Colour psychology, as it applies to Branding, Marketing and Design, is not a new concept.  When consumers make a purchasing decision, colour can be a very influential factor toward the outcome.  It must be noted however, that data regarding colour psychology can only be delivered in a generalised format.

There are far too many variables in the spectrum of society to provide a definitive “one size fits all” conclusion.

These variables mostly relate to the cultural upbringing of an individual.  The emotional response we have to colours are learned behavioural patterns.  They are not genetic or instinctive.

“I am human, which means the colour PURPLE has (x) affect upon me” is not a thing.  For example, RED can mean love, passion and power to one individual, while signalling danger and hostility to another.

Therefore, choosing your target audience effectively is the most powerful way to distinguish which colours best suit your branding/marketing/design concept.

The following chart is a general guide to the possible emotional triggers Australian consumers (Western Culture) may experience.

Colour psychology chart for Australian Consumers (Western Society)

Colour Psychology Basics for Australian Consumers.

Text vs Colour

Humans are quite simple creatures, yet our minds are notoriously complicated.  The way our brains work in regards to text is quite extraordinary.  We actually see letters and words as images.  This is why flash cards and sight words are the most effective way to teach children how to read.

So when we read text, we are viewing a series of images, which are then assorted and processed by the brain.

Pretty cool, huh?

While words have a great deal of power, they can be complimented (or in some cases completely overridden) by the appropriate use of colour.  Take a look at the example below.


Writing the word “yellow” has no impact on your brain emotionally

As you can see, the actual text has little to no meaning whatsoever.  The same concept applies to standard black and white text such as the page you are reading now, your web browser address bar, or the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s).

Writing or reading the word “yellow” has no impact on your brain emotionally.

Here’s another example.


The Addams Family. Mysterious and Spooky. Photo taken by Richard Fish

While the Addams Family was light hearted family entertainment, their image was definitely dark and sombre.

Here you can see the set in black and white, in the manner it was broadcast.  Mysterious and Spooky, right?

Not quite.

Take a look at the same set as it would appear in colour.


Nothing says “Spooky” like a soft pink velvet wall. Photo taken by Richard Fish

After viewing these examples, it is obvious that in order to trigger an emotional response, the brain must be stimulated visually with actual colour.

There is no doubt that colour psychology plays an important role when it comes to branding, marketing and design.  But it doesn’t end there.  Even sports teams performances can be greatly influenced by colour.

Perhaps if the New South Wales rugby league team changed their colour from soft sky blue, they might be able to win a series or two.

If you have any examples of colour psychology in action, leave a comment below.  Subscribe for the latest updates from Farrelly Web Design.


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