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Colour Psychology: What it means and how to perfect your palette - Pearl Academy

What if we tell you to close your eyes and think of your favorite brands? What do you see? We’re sure it’s the colour of those brands that popped up.
Our brains are hardwired to react to and remember colour combinations. Studies show that colours have an immense power in changing human behaviour. We even use colours to describe our moods in everyday life such as ‘feeling blue’, ‘seeing red’, ‘tickled pink’.

The way in which colours stimulate emotional reactions makes them a powerful tool to engage consumers and pique their interest. Red, for instance, is said to be the colour of love, passion, excitement, danger, and anger. The strong emotions it provokes in us can be used to induce action. It also tends to encourage hunger and FMCG giants like KFC, Burger King, Coca Cola leverage that.

A brand’s choice of colour reinforces its personality and the services it provides. It conveys a lot without saying a word. Designers can utilise colours to great effect in order to influence people’s emotions as well as their behaviour. Colour has the single greatest effect on how people perceive designs. Let’s look at a few examples where designers and brands have used them as a significant factor in delivering a message.

1.Unmissable red
Red screams for attention, is full of energy and sparks strong emotions in you. It tells the brain to take action. YouTube uses this shade on the play button to promote the excitement of watching videos. However, one needs to be careful while playing around with the colour red. As it also signifies danger, it’s advisable to use it with a contrasting shade.

2.Sunshine Yellow
Yellow is the colour of hope, optimism, happiness, and positivity. It is used to convey ecstasy and positivity. Snapchat has a yellow logo and theme to communicate to the users that using the app could be a fun experience. If you notice closely, you’ll find that its filters and Bitmojis are designed around the concept of happiness.

3.Playful Pink
Pink has romantic and feminine connotations. It’s fun and lively. Everything about Victoria’s Secret is pink — from the retail bags, the in-store decor, the pink tissue paper used to wrap purchases, and everything in between. The brand’s use of pink aligns perfectly with its target audience and also reflects its focus on playful and flirty products.
Fun fact – even though the colour pink now stands for sensuality, feminism, and kindness, a few decades ago, it was associated with baby boys, symbolizing strength and power!

4.Luxurious Purple
Purple is a colour of rare occurrence in nature and has been associated with luxury and royalty. It lends a touch of elegance. YAHOO! Has been associated with the colour purple for over 22 years now. As it turns out, purple came to Yahoo! accidently when its co-founders meant to paint the walls grey and ended up with lavender. The brand and the colour are now inseparable as a result of their decision to persist with the error. Cadbury is another fascinating example. In honour of Queen Victoria, the Cadbury Brothers picked the colour for their packaging, positioning their company as the ‘emperor of chocolates.’

5.Enthusiastic Orange
Orange is a warm colour that inspires action since it is linked to creativity and passion. The combination of the fervour of red and the joy of yellow stimulates the brain. Brands like Fanta, Nickelodeon, and Etsy have used this colour to represent creativity, confidence, friendliness and cheerfulness.

6.Minimalist Grey
Since grey is the intersection of white and black, or the intersection of yin and yang, it symbolises balance in psychology. This colour is used in fonts that need to be neutral and balanced. It provides a sense of serenity and stability by being both immobile and emotionless. It also provides solace from a chaotic environment. The most famous use of grey in branding is with Apple. Their laptops are usually designed with a grey tone to represent neutrality. To preserve a sort of simple and balanced aesthetic, they use a combination of white, black, and grey.

As a designer, you have the creative liberty to play around with shades and strike the right chords with consumers. If colours stimulate you, then our School of Creative Practice is the place for you. Click here to hone your skills and perfect your palette.

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