The psychology of colour: how your brand’s colour palette affects your messaging

Colour psychology is the study of the affect colours have on human behaviour.

Subconsciously we all have certain feelings that emerge when staring at certain colours, whether that be hostility, empathy or joy. Each colour is associated with something bigger in our minds and this is something that is important to note when looking at branding your business.


Wealth, growth, nature, sustainability, health and generosity are the most common associations people have with the colour green, which is why, as you can imagine companies use it a lot in their branding material especially in the environmental and medical industries. However, that is not to say green doesn’t have negative connotations as well, greed and envy being two of them, which is why you must be selective based on industry, reputation as well as the shade of green you choose to use.


Passion, danger, excitement and action are just a few of the emotions that the colour red ignites in people. Coca Cola and Red Bull being two companies that use red as the primary colour in all of their branding material and rightly so. It is a brave move to associate your brand with the colour red as it can intimidate some people and when used incorrectly it may bring up feelings of anger and resentment.


Childlike, friendly, warm, fun and foolish. Orange is used to represent excitement as well as comfort. The different shades of orange reflect very different messages, while a darker shade is associated with wealth and quality, a light orange can be used for flash sales and other forms of entertainment branding often times being associated with cheap and unnecessary spending.


Positive, optimistic, energetic and clear. Proven to draw attention faster than any other colour. Yellow is the colour people associate with feelings of happiness, kindness and joy. It Is a call to action. Yellow is often used in conjunction with the colour red in the food industry as red is proven to stimulate hunger in people while yellow makes you feel good about giving into those feelings.


Trustworthy, steady, honest and dependable. Regularly used by banks and other financial institutions as well as social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Any company that requires a great deal of trust from their customers is wise to use the colour blue.

Blue is also statistically proven to be the most liked colour in the world amongst both men and women.


Sleek, dramatic, classic, aspirational and serious. Used by luxury brands such as Chanel. Brands that predominantly feature the colour black don’t come to you, you come to them. Black used on its own or with white sends a message of wealth and sophistication.

Colour increases brand recognition by 80% and not only that, researchers have found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone. Investing time and effort into making sure your use of colour is appropriate for your company and its branding is well worth it.

For more information on the role colour plays in defining your brand and how we can help, call Fresco Creative on (02) 8116 9032 to discuss.