Colour Psychology

Colour appeals to our visual senses and impacts on how we think, feel and behave. Considering that consumers place visual appearance and colour above other factors such as sound, smell and texture, colour is your most powerful marketing tool.

When buying a product:

  • 1% of consumers base their purchase on smell or sound
  • 3% of consumers look at the texture of the product
  • 93% of buyers focus on the visual appearance

Colour directs our eye where to look, what to do, and how to interpret something. Colour puts content into context. Colour helps us decide what is important and what is not. While the psychological impact of colour is subjective, there are some general associations.


Romance and femininity Used to market products to women and young girls


Movement, excitement and passion Encourages appetite, often used by fast-food chains Increases heart rate, creates urgency, often seen in clearance sales Immediately pulls focus


Courage, confidence, friendliness and success Stimulates logic and promotes enthusiasm Creates a call to action – subscribe, buy or sell Used to draw in impulsive buyers


Optimism and youth Increases cheerfulness Often used to grab the attention of window shoppers


Health, nature, money and wealth Stimulates harmony in the brain, often used to promote environmental issues Encourages balance between body and emotions, which leads to decisiveness The easiest colour for the eye to process, frequently used in stores to create a sense of relaxation


Peace, tranquility and reliability Curbs appetite and stimulates productivity Creates the sensation of trust and security, often seen with banks and businesses Preferred by men


Royalty, wisdom and respect Stimulates creative problem solving Represents imaginative and wise brands, services or products Used to soothe and calm, often seen in beauty or anti-aging products


Associated with purity, cleanliness and safety Heightens creativity, offers a clean slate


Practicality, timelessness and solidity Used too frequently, it can lead to feelings of nothingness


Authority, power, stability and strength Often a symbol of intelligence Used to trim down the sizes of items Powerful and sleek, used to market luxury products


Choosing a colour scheme where the focal point is the brightest element of the design reduces eyestrain and immediately focusses a user’s attention Choosing stark, complementary colours creates an easy to read area


Dictates emotion Brighter colours create more energy and evoke a response or reaction Neutral or darker colours allow a reader to process large chunks of information


Pyschology of colour