The Impact of Colour

In a study called Impact of Colour in Marketing, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgements made about products can be based on colour alone.

Feelings, emotions and associations are made with colours and influence us on a conscious and sub-conscious level. The colour you choose for your logo says something about you and your business, and can convey your message in a certain light.

We associate different colours with different emotions and feelings. Red for instance denotes action, energy, strength and danger. Its dynamic, it raises blood pressure and has been shown to stimulate appetite. Think of the big brands that use red in their logos to great effect – Coca cola, Kelloggs, KFC, RedBull and Virgin Atlantic.

Yellow is also a powerful colour. The human eye processes yellow first so its used for warning signs. It is sunny, warm and friendly but it too, like red, increases appetite. Red and yellow together are used by  many of the fast food chains – McDonalds, Burger King and Pizza Hut for instance.

Interestingly McDonalds have recently started to re-brand their restaurants in green and yellow, instead of their famous red and yellow. Why? Well, you can only assume its to sub-consciously tell their customers that their food is healthy and good for them! Likewise, SubWay use green and yellow for the very same reasons.

The use of colour can give your business the edge over your competition if used correctly, and if you use a graphic designer that knows about and understands the psychology of colour then you’re on the first step of the ladder to success.

Of course personal experiences, cultures and context can influence our perceptions of colour so there are no strict hard and fast rules. However, it remains one of the most interesting and under utilised factors in design.