Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Color psychology is the study of how the colours we perceive impact our thoughts and feelings. We feel colour! How or what we feel about it, varies from person to person. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of colour psychology before you start defining your brand’s best hues. Once you understand why a colour evokes specific emotions you can harness colour power in your branding to communicate at a subconscious level. Colour choice matters!
Warm & Cool Colours
When you recognize that colour has a temperature, you can understand how choosing all warm or all cool colours in a logo or on your website can impact your message. Some colors give us a sense of serenity and calm; these usually lie within the blue side of the spectrum - that consists of purple and green too, known as the cool side. Others induce rage and make us uncomfortable, or signify passion; these lie within the red spectrum - which includes orange and yellow, known as the warm side.
As you embark on your colour journey with deciding what hues will best support your logo, website and brand's identity, it’s helpful to keep in mind the most common colour associations. Colour perception is subjective to each individual, although certain colours can have a very universal significance. This is coded into our reptilian brain, giving us that instinctive feeling of fire being dangerous and the beach being relaxing.
Some of the below associations can differ from culture, religion and counties, meaning they aren't always universal.
In order of the colour wheel, we have listed the primary colours first (colours that cannot be made), followed by the secondary colours (made by mixing equal amounts of two primary colours together), then the tertiary colours (made by mixing equal amounts of a primary colour and a secondary colour together). Neutral colours such as black, white, greys, and browns, are colours that are not found on the colour wheel. They're commonly combined with brighter accent colors but they can also be used on their own in designs.
Your Colour Journey
People like simplicity; it makes your content easier to understand if they don't have to interpret it through too many colours. Keeping your colour combinations simple will help you in the long run. Too many colours can add or take away from your message, leaving your customer confused and overwhelmed! A colour palette should have one base colour, one accent colour, and one neutral colour. You can also choose to opt for one or two supporting colours, rounding your colour palette up to four or five hues.
For colour palette inspiration and trends, check out coolor.co/palette/trending