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Colour psychology

Think about colour psychology - how colour makes people feel

  Positive Negative

Red symbolizes passion, love, danger, heat, power, strength, a little can be stimulating. Stimulates the appetite, by increasing metabolism.

Too much could be percieved as aggressive. Also symbolizes danger, fire, blood, war, violence.

Remember to consider colour-blind users - red/green colour blindness is the most common


Pink can symbolize femininity and youth.

Naivity, weakness.


Orange is percieved as vibrant, warm, cosy and autumnal. Has been a very in vogue colour for web sites.



Yellow can symbolize sunshine, happiness, growth, gold and "newness".

Can also symbolize dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, deceit, illness, hazard.


Green signifies nature, the environment, life, growth, good luck, youth, spring, fertility, religion.

Also symbolizes jealousy, envy and misfortune. Considered bad when used for packaging.


Blue symbolizes calm, peaceful, water, sky, harmony, therapeutic, trust, confidence, cleanliness and loyalty. Gives people energy. Safe colour to use in design.

Sadness, cold, depression, suppresses the appetite.


Purple symbolizes royalty, spirituality, passion and love.

Cruelty, arrogance, mourning.


Brown is neutral, earthy, outdoors, warm.

Dirty, dull.


Grey/gray can be modern, intelligent, solid, clean.

Old age, sadness, boring, dull.


White is symbolic of cleanliness, innocence, space, purity, chastity, simplicity, peace, winter/snow, goodness, marriage/virginial.

Death (in Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile.


Black is associated with power, elegance, magic, mystery, night, sophistication, solid and powerful.

Death (in Western cultures), witches (black magic), fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, sadness, remorse, anger, mourning, death (Western cultures).

Colour combinations

Think about which colour combinations work


Black, white, grey/gray and red


Red and white


Orange and purple


Purple and yellow


Green and purple


Blue and yellow


Blue, grey/gray and white


Green and browns (be careful of colour-blind issues)


Teal and purple/lilac

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