Perception 3 Colour

John Smith
Email/ UX expert
Perception 3 Colour

Colour perception is the ability of our eyes to distinguish light of varying wavelengths. A person can view both bright and dull colours. Light reflected from objects triggers the visual process between the eye and the brain. The brain, therefore, sends signals to the eye depending on how bright or dull an object is.

In addition to colour aiding one to see, it also influences our mood. That is why people are drawn to certain colours more than others. For instance, you will rarely encounter black wedding gowns or green newspapers. The mentioned colours would instantly turn you off. Companies that market their products know how influential colour is to people, so they, therefore, choose corporate colours carefully.

Different organizations specialize in different niches such as fashion, music, food, and so on. Colours evoke different moods and emotions in people and we need to identify those colours. These colours will be discussed in detail:

• Red.

• Yellow.

• Purple.

• Green.

• Blue.

• Black.

• Grey.

• White.


Red is commonly used by fast-food chains since it stimulates one’s appetite. The colour increases one’s heart rate and blood pressure. These physiological changes increase someone’s appetite as a result. This explains why these companies have chosen red as their corporate colour. Fast food joints that use red in their logos include:

• KFC.

• McDonald’s.

• Pizza Hut.

• Wendy’s.

• Burger King.

• Taco Bell.

The colour also evokes a sense of urgency. You are more likely to find organizations that deal with disasters adopt this colour. Some of the organizations that come to mind include International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Shoes for the Soul. Observe the colours of fire trucks and first aid kits, and you will realize they are typically red. These are items needed to solve problems urgently hence the chosen colour.


Yellow increases one’s joy and optimism. As a result of joy, buyers are more likely to frequent shops that have adopted this colour. A happy client will always purchase products that they are pleased with hence will buy from that particular company. Companies that have adopted yellow as their corporate colour include:

• Shell.

• Lays.

• Ikea.

• Nikon.

• Subway.

• Amnesty International.


Purple has been associated with royalty. An organization that uses purple as its colour is likely to attract respect from people. Respect is after all given to royalty. Additionally, wisdom is also associated with purple. Potential clients are more likely to assume that such an organization is knowledgeable about their product hence will visit often. Companies that use purple include:

• Yahoo.

• Cardbury.

• FedEx.

• Hallmark.

• Syfy.

• Wonka.


The colour is associated with peace and nature hence has a calming effect on clients. People take nature walks for this reason, for peace of mind. Environmental organizations thus use green for this reason. Organizations that use green include:

• Greenpeace.

• Rainforest Alliance.

• Sierra Club.

• World Environment Organization.

• The Nature Conservancy.

• Community Environment Council.


Blue is used by most offices and corporate bands since the colour promotes trust in a brand. People also associate the colour with maturity. Clients thus trust such organizations with their information or money fully. Here are organizations that use blue as their colour:

• Visa.

• Dell.

• Unilever.

• Volkswagen.

• Intel.

• Paypal.


The colour symbolizes strength or power. It also symbolizes intelligence. Clients will want to purchase items from an organization that presents itself as intelligent since they will need their queries answered. However, it should be used minimally since the colour also evokes anger and sadness. Organizations that have adopted this colour include:

• Nike.

• Adidas.

• Sony.

• Chanel.

• Gucci.

• Prada.


Grey is associated with being timely and practical. Clients like to be associated with organizations that can meet their concerns on time e.g. answering their questions or delivering a product to them. Practical organizations normally demonstrate to a client how to use their product. Being practical will attract more clients to an organization that has adopted this colour. Companies that use grey include:

• Apple.

• Medici.

• Skytire.

• SMV Cleaning.

• Zwick Construction.

• Bassett.


White is mainly associated with purity or cleanliness. If you have seen the depiction of angels in white attire, then you get to understand why the colour was chosen. Angels are known for being pure. Clients who approach companies with white as their main colour will likely conclude the institution is incorrupt.

White also stimulates creativity. The colour is normally used as a blank slate. Organizations can thus add more colours alongside white to design their corporate colour.

Companies that have adopted this colour include:

• World Wide Fund for Nature.

• Cartoon Network.

• BBC.

• Miramax Films.

• Squarespace.

• RDS Music.

Limitations of colour perception

Although colours provoke certain emotions out of clients, some of the emotions are hardly universal. If green triggers feelings of peace in an individual, it may not be the same for another person. The other person may become calm when they perceive another colour like blue. However, organizations should still adopt colours of their choice since the colours will still trigger the feelings mentioned in this article.


To be an effective marketer, an organization has to carefully choose corporate colours. These colours trigger responses in people and this determines whether the clients will purchase from you or not. It is not about choosing a colour but also using it minimally. Red triggers feelings of violence even though it also symbolizes urgency. You may need a graphic designer to help you out.

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