything we know about it, such as its characteristics and tools, comes from its use in different branches of design. This includes branches like corporate and web design.


In fact, this is a resource that BluCactus, as a marketing agency, understands very well. Therefore, we aim to help you correctly use colours in your marketing campaign. This will allow you to give your brand the exposure it needs in the market. To understand this and other aspects, we will explore the importance of colour from a psychological and advertising point of view.


Everything about the psychology of colour: definition, basic notions, and most important technical concepts.


The Psychology of ColourWe know that this field analyses and researches the visual sciences such as colours. Therefore, we can define it as a set of methods that studies the influence of colours on our behaviour. Because of this, designers can get information on how consumers behave in their faces. Thus, they can understand how the influence of colour affects our shopping habits.


We must highlight that we can apply this method in many ways. However, its use has become more relevant within the advertising sector in recent decades. This is thanks to the rise of social media and the Internet as a means of sale. Besides, the competition between brands has also fostered this method. In their bet on a new market, they have increased the demand for services related to the use of colours in advertising.


We’ve known the relationship between colours and our way of thinking since ancient times. In fact, we’ve seen evidence of this during the times of the Mayan and Chinese civilizations. In those times, they associated each colour with a natural element, giving them their own meaning. The Mayans are a clear example of this. Here, they associated the colours yellow, black, and white with the four cardinal points.


In contrast, alchemy is another element that design historians link with the birth of the psychology of colour.


What were the main historical contributions that motivated the birth of colour theory?


The Psychology of ColourThe motivation to include this theory within the current design sciences came from Sir Isaac Newton’s studies on the light. His essay, “Optics” from 1704, is what kick-started the transition between what we knew about colours and what we know today. However, this theory needed more contributions to become what it’s today despite Newton’s work.


On the other hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe contributed a lot to the evolution of this theory. He did this with the release of his works on the theory of colour. His work titled “Colour Theory” showcased the importance of how we perceive colours. In it, he tried to take this study to new heights that, at that point, had never been seen before.


The works of psychologist Eva Heller also made a huge impact on the historical advances of colour theory. She was against the idea that each colour’s meaning was the same everywhere. Thanks to her discoveries, we know now that each colour’s meaning isn’t something that we know from the moment we’re born. Instead, we learn them as we grow up and adapt to our society’s language patterns.


The influence of the use of colour within the world of marketing and advertising:


  • How do brands use them to control and manage purchasing habits? The Psychology of Colour.


The Psychology of ColourAccording to the Colour Research Institute, we know that the use of images directly impacts the behaviour of customers when shopping.


Once the customer sees a product, it will take them 90 seconds to process all the information. Thus, the colour gathers all this information for the customer to see. Most scholars estimate that this value has an important range of close to 69%.


Nowadays, marketing specialists have given many qualities to colour psychology. Because of this, the meaning of colour is now part of the branches of advertising design.


Here, every interaction that the public has with advertising support is a study subject for specialists. Furthermore, the objective of advertising is to come up with a combination that sets apart a brand from the rest.


The meanings of colours according to psychology:


  • A brief analysis of the interpretation of shades according to the historical, cultural context, and their level of positioning in the market.


The Psychology of ColourThe colours we see result from the refraction of light, which produces a range of seven colours. These colours lie between the 380 and 750-nanometer range. Thus, this information is important because it allows graphic designers to create artificial colours.


They do this by using a computer capable of creating a colour palette in RGB format. This is where the primary colours are red, green, and blue. This has allowed us to study how the wavelength of light can affect the shade of colours. Besides, this is an inquiry that comes from the psychology of colours.


Furthermore, this explains how each colour can affect the context where it’s applied. Because of this, colour is considered to be part of the “visual language”. Besides, it can have a lot of meanings and applications. Thus, when we use it to advertise a product or brand, its interpreted from this perspective.


On the other hand, thanks to psychology studies, we were able to establish three factors that define each colour. These are “hue, “lightness”, and “saturation”. These are widely known elements that let us distinguish each of their characteristics.


Meanings of the colour yellow: The Psychology of Colour.


The Psychology of ColourThis is a special case since it can have positive and negative connotations. In short, this is a colour that can mean joy but also caution. Because of this, a marketing expert must know how to use these meanings to create effective ads. A positive aspect of this colour is that it easily attracts attention since it’s so bright. In fact, many companies use it to grab people’s attention to their brand or product.


According to the psychology of colour, the different meanings of yellow can evoke different feelings in people, such as: 


  • Affection
  • Familiarity
  • Urgency
  • Promptness
  • Increased Appetite


This last meaning is why fast-food restaurants often use this colour for their brands. McDonald’s is a clear example of this, but they aren’t alone. Another example is found in the packaging of potato chips Lays. Likewise, due to its status as a primary colour, its meaning can bring out powerful emotions from people.


  • What are the most frequent uses of yellow in advertising? The Psychology of Colour.


The Psychology of ColourAccording to the psychology of colour, the yellow tone can improve our mood by being a value with a lot of energy.


Therefore, we must keep this in mind when using it. This colour is mostly used in products catering to a very young audience, such as kids.


Likewise, it’s also associated with fun activities. One negative aspect of this colour is that it can bring out feelings of anxiety because we also associate it with caution.


In fact, in the case of traffic lights, the colour yellow is very effective. This is because it conveys feelings of closeness, caution, and care. Thus, we can use it to attract compulsive buyers.



Meanings of the colour blue: The Psychology of Colour.


According to studies of the meanings of colours, blue is one of the most popular. In fact, almost everyone likes the colour blue. This is a colour that can mean confidence and stability. Besides, we can consider it a formal colour without being too serious. Because of this, we often use this colour in financial institutions like banks. This is because, according to the psychology of colours, it makes people feel safe. Likewise, when we use this colour, we can also improve the loyalty of our consumers and customers.


On the other hand, it’s worth highlighting the studies carried out by the Journal of Business Research during 2003. Thanks to them, we know that stores with a blue-based colour scheme see customers’ return more frequently. In contrast, retail establishments based on red and yellow don’t experience this.


Besides, we know that, according to the psychology of colour, the colour blue can make a customer feel trust towards any brand. Likewise, we can intensify this reaction by using colours like green. At the same time, to achieve the best possible results, we must consider the contrast between cold and warm tones. In fact, the meanings of the colours blue and green are frequently combined, as they allow for such contrast.


  • Uses and importance of the colour blue in the world of marketing, The Psychology of Colour.


We can associate the colour blue with calm, authority, security, peace, and trust. Likewise, since this is the colour of water, it can also mean freshness and serenity.


In contrast, this colour can also make us feel cold, depressive, sad, and distanced. Similar to green, blue is known to calm and relax our bodies.


In fact, this calming effect is why hospitals or medical products resort to this colour, as it can help patients feel better.


In addition, we use this colour for the packaging of beverages and natural products since it relates to water. Likewise, traditional brands generally use the colours blue and green on their products.


This is because they make us feel secure and that the product is reliable.


Meanings of red: The Psychology of Colour.


Because of its wide range of meanings, red is known as energy and power. Therefore, this is an element that you must use correctly for the advertising of your business. If you do this, it will function as a powerful wake-up call.


On the other hand, marketing experts assure that the meaning of the colour red can come to remember a stop sign. Therefore, red can become a symbol that makes our consumers step on the brake. This is because it’s a colour commonly used as an alarm signal.


You can use these principles to your advantage by including them in your marketing campaign. This colour can be used to launch discounts and purchases. This is because it encourages the impulsive acquisition of products and services. Furthermore, if you want your brand to have a solid identity, we recommend using the colour red in your logo.


The colour red differs from other colours due to its ability to affect our physical reactions like no other. This depends on the context where it’s applied. Therefore, the colour red can increase our blood pressure, heart rate, and breath.


  • The relationship between red and the psychology of colour in advertising for my business.


This colour can create a sense of urgency that can make the consumer decide to make a purchase at the right time.


For this reason, it’s an excellent option for the promotion of offers and related. A clear example of this is the brand McDonald’s and Coca Cola.


These companies use the full potential of the meaning of the colour red. This is because it can stimulate the consumer, such as their sense of appetite.


This colour also can give off a feeling of sophistication. Here, experts recommend combining it with soft shades of black and white. An example of this is Valentine’s Day, as this is a day when brands often use this combination.



Meanings of green: The Psychology of Colour.


This is a very versatile and friendly colour that can give a good impression to the consumer if we use it properly. Likewise, the colour green can mean health, environment, and goodwill. In fact, some companies use this colour to show their commitment to the environment. However, some experts insist that this colour isn’t exclusive to this field. We can relate this colour to money, representing wealth and abundance.


The meaning of green mainly represents concepts like health, tranquility, and nature. Because of this, we can use it to convey a feeling of relaxation. Likewise, you can also use it to promote the conservation of the environment. Furthermore, since this colour can represent mental harmony, it can help your consumers decide to buy your product.


Something positive about the colour green relates to our perception of balance, calm, fertility, and good luck. Likewise, it can represent healing, new beginnings, growth, and renewal. It’s also very common to see this colour in banks and other institutions that deal with large amounts of money.


In contrast, this colour can also represent negative concepts like envy, greed, and lack of experience. Consequently, we can associate it with the impulsiveness of youth. Regarding its influence on our physical reactions, this colour can lower our blood pressure and produce a feeling of calmness. This is very different from what we’ve seen so far with the colours red and yellow.


Meanings of orange


The colour orange is a colour that directly relates to energy. Likewise, it’s a warm colour similar to red and yellow but a more youthful image. Because of this, this colour can be quite successful at attracting attention. Thanks to the psychology of colour, we know that this colour implies fun and novelty. Similarly, this colour can make customers feel like they are interacting with a company at the forefront.


On the other hand, its meaning is also related to affordability and fairness. Because of this, brands like Payless and Home Depot use it in their stores. In addition, this colour can also mean beauty, energy, enthusiasm, and vitality. It’s a very cheerful colour, even more so than other warm colours such as red and yellow.


Likewise, it’s the colour of change as it’s closely related to the passing of the seasons.


Since this colour has many positive meanings, there aren’t many negative ones. Nonetheless, we should still be careful since it’s a stimulating colour. From a physical point of view, this colour can raise our appetite. Thus, we can frequently find it on flavoured food and beverages packaging.


Meanings of black


The colour black can be easily adapted to anything. We often think about this colour alongside white. Likewise, we can think of black as a traditional, exciting, and relaxing colour. Even if these are different qualities, we know they can express them all. Furthermore, the meanings of black in colour psychology are drama and the power of the message to express. Also, one of the most effective uses of black is as a contrasting colour.


On the other hand, the positive and negative connotations of this colour are the same somehow. An example of this can be its sense of formality. This means that it’s colour that reflects seriousness and boredom. The first of these features is great for products that need the customer’s trust. Also, among the meanings of the colour black are elegance, fashion, mystery, and power.


Since this is a colour of sophistication, we recommend using it for expensive products such as makeup and luxury clothing. Likewise, this colour can make even the cheapest products appear more luxurious. Thus, we recommend you use it on the packaging of your products.


Meanings of White


We can often see this colour alongside the colour black. This is because it allows us to establish contrasts between objects. Likewise, this colour can mean purity and simplicity. Thus, this is the perfect colour for companies that seek to transmit these concepts in their marketing campaigns.


In addition, we can see these concepts very easily while using white. Therefore, the vast majority of medicines use this colour in their packaging. Another example would be products like skincare creams.


The colour white can also symbolize modernity and honesty. We can see that there are a lot of electronic companies that mainly use this colour. Apple is a prime example of this. Therefore, it can easily attract attention. This is even better after knowing that it does this without being too striking as red or yellow.


However, the colour white also has its disadvantages. The negative associations of the meaning of the colour white include mainly being bland, cold, impersonal, and unoriginal. In regards to the physical aspect, this colour is very similar to blue in the way it’s a refreshing colour.


BluCactus and its design plans allow you to use the psychology of colour in advertising for your business.


At BluCactus, we’ve reinvented how the psychology of colour is used in corporate advertising. To do this, we blur the barrier between online and offline marketing. Likewise, we do it through the use of comprehensive design services. Thus, we not only understand the meaning of colours, but we also create the best strategies for you.


On the other hand, two features have contributed to developing the quality of our services. Our location in London has allowed us to enjoy an important place in the UK market. In addition, we currently have a wide national and international customer base.


Second, we’ve a global reach thanks to our ability to work in more than six languages. Based on this, we know that the meanings of colours comprise a code that has no limits. This is where the important thing is how the user can remember your company. Therefore, the objective of our team is to strengthen the corporate identity of each of our clients.


3 advantages of hiring BluCactus for the management of your branding, corporate identity, and marketing projects.


The psychology of colours plays a big role in how our customers can understand us. This is almost as important as the quality of our services or products. Thus, three features have allowed BluCactus to work for important brands in the UK. They are: 


  • Market positioning: Starting from the meaning of the colours, you can position your brand by giving it the innovation and freshness it needs. This way, you will be able to grab the attention of new customers from various markets.


  • Greater integration with your staff and workers: We at BluCactus apply colour psychology in such a way that it allows us to create an excellent work environment. This is important because a brand must know how to keep its staff stimulated. This way, it will be able to remain above the competition.


  • Increased sales: Even if your competitors have a level of quality similar to yours, we guarantee your success. By using the meanings of colours, we allow your product to generate a great impact. Thus, your brand will be remembered.


Final notes: BluCactus has all the resources to implement colour psychology in its branding and marketing campaigns


You must use colour psychology to have a successful marketing strategy. This will allow you to grab the customer’s attention through the use of visual media. This is because the colour is distinguished from afar. Likewise, it’s part of the customer’s first impression of the brand and products. So, get the best first impression with the right colours.


In turn, the psychology of colour shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the area of branding, you must communicate the value of your brand in the most concrete way possible. Thus, you must consider what your business needs to make the right decisions in this regard.


So, if you need a team specialized in digital design and marketing, BluCactus is your best choice. We’ve worked with all types of businesses and companies. Thus, we’ve got the right experience to help you and your company. Let us design the perfect solution for you and your business to increase sales. At BluCactus, we are known for promoting your company or venture. Contact Us!

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