The Role of Color Psychology in Design: Choosing the Right Colors for Your Brand

November 13, 2023

I love creating content, but my favourite type is the one that answers questions that help others. I want to thank Jamie for leaving a comment on one of my previous articles about brand consistency and inspiring this one. 🤗

We are emotional beings. We feel, we think, we perceive. If you haven’t thought about colour psychology before, this is the perfect time to do that. So let’s explore this topic together.

If you are a Medium member and don’t want to read this article, there is an option to listen to it. 😉 Plus that way we might help the algorithm push the article to other people interested in the same topic.
Shades of blue and purple, watched via magnifier. Probably from a designer
Ah, all the choices and combos! 😍 — Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Now, when we think about design we might associate it with shapes, movement, fonts and of course colours. So all this combination creates the full picture for your users and the way they perceive you. Whether you’re designing a website, a logo, or any other visual element for your brand, the colours you choose can influence how users perceive and interact with your content.

In this story, we’ll explore the importance of colour psychology in design and provide practical insights into choosing the right colours for your branding.

What is Colour Psychology in Design?

Colour psychology is the study of how colours influence human behaviour and emotions. When applied to design, it helps create a specific mood or prompt particular feelings in users. Here’s a brief overview of some commonly associated emotions and concepts with colours:

  1. Red: Passion, excitement, energy
  2. Blue: Trust, stability, calmness
  3. Yellow: Happiness, optimism, warmth
  4. Green: Nature, growth, health
  5. Purple: Luxury, creativity, royalty
  6. Black: Elegance, power, sophistication
  7. White: Purity, simplicity, cleanliness
  8. Pink: Romance, femininity, sweetness
  9. Orange (bonus added): Energy, Creativity, Balance

How to Choose Colours for Your Brand?

  1. Describe and Define Your Brand Identity ✍🏽:

Before selecting colours, it’s crucial to define your brand identity. What does your brand stand for? What are your values, mission and vision? Who is your target audience? Your colour choices should align with these characteristics. For example, if your brand promotes eco-friendliness, using shades of green is a logical choice. If you want your targeted audience to embrace their feminine energy, shades of pink would be a good choice. Bonus advice for an in-depth analysis, contact a specialist.

2. Think About the Psychological Impact 💭:

What type of emotions and associations do you want to communicate? Do you want your brand to be seen as trustworthy, fun, or luxurious? Your choice of colours can help accomplish these perceptions. For instance, a combination of blue and yellow can evoke trust and positivity.

3. Check What Your Competitor Is Doing 👀:

Research the colours used by your competitors, because they surely have thought about this while establishing their business. Remember, you don’t need to copy them, but rather try to understand the colour choices they have made. Just as a change of perspective exercise. To flex your colour psychology muscle. And if everyone in your field uses the same colours, choosing something distinct can make your brand more unique and even bold.

4. Test and Gather Feedback From the Right People 📒:

Experiment! Don’t be afraid to test different colour combinations with a sample audience and collect feedback. Social media pools are perfect for that! You might discover that your initial colour choices don’t resonate as expected. User feedback can be valuable in refining your branding colours and be the confirmation you just need.

5. It All About the Balance and Harmony ⚖️:

While colour psychology is important, achieving a balanced and harmonious colour palette is equally important. Avoid using too many colours, as it can create confusion. You can’t go wrong by keeping it simple! A palette of two to four colours is commonly recommended for a clean and visually appealing design.

Attention section: Addressing Concerns about Pink and Green:

The pale rose pink and sage green combination you have mentioned Jamie probably isn’t necessarily “girly” or “not powerful enough.” It’s all about how you use these colours and what they represent in the context of your brand. Pink and green can represent balance, harmony, and growth. But, if you are worried about the perception, think about using shades that are less traditional and more unique to your brand. 🤔 Now I want to see those shades too!

Is There Any Tool That Can Help Me Choose? Yes, and I am glad you thought about it.

  • Adobe Color Wheel: This is my go-to tool when it comes to colour combination. It is an online tool for creating and exploring colour palettes with various harmonies and image extraction features.
  • Coolors: As I seek meaning in everything, I LOVE Coolors naming each colour and the different options you can generate a palette.
  • Canva Color Palette Generator: This is a tool that extracts harmonious colour schemes from uploaded images. Although in the design community, Canva is not taken seriously, I believe everyone should be able to use whatever tool works best for them to achieve their goals.
  • Paletton: You feel a bit more nerdy? Try Paletton then. A comprehensive colour scheme designer offering various colour modes and fine-tuning options.

Important note from me: Whichever colour palette you choose, please don’t neglect the power of contrast! Thank you.


Thank you for reading until the end, and hi from Zagreb, Croatia! ⛅

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