LOGBOOK: 5 things to consider about colours in graphic design

How does colours affect people’s behavior and make people react in a certain ways? Consider these 5 aspects in graphic design and get the benefits of colours in graphic design theories in practice.


1. Colour Psychology

Start with emotion and symbolism. All colours have an emotion to which it is generally combined. Colours in graphic design affect our feelings, our decisions, and our actions. Meanings of colours:

Red: passion, attention, importance
Yellow: cheerfulness, optimism, tenderness
Blue: Security, Stability, Formality
Violet: dignity, luxury, spirituality

Learn more about the psychological significance of colours here.


2. The Brand Personality of Your Business / Products

Think of your business or product as a person: who are they? What matters to them? How does your brand look, sound and what is your brand talking about?

According to research of psychologist Jennifer Aaker there are 5 brand personalities: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and durability, these also relate to certain colours, e.g. red reflects suspense, independence and imagination, while purple suggests sophistication, luxury and expensiveness

By using colours in graphic design to express your brand personality, you get better contact with your customer.


3. Colours of Your Competitors

Depending on your industry, your competitors prefer certain colours if they have any colour psychology skills in their possession. Here you find a visual information map that clearly distinguishes the industries of international companies with their own popular colours.

Do you want to stand out from your competitors or do you trust that they know what colour is the best in your industry? This is obviously affected by your target audience.


4. Personality of Your Target Group

Who is your target group? What is their personality? Roughly the target group can be divided into the extremities: serious – playful, youthful – mature, modern – traditional, feminine – masculine, luxurious – inexpensive.

Once the persons are defined, the colors can be divided according to the people. For example, pink reflects more feminine and juvenile people than e.g. brown.


5. Colours in Culture

The importance of colours in culture can not be ignored. For example, in Finland, the colour combination blue and white implicates quality and domesticity. The religious, political and social importance of colours is also noteworthy.

The colours also include common agreements used as colour signals such as traffic signs, e.g. red – warning, blue – guiding or they are associated with their own seasons e.g. red – Christmas, orange – halloween.


Brand personality

Source: Lähde: “Dimensions of Brand Personality” by Jennifer Aaker


Read more about Dimensions of brand personality by Jennifer Aaker

Milla Kissaniitty
Experience Designer

HAPPYMOOR Crew is a community of entrepreneurs that co-create user-oriented service formats, makes assignments and own productions, and markets, sells and produces them in a new way together. We have a passion for moving people, both emotionally as well as returning customers. HAPPYMOOR combines cities, businesses and communities to share experiences, resources, expertise and experiences to create better customer journeys, more personalised experiences and happier customers together.