Color Psychology In Marketing Designs

Does yellow remind you of the infamous “M” arch of McDonald’s? Have you ever wondered why organic skincare and food brands go for color green in their branding? What about Netflix using red in its logo? There’s one definite answer to this careful consideration in marketing designs by these brands: The understanding and right use of color psychology as it relates to human moods, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors.

Yes, you read that right. There’s more to those eye-catching logos and creatives than just a sense of aesthetics. When it comes to marketing, colors are carefully used to persuade, evoke emotions and ultimately entice the target audience to take the desired action. For example, a study showed that a red call-to-action (CTA) button performed better than a green one by 21%.


Because red is often associated with a sense of excitement, urgency & warning. No wonder why you impulsively grabbed a lot of products from the sale that mentioned limited time in red font or on a red background in its creative!

Color Psychology in Marketing Designs

What Exactly is Color Psychology & Why it Matters?

Essentially, color psychology is a field of study and research about how colors influence our behavior and decision-making processes. It attempts to understand the role of colors in marketing to form a positive or negative impression of a brand and its offerings. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that more than the color shade itself, it is the appropriateness of the context in which it is used that generates results. For instance, while insurance companies can use green to convey financial security, eco-friendly brands can use it as a symbolism of nature.

A research conducted by the University of Winnipeg, Canada has shown that colors have such a profound impact on our purchase decisions that about 62-90% of our judgments about products are based solely on color. This means that we’re persuaded more by colors than by words or images than we might think and it’s both thrilling and alarming at the same time for marketers from a design standpoint. Hence, to incorporate color psychology to different marketing assets such as logos, website pages, social media creatives, and even print designs, it is critical to understand the psychological attributes of colors as well as how your end consumer will respond to them.

Let’s explore what the most frequently used colors in marketing designs mean and how to determine the one right for your brand.

Red – The Color of Passion & Excitement:

Red - The Color of Passion & Excitement

Red is one of the most powerful colors used in branding and design. The fact that red is most commonly associated with intense emotions such as love and anger makes it a color of high sentimental appeal. It is used by brands against more neutral and softer colors to engage the audience without provoking anxiety & impulsiveness.

Yellow – The Color of Joy & Positivity:

Yellow - The Color of Joy & Positivity

Being the most easily recognizable color, yellow is often used to depict the feelings of happiness, optimism, and upliftment. However, due to its visibility and depending on the context, yellow is also used for warnings and reminders by brands.

Blue – The Color of Trust & Safety:

Blue - The Color of Trust & Safety

Blue has long been associated with attributes like trust and security in color psychology and that’s precisely why businesses from industries like IT & finance use it in their branding and marketing assets to make customers feel secure & establish a sense of reliability towards their products and services.

Purple – The Color of Luxury & Creativity:

Purple - The Color of Luxury & Creativity

Purple is known for depicting the qualities of royalty and creativity and that’s why it has been used by luxury brands to promote their niche offerings and by creative brands to inspire imagination, aesthetic pursuits, and out-of-the-box thinking.

Applying Color Psychology to Your Brand – A Brief Checklist:

As mentioned above, the key to making color psychology work is using the right shades as per the context instead of making a judgment based on its brightness or trendiness alone. Are you wondering what are the pointers that you need to keep in mind to determine the appropriate color for your brand? We’ve got you covered!

1. Consider Your Audience:

Before you select a palette for your brand, it is important to consider your audience demographics such as their age and gender since color preferences vary tremendously among people as per their age and experiences. For example, a toy store may use more vivid and bright colors that are aimed at kids than a university that aims to target mature adults.

2. Rethink Your Brand Message:

How do you want your audience to think of you? Do you want to convey trustworthiness or elicit excitement among people? Based on your objective, rethink what is it truly that you want to portray as your brand voice and choose the color accordingly. For instance, it would be unwise for a fine-dine restaurant to use red and yellow in their branding and designs since these are often associated and used by fast-food chains and casual eateries.

3. Consistency is Everything:

Once you have decided on the color hues that you want to use, it is important to ascertain that you stay consistent over the period of time as your brand color is its identity and a consistent usage can actually help build your brand image in the customer’s mind while increasing the chances of brand recall and recognition.

In a Nutshell:

Color psychology & its sound understanding and practical use is an essential component of building & retaining your brand identity. As the digital marketing landscape continues to become more competitive every day, a thorough knowledge of the market trends and customer expectations can help you make the right decision to choose the color that aligns with your brand personality and goals.

Shafiqa Rattani

A digital marketer by profession & writer by passion. I have a thing for aesthetics, good books & of course a steaming cup of chai.

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Muhammad Mehmood
Muhammad Mehmood
December 2, 2020 1:05 pm

I love this Marketing Designs concept. What about Coca-cola?

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