Psychology of Colour

Underlying psychology of colour; what do they mean?

Colours have deep psychological impact, through the eyes it manifests to become the chemistry of the mind and body. Emancipating emotions.

Colours influence people through psychological changes and are associated with certain feelings. Colours hold strong cultural and emotional values. From the colours you wear, the ones you encounter at work, home or your favourite store, restaurant or office.

In Graphic and Web design colours can be used effectively to evoke desired emotions, create the right feedback and emphasize certain values.

Graphic Design/ Advertising
If Graphic Design had three pillars, colour will definitely be one of them, the others are form (shapes or images) and the other text. A new company when having its logo design needs to pay attention to the colours used in the logo for it will form the basis of its corporate colour. Corporate colours go along way since they will affect the company’s stationery, all communication materials, staff uniform, office interior and exterior. The colour has to be carefully selected depending on the industry the company is in, what it strives to communicate to the end consumer.

Web Design
Colours are used in website design as logos, backgrounds, navigation menu and images to emphasize, highlight, symbolize the text description and outlining the site. Using the wrong colour combinations can be detrimental to visitors who may close the website upon logging in. Some colours especially shades of blue, green, gray have been proven to invite and maintain visitors to stay longer, click more and thus good traffic for your business. Highly contrasting colours are repulsive consider a website with luminous green or yellow combined with black and red especially on backgrounds, most visitors will leave just after seeing the homepage!

Effects of colour in graphic, web and interior design, what they mean.
It evokes strong emotions, encourages appetite and passion. It is the colour of intensity, stimulants, love, gaudiness, blood, war, excitement, speed, heat, leadership, masculinity, power, passion, strength, energy, financial loss, Danger, fire, radicalism, aggression, stop, anger, and revolution.
Used by: Restaurants, marketing agencies.
Brands: Coca Cola, KFC, Airtel, Design Village, Mortein, Kenya Airways and Bata

Mostly preferred by men, it creates a sense of calmness or serenity, curbs appetite and associated with water and peace. It is a colour of unity, harmony, depression, coldness, ice, tackiness, winter tranquility, calmness, coolness, confidence, water, ice, loyalty, conservatism, dependability, cleanliness, technology, winter, idealism, and obscenity.
Used by: Offices in interiors, banks, insurance companies and institutions.
Brands: Barclays, Nation Media, KTN, CFC Stanbic, Samsung

Evokes excitement, enthusiasm, warmth and caution. It is the colour of energy, flamboyance, playfulness, balance, heat, fire, enthusiasm, overemotional, warning, danger, fire, aggression and arrogance.
Used by: Juice and energy drink manufacturers, restaurants, fun places, supermarkets.
Brands: Ukwala, Fanta, Afya, Orange Telkom and Serena Hotels.

The colour for purity, innocence, emptiness and space. It the colour of peace, cleanliness, simplicity, security, humility, sterility, coldness, surrender, cowardice and fearfulness.
Used by: Offices to create illusion of space, luxury items.

It is the colour of death, mourning, evil. It is a colour of power, sophistication, fear, anonymity, anger, sadness, mystery, formality, elegance, wealth, style, remorse and unhappiness.
Used by: Funeral companies, Rock Stars and companies that have high-end luxury products and services.
Brands: Mercedes, Blackberry, Guinness and Apple

The colour of health, nature, tranquility. Its represents spring, good luck, greed, vigor, generosity, go, grass, wealth, fertility, youth, environment, envy, misfortune, jealousy, aggression, and inexperience.
Used by: NGO’s, environmentalists, public service providers.
Brands: Safaricom, BP, Tuskys, KCB, KWS and NEMA

It sends a strong sense of royalty, wealth, success and wisdom. It is a colour of spirituality, nobility, enlightenment, sensuality, creativity, gaudiness, ceremony, mystery, mourning, exaggeration, confusion, arrogance, and flamboyance.
Used by: Kings, feminine brands, chocolate manufacturers
Brands: Nice & Lovely, Darling, Faulu and Cadburys Chocolates

Colour of Boredom, practicality, reliability and earth. It is a colour of richness, stability, anachronism, dirt, filth, heaviness, poverty, roughness tradition, calm, depth, natural organisms, and nature.
Used by: Tour companies, NGO’s, environmentalists,
Brands: Equity Bank, KWS, CIC Insurance, Dormans,

The colour of joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, gold, summer, hope, air, sunlight, hazards and dishonesty.
Used by: Fast food restaurants combined with red, road signs
Brands: Tusker, Farmers Choice, Schweppes, Maggi and DHL

Have a colourful day!