What is the Psychology of Colour?

Colour psychology is the science of how colour affects human behaviour, which relates to the broader understanding of behavioural psychology. Images and colour may not be known for contributing to behavioural psychology, but they have been found to impact on feelings, emotions and impulsivity.

Impulsivity and interest are absolutely essential in the consumer market for gaining a wide audience. This is because the higher the interest and consumer product involvement actually leads to an increase in the consumers impulsivity to spend. It is not always colour itself that makes an impact on the consumer, but also how appropriate the user feels the colour is that is used in the brand; for example the ‘correct’ colour for the logo.

Colour psychology is also closely tied to experiences and memories. So, if someone had a very pleasant experience with someone wearing a pink shirt, they are more likely to have memory association with that colour. However, this is also the case for unpleasant experiences too. Therefore, when choosing a colour for a website it can be tricky and you must consider the impact certain colours have…

 

 

Gender differences

When something is seen as different and ugly, it tends to stand out more, whether it is on a website, app or direct mail. However, due to the way our brains process colours, there are sociological differences between colour preferences for men and women.

In a recent study on colour and gender, 35% of women stated that blue was their favourite colour, with 33% stating that orange was their least favourite.

So if you’re marketing for women, these are the colours to use: blue, purple and green. Especially purple, as it is universally liked by women.

When it comes to designing for men, the colours suggested to use are blue, green, and black.

Image Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/how-colors-affect-conversions/

 

 

Cultural differences

These colour combinations apply mostly to the US and Europe, but if you are developing an international audience outside the Western world, combination varieties change. For example, in China they use different colour combinations, mainly including red. Companies do not use Red as much in the UK, however, warmer countries in the south of Europe, such as Spain, are more welcoming to use it to target their audiences.

 

 

 

Blue = Trust

The colour blue has been found to be associated with trust, loyalty and peace.

In recent research, there has been a strong link with the colour blue and trustworthiness, which is why it can be a massive advantage to use it on your website and company.

A key example of this is the world’s biggest social media site, Facebook. Facebook is a company based on expressing their trustworthiness and transparency, no surprise why blue was used!

 

Yellow = Warning

Yellow is used for excitement and warning. Many websites that use it are targeting young people for exciting events or young children attractions. For example, television channels, such as CBBC (for the BBC) use yellow. In addition, the colour yellow is used for traffic signals, wet floor signs and international warning signs, hence the association with warning.

 

Green = Nature

So if your company’s focus is anything to do with nature, the outdoors, the environment, or eco-friendliness, green is the colour for you! Naturally.

 

 

Black = Luxury  

Within the psychology of colour, black is seen as an expensive colour. So for a website and company that prides themselves on sophistication, power and elegance; black is the choice that you need to make.

An example of this is many luxury brands, suchas Lamborghini. The use of a black background on their website gives the consumer a feeling of class, which has the effect to draw in more consumers for this effect alone.

 

 

Remember…

Using colour within a company website is essential, however, the most important colour psychology material is white. It is sometimes forgotten, maybe it is because it is not always considered a colour… but the use of white spaces is considered a powerful design feature. In fact, the most used website in the world, Google, uses a lot of white spaces with a clear coloured logo. By doing this, Google are able to present an organised and uncluttered interface to their consumers.

So if you are having difficulty choosing the right colour for you and your company, here are some helpful colour palletes to help you with your decision:

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