Colour Study – Marketing & Design

This is an unattributed guest post.

Using the Correct Colour in Marketing & Design

Colours are largely overlooked when creating new marketing campaigns and visible media. Usually one of the last things to choose, they should be the first. The right colour can change your mood, release chemicals to your brain and either excite or relax you.

Hopefully you will find the information below of great use, and put it into practice when planning any new media, be it a new website, printed promotions or even newsletters.

You will notice that on this website, yellow and soft blue are used extremely well. Yellow is a feel good colour, engendering feelings of optimism and a better future; whereas the blue brings credibility and dependability. The two colours complement Claire’s business and abilities very well indeed. When you are in need of exceptional marketing, you need all of these attributes.


Black is the colour associated with  luxury, power, authority and strength. It is often linked with intelligence too (think of university professors and principals). But remember, black is a serious colour and extremely emotive, it is so easy to put viewers off with too much, so this should be used in a subtle context.


Representing virginity and purity (wedding dresses, snow, etc.), white is a very clean and welcoming colour (hence doctors’ gowns). It is also used to show the lack of colour, or neutrality. In marketing and design, it is best used as a backing for stronger colours. The only exception I would use is in an education format; there is something inviting about the traditional blackboard!


Grey is normally associated with practicality, blandness and agelessness . The overuse of grey leads to feeling nothing, but a splash of grey will add a solidness to your product. You could bring silver into this too, which could bring in a luxurious, helpful edge.


Ah, red! Overused in my opinion, and rarely used properly. People use red to draw attention, but you need to remember that it is nature’s danger colour too. The positive side to using red is in the energy it portrays, provoking feelings of movement and excitement. And since it is proven to increase the heart beat and breathing, this is a very powerful, emotive colour. Using a splash of red pays excellent dividends, but NEVER overuse it!


This is the colour of love, romance and gentleness. It is often associated with girlie products, but was historically the colour boys were dressed in, up until around 100 years ago. An extremely soothing colour, it helps to relax and soothe almost immediately, so works very well on shopping websites – and women love to shop online!


This is most people’s favourite colour, as it actually produces chemicals in the body that are calming. This is why so many businesses that need to come across as stable and dependable use it – think uniformed professions, banks and legal firms. Be careful not to use cold blues though, as these can have a negative effect; using baby blues and royal blues works best.


Green is often associated with money, but not in the UK/European market, so do not fall for the American mentality here. A deep, rich green does indicate wealth though, but your own, not that of your viewers or market. The best ways to use green are in invoking luck, fertility, peace and support.


Yellow denotes happiness, optimism and promises of better things ahead! Proven to help release seratonin, the body’s natural feel good agent, yellow is an extremely powerful colour. It is often ignored by people as a soft, wishy-washy colour, but they could not be further from the truth. Have you ever wondered why gold is worth so much? Yellow is a seldom used colour, but it should be used an awful lot more.


There is nothing calm about orange. It has a certain flamboyancy that other colours just do not acheive. It is an energetic colour oozing warmth and promises of exciting times ahead. It is heavily used as a CTA (call to action) with online and printed marketing – ‘Buy Now’, ‘Click Here’, etc. – and with good reason because this is the most ambitious colour in the spectrum.


Purple is regal and sophisticated, yet somewhat tarnished by fantasy in modern times as books on elves and warlocks have somewhat sullied the reputation of this colour. But it still signifies sophistication, prosperity and wisdom (maybe why so many wizards end up in purple capes). And most young women will select this as their favourite colour! (So think about your demographic).


Brown stands for the earth and friendship. Stability is a major part of the colour brown. What is more stable than earth itself? The one problem with this colour, is that it is so boring. I would only go near brown on organic type businesses, and I would have to use it with green as a major partner. It is worth noting though, that grey and brown go together very well, giving a very strong, stable practicality.