color psychology, colour psychology, meaning of colors, meaning of colours in Digital Marketing


Source: The Logo Company


Before you launch your next social media campaign, design your next piece of content, landing page, website or logo, take a moment to think about colour psychology  and the impact of colour on digital marketing. It may change the success of your marketing efforts.


My take on colour psychology is this, it is clear that colour sometimes has an effect on people’s choice and emotions. There are copious amounts of research that confirms this. (Refer to the research noted at the bottom of this blog for details.) Therefore, when trying to influence consumer behaviour, lets try to use everything we can in our arsenal to get the results we want. After all, we’ve got nothing to lose!


What is Colour Psychology?

Wikipedia defines colour psychology as:[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1436171314360{background-color: #f0f4f7 !important;}”]

“Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behaviour…

…Colour can indeed influence a person, however it is important to remember that these effects differ between people. Factors such as gender, age, and culture can influence how an individual perceives colour.

..Color psychology is also widely used in marketing and branding. Many marketers see color as an important part of marketing because colour can be used to influence consumers’ emotions and perceptions of goods and services. Companies also use color when deciding on brand logos.”



A number of factors can influence a person’s reaction to colour, such as: gender, culture and age. In this blog I will try to give you an understanding of some generalisations regarding colour psychology. I will also discuss the impact that gender, culture and age have on colour perceptions.


Particularly interesting are the studies of the effect of colour on buyer behaviour.

In a peer reviewed journal article, Satyendra Singh, (2006) “Impact of color on marketing”, Management Decision states:


[/vc_column_text][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1436157085187{background-color: #f0f4f7 !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1436156484427{background-color: #f0f4f7 !important;}”]

“People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 per cent of the assessment is based on colors alone”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]QuickSprout states that colour accounts for 85% of the reason that people choose to purchase a particular product and colour increases brand recognition by 80%


Hubspot ran an A/B test changing only the colour of the call to action button from red to green and the results were an amazing 21% difference! You are probably thinking that green attained a higher conversion rate. Actually it was the opposite, red garnered a 21% greater conversion response.


Joe Hollock conducted a number of tests on a diverse cross section people of different ages, cultural backgrounds and genders and asked them a series of questions based on 10 colours (including black and white).


When asked which colour they associate with speed, 76% of the participants said red. This might have some impact on the Hubspot call to action button test explained above.


Lets have a closer look at some of the results of this study.


Colour Associations Study by Joe Hollock

The favourite and least favourite colour for the group studied was:

Digital Marketing colour preferences

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As I mentioned earlier, gender has some impact on colour preferences as the study illustrates:


Digital Marketing and Gender Colour Preferences


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column_text]People tend to associate colour with objects they purchase. The survey asked questions relating to purchasing behaviour.


Digital Marketing and Colour associations


The study also asked questions to see if the following emotions had colour associations


colour and emotions

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column_text]There are as some associations between colour and emotions in the English language, such as, green with envy or blue meaning sad. The terms below do not typically have colour associations and are worthy of noting if you are creating a logo.


Digital Marketing and colour association with language


Colour Psychology and Brand Personality

Colour psychology can play a significant role when forming a brand personality.


Psychologist and Stanford professor, Jennifer Aaker conducted research that identified five core dimensions that play a role in a brand’s personality:


dimensions of brand personality

source: Dimensions of Brand Personality – Jennifer L. Aaker


Each of these dimensions can also correlate to colours. Colours have both positive and negative emotions attached to them. See the summary of colours and their meanings below.


The Meaning of Colours


RED. Physical[/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][image style=”style-5″ position=”below” src=”” alt=”red colour meaning”][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Source: The Art Therapy Blog


Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, sexy, romance, excitement, intensity, urgency

Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.


BLUE. Intellectual.[/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][image style=”style-5″ position=”below” src=”” alt=”blue colour meaning”][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Source: The Art Therapy Blog


Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm, serenity, wisdom, truth, focused, loyalty, strength, dependability, and tranquillity

Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness, uncaring, un-appetizing


YELLOW. Emotional[/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][image style=”style-5″ position=”below” src=”” alt=”color meanings yellow”][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Source: The Art Therapy Blog


Positive: Optimism, confidence, self‐esteem, extraversion, emotional strength,

friendliness, creativity, happiness, laughter, cheery, optimism, hunger, warmth, intensity, clarity

Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, frustration, attention-getting, suicide, anger


GREEN. Balance, it conveys the idea of growth[/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][image style=”style-5″ position=”below” src=”” alt=”Green Colour Meaning”][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Source: The Art Therapy Blog


Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace, natural, growth, money, health, tranquillity, harmony, calmness, fertility, serene and peaceful.

Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation, cool, envy


PURPLE. Spiritual[/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][image style=”style-5″ position=”below” src=”” alt=”Purple colour meaning”][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Source: The Art Therapy Blog


Purple utilises both red and blue to provide a nice balance between stimulation and serenity that is supposed to encourage creativity


Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality, sophistication, royalty, wealth, wisdom, exotic, prosperity, respect, mystery, grandeur, opulence

Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority



Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun, creative, youthful, enthusiastic, happy, energetic, excitement, enthusiasm, warmth, change, stimulation

Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.



Positive: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species, romance, love, gentle, calming

Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness, agitation



Positive: Psychological neutrality, authority, power, strength, intelligence, thinning / slimming

Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy, evil



Positive: Seriousness, warmth, reliability, stability, friendship, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support, warmth, comfort, security, natural, organic

Negative: Lack of humour, heaviness, lack of sophistication, sadness, mourning (in some cultures/societies)



Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance, authority, power, strength, intelligence, thinning / slimming,  professional, credible, trendy

Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness, evil, death or mourning



Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency, purity, innocence, cleanliness, sense of space, neutrality

Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism, mourning (in some cultures/societies)


Research conducted by Zeenat Jabbar and Lynne Baldwin put to the test the association of colour and a brand’s personality. Their conclusions are as follows:

Hypothesis 1: Brand colour blue is associated with the personality trait, competence (intelligence, secure, & confident) – Accepted;

Hypothesis 2: Brand colour purple is associated with personality trait, sophistication (glamorous, smooth, & charming) – Accepted;

Hypothesis 3: Brand colour orange is associated with personality trait, excitement (daring, imaginative, & exciting) – Accepted;

Hypothesis 4: Brand colour red is associated with personality trait, sincerity (wholesome, down-to-earth, & honest) – Accepted.


Colour Test

If your’e interested in putting colour to the test, why don’t you try this fun 5 minute test for free? The colour test is based on the work of Dr. Max Lûscher. It is used worldwide, and since the 1950’s the test has been given to hundreds of thousands of people.





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