The Importance of Colour

If you haven’t heard of a TED talk, you need to jump on google right now. Watching a Ted Talk is a peculiar thing, each talk has the ability make you feel as though you can conquer the world now that you have an extra 20 minutes of gained knowledge on an everyday topic.

The latest talk I watched was from Neil Harbisson, an artist who was born completely colour blind. For a man living in a greyscale world, how does one understand the visual sensory of colour, a sensory that the everyday folk would take for granted…simply, he doesn’t. Instead he has a colour sensor attached to his head that can turn colour into an audible frequency, over time this perception of information – input frequency, output colour – has developed into feelings.

The ability to perceive each colour with a feeling is something the everyday person does subconsciously, but the ability to transmit an audible frequency associated with colour and transfer that into a feeling, and do so knowingly is a marketer’s dream ability.

Watching this TED talk got me thinking about the psychology of colour in reference to marketing and branding.

Research has shown that no matter what item or service you are trying to market, the choice of colour associated with the logo, all the way down to the packaging plays an imperative role in the perception of the brand, and the tangible or intangible item being marketed. This study also demonstrates how the use of colour can help predict the outcome of brand personality and purchase intent.

In the life of Neil Harbisson, a man who can turn something as simple as a shopping trip down the cleaning product aisle into symphony of feelings, is an incredible ability to possess in the world of a consumer when trying choose the brand best suited to you, but in the world of a marketer the ability to understand colour, and the emotions associated with each colour is an ability that is detrimental in determining your brand identity and associated personality.

In reference to developing a colour for your brand personality, it is important you consider how you want to make your audience feel. For example for Harbisson, Mozart is a feeling of yellow, and the BBC beeps are a feeling of turquoise. In reference to a study on the psychology of colour in logo design, yellow is a colour of optimism, green is the colour of growth and health, and red is the colour of excitement. If you haven’t already noticed Coca Cola, Virgin, and the Rolling Stones are all red logos, which in turn represent youthfulness, boldness and excitement. This same study also states that red “…is a powerful colour that is warm, exciting, sexy, and urgent. It is a colour of blood and romance, of stop signs and classic roses.”

Another study has depicted that…”colour is ubiquitous and is a source of information. People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colours alone. So, prudent use of colours can contribute to not only differentiating products from competitors, but also influencing moods and feelings – positively or negatively – and therefore, to attitude towards certain products.”

I think it is safe to say that Neil Harbisson’s incredible experience is the prime example on the importance of colour and how it can make you feel, how it can make you perceive a personality, and how it can help you identify someone, or in this instance identify a brand and a brand personality.

Whether you are looking at branding, rebranding, logo design, the graphic colours in your new commercial, or even the packaging design in your latest product venture, it is important to get the colour right in reference to the personality you are wanting to portray to your audience.

Gloo Advertising can help you with all of the above, including what colour is right for your brand. Give us a call or send us an email today.


Jesikah Boatfield
Marketing & Account Manager