The Power of Colour

My Sister in Law's first law, when she is appointed Prime Minister, is that she is going to mandate a wool shop in every town. She likes nothing better than hunting out a new texture, colour or thickness of yarn with which to make more beautiful clothes for her nephews and nieces!

Colour plays such a huge part in our everyday lives that sometimes we forget what influence it has on us. That we associate red with stop, danger and passion. Or green with safety, go or nature.

Here's a brief rundown on the subliminal associations of different colours which you may want to take into account when briefing or developing your own brand or website (or knitting your next jumper).

Green - Nature, growth, harmony, freshness, stability, enduringness, fertility, growth, harmony, healing. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Pale greens are particularly restful. Dark green - strong subliminals associated with money!

Blue - Trust, reliability, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, tranquility, calmness. It actually slows the metabolism with a sense that all is well, one can relax.

Turquoise - credibility, inspiration, sea, spirituality, reliability, inspiration.

Purple - Royalty, wealth, power, nobility, wisdom, dignity, imagination, mystery. Too much, too dark, is actually quite hard on the brain.

Pink - Girly, sweet, innocent, fresh, loving, passionate, playful. Pale pink calms people down and has been known to dramatically reduce violence in high security prisons!

Red - Passionate, dangerous, fiery, determined, confident, definite. Literally still raises our heartrate from our early memories that it relates to blood!

Orange - Fresh, bright, zesty, flamboyant, youthful, warm, optimistic, and stimulates mental activity.

Yellow - Optimistic, confident, bold, happy, and also, bizarrely, hunger promoting...which came first, the golden arches or the appetite for them?

Grey - This color represents caution and compromise. They give a sense of peace to the viewer.

Brown - Stability, masculinity, earth, wood, dependability, conservatism, reliability.

White - safety, purity, freshness and cleanliness: light, goodness, innocence, purity, virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection and usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning, a fresh start and is very popular at the moment in web design.

Black - Power, elegance, formality, death, evil, mystery, grief, dignity, sophistication, strength, authority. Gives perspective and depth and is an excellent foil to bright colours.

In neuroscientific terms, the brain has subliminal associations with these colours that are deep in the subconscious which you are tapping into by plugging into them - and they trigger emotional responses which either attract or repel.

Sometimes it can also be interesting to deliberately 'disrupt' established rules of using colour when creating brand identities - placing a bright turquoise 'pop' for example in the middle of a nature coloured site, as we did recently, just to 'lift' it and stop it looking too dull and boring.

As touched on above, of course the nuances, combinations and shades and tones of each colour you choose to use evoke further feelings or associations.

How does this understanding of colour affect the kind of brand you want to create?

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