Impact of colour

Creating connections

I expect you’ve heard the expression ‘we eat with our eyes’. It refers to that initial impression and judgement of what we expect something is going to be like. This could be a physical product, a consumable item, the exterior of a building, the ambiance of the room, your business and your service. It can ‘colour your view’ and depending on whether it’s a positive or negative feeling it will affect your perception accordingly. It’s been reported that up to 90% of that impression is based on colour alone:

“People make a subconscious judgement about a person, environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone” – CCICOLOR, Institute for Global Colour Research

This is because we feel colour. Colour has an emotional connection and a personal association that’s individual to each of us. In colour psychology there are 4 primary colours: red, yellow, blue, green. These colours individually relate respectively to the body, the emotions, the mind, and the natural balance between the previous three elements.

Colour psychology of red Colour psychology of yellow Colour psychology of blue Colour psychology of green

Think of a world without any colour

Imagine a meal of neutral coloured food is presented before you. How does it make you feel? It likely doesn’t appear very appetising to you no matter how well the fresh ingredients have been selected and prepared. A bland colour palette of food doesn’t excite the senses. It doesn’t hint at the flavours you are going to experience. Perhaps now you’re not feeling quite so hungry after all. 

It would have a similar turn off effect if the colours of the food were artificial, to the extreme where they were not at all what you expected (think bright blue potatoes!). It feels completely at odds, which in turn makes you feel uneasy (if not queasy too!). It’s not a meal you are going to enjoy, your perception has already made that decision (even if when blindfolded it tastes wonderful).

The impact of colour

Now in contrast, imagine a colourful platter of food, deep, rich, fresh colours beautifully presented. It’s much more mouth watering, and you are already anticipating the wonderful flavours. Much more appetising! You feel relaxed, at ease and looking forward to enjoying your meal.

You can begin to see the impact colour has. The feeling, mood, aesthetics need to align with every element of your brand. From your story, to how your service is delivered, through to the experience you provide and the relationships you build.

Colour increases the recognition of your brand by up to 80%. (Statistic from University of Loyola, Maryland study).

Within the boutique, lifestyle sector, your brand differentiator is in the emotional connections your brand makes; the experience, the cherished memories, the reason for choice.

This is why colour is such a critical part of developing your brand. It plays a role in every brand touchpoint; design assets, in printed form, digital form, work wear, entrance, rooms, interior design, furnishings, catering, finishing touches…every detail.

Your brand differentiator on a plate

Let’s go back to to the food platter analogy.

Every ingredient has been handpicked for what it uniquely brings to the dish; flavour, texture, aesthetic, how it complements and enhances the other ingredients. All skilfully combined to create a gourmet experience.

In this analogy think of the plate as your brand story (always serve from here). The ingredients represent your unique qualities, skills, and passion combined in an empathetic way that simply implores the senses (authenticity). The presentation, providing a tangible ‘dining’ experience that’s personal and uniquely curated.

Your brand differentiator on a plate. Creating confidence, originality and loyalty – a resilient, authentic brand.


Distill your business into colour and form – chat with Becks

Becks Neale is a Dorset Designer & Brand Consultant, working alongside charities, community initiatives and purpose-led organisations to achieve a brand they love and live, by distilling their brand story.

Design to tell your story.

© inkshed design studio

4 Responses to “Impact of colour”

  1. […] For instance, red shouts love and passion. Red also increases blood pressure. It is frequently used for a “buy now” button on a website. But that might not be the emotions you wish to be known for. You may choose to use a soothing colour, such as a blue. It is the colour of the sea and is known for its calming characteristics. However, colours can also give negative feelings, too much of one dominant colour like red or blue can be overbearing or even give the perception of arrogance. Blue can have negative associations such as a sense of coldness, distance and also depression depending on the tone of blue. How do you want your audience to feel? Discover more about the impact of colour here. […]