What’s in a colour?
Blue. It features a lot in all walks of life – eyes, sky, sea, shoes, feelings to name a few. It’s uplifting in a calming way. Your choice of colour is connected to how that colour makes you feel and can impact many of your purchasing decisions, without you even really realising. It won’t surprise you to know that brands have picked up on this emotional reaction to and are using it to their advantage.
Although here at Platinum HQ we have embraced pink, we really are partial to a bit of blue in our lives.
So, what does colour mean? How do we know what colour will work on a particular campaign or project? This is where colour psychology kicks in. It’s the relationship between a colour and its meaning.
The theory of colour psychology
Fundamentally, colour psychology is the idea that colours, especially our favourite colours, are linked to our personalities. Still in its developmental stages, it’s related to both chromotherapy (colour therapy) and phototherapy (light therapy). Are you still following??
The popularity of this theory has attracted much research over the last few years, the focus of which has been on how our perception of and reaction to, colours can highlight personality traits and impact on the choices we make. One such study has analysed which colours have increased image distribution on social media.
Marketing and colour psychology
Interestingly, once you start to dig into research you can see how brands have used psychology of colour. Many businesses have selected the colour of their logo and subsequent ad campaigns based on human reaction to colour. Using colours in right way across marketing collateral will help shape brand perception as well as impact on what the customer does next. For example, in terms of button design – are customers more likely to click on a green or red button?What made them choose that particular one?
It’s important to bear in mind the market you’re talking to, as well as their perception of your particular industry. Implementing the right colour scheme is essential in building a distinctive brand identity that reflects the tone and personality of a company. A child’s soft-play centre for instance. Customers would expect the colour palette to be bright and playful. A black and dark grey combination would be unusual and unexpected and impact on the perception of it being a fun place to visit.
However, colour psychology and perception aside, it’s important to bear in mind that you need to know and understand the customer that you are talking to. Gender, age, culture and experiences should always be taken into consideration. Most people will relate warmer colours such as orange, yellow and red to warmth. Cooler colours are generally considered to be purple, green and blue and these are generally perceived to be calming.
All of which leads us to blue…
Paper manufacturer G.F. Smith runs a ‘World’s Favourite Colour’ survey, according to which dark blue was revealed to be the most relaxing colour. Maybe that’s where Pantones’ colour of the year got their inspiration for ‘Cool Blue’?
We recently ran an article on Blue Monday – January’s most depressing day apparently. Although in this situation blue is used in a negative manner, it’s generally perceived to reflect loyalty and stability, as well as calmness.
When you start to look around, you’ll see blue is used on many corporate logos – including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. You may have heard of them?! Many banks and finance houses will use blue to promote the perception of stability.
However you perceive it, there’s a blue out there for you. And just in case you missed it – here’s the link to our article about blue things that make us happy.
If you’re looking to bring some colour to your next campaign, get in touch. We’ll be there with our pantone palette as soon as we can!