Colour Psychology in Marketing and Branding

Colour psychology in marketing and branding

Using colour as a tool for persuasion in design is a controversial and interesting subject. There is no doubt that colour psychology plays a key role in the branding of any business, but there is a depth and complexity in how we perceive colour that means each person will have a unique experience depending on culture, religion, age and their own personal life experience.


Colour can mean vastly different things depending on where you are in the world. For example: In Western cultures, white symbolizes purity, elegance, peace, and cleanliness; brides traditionally wear white dresses at their weddings. But in China, Korea, and some other Asian countries, white represents death, mourning, and bad luck, and is traditionally worn at funerals.


Various colours are also used in religious ceremonies or represent aspects of religion. For example: Green is considered to be the holy colour of Islam, Saffron is a sacred colour in Hinduism as it represents fire that burns our impurities, Judaism is represented by the colour yellow and white is linked to peace across many religions.


Studies have concluded that for both genders, blue and red maintain a high preference throughout life. Yellow is popular with children but as become move into adulthood it shows less popularity. Researchers found that as people mature they show a greater liking for hues of shorter wavelength (blue, green, purple) than for hues of longer wavelength (red, orange, and yellow).

Personal Experience

Personal experiences, both good and bad, affect how we feel towards certain hues. For example: White, normally seen as a pure colour, can gain a negative association for someone who may have spent long periods in a dreary white hospital room.

This complexity means that there will always be issues with trying to apply a broad stroke of simple interpretations to our reactions to colour however it is possible to analyse colour psychology within Western culture and have it guide your branding if you use it as a part of a larger study of your target market.

With this in mind, check out our colour psychology cheat sheet chart below with Hex values for each colour!

Our Colour Psychology Cheat Sheet


Katerina Przita

Kat specialises in branding, corporate identity and web design with a special love for illustration and infographic design.

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