The Power of Colour Psychology

The Power of Colour Psychology

When I talk about designing a new brand, clients often express their personal preferences for a colour. While this is certainly relevant in many cases, this is certainly not the starting point. For that we need to look at what a colour tells your audience about you. That’s where Colour Psychology comes in.


Blues & greens

In business-to-business markets, such as accounting, legal and finance, the main objective is often to look trustworthy & reliable, show expertise & experience and appeal to business audiences. In colour psychology, those terms fall squarely in the dark blue and dark green spectrum. That has resulted in many businesses adopting those colours, saturating the market.


Purple & orange

For many brands across industries, differentiation means thinking differently and innovating. Purple has been identified as the colour of imaginative brands that are a little different, whereas orange is often adopted within an innovation or technology context, as well as sports, transportation and entertainment.



Red presents a bit of a challenge; it is the colour of passion and energy, but also the colour of price competitiveness and danger. As a colour it’s often good to work with in combination with blue, combining reliability, passion, trustworthiness, affordability and energy.


Light or dark colours

Unfortunately colour psychology isn’t always as straightforward as it seems, which becomes abundantly clear when we look at the colour green. Dark green, as we noted before, is associated with expertise, safety and experience, and as such it’s a favourite colour in banking, real estate and the legal field. In contrast, light green is associated with growth, kindness and harmony, and as a result commonly found in the brands of leisure, energy and education.

The same goes for light blue (also known as ‘baby blue’, often used for brands aimed at children) and dark blue (a popular choice in security, finance, health care and apparently also marketing).


White or dark backgrounds

While white and black are certainly not colours, they do play a major role is the design of a brand and how it perceived. White is typically used in B2B markets since it provides a clean, sterile space to work in with any colour; while black is often more difficult to combine and usually adopted by exclusive or lifestyle brands.