The Colourful World Of Colours


Red, blue, green, purple, black- colours sure add a lot of “colour” to our lives. How boring would it be if you couldn’t paint your nails the colour of your dress, or put on a lipstick that compliments your look? How difficult would life be if an orange wouldn’t look orange? And how lifeless would it be if you cannot see the rainbow after a drizzle? As humans, our very survival is dependent, to an extent, on the identification of colour. We stop our cars for red lights and go on green, we look at the colour of certain plants and animals to determine whether or not they are safe for us to eat or touch, the bottom line being that colour is a very important part of our daily lives.

In addition to the million of things colours do, you can’t possibly undermine the importance of colours in logos and advertising. It is thus, of immense importance that designers and creatives pick out colours which not only represent the brand but also attract potential customers. When it comes to identifying your brand, a logo is probably the first thing that you would think of. How often than not, do you remember a brand more by its image than its name? When I say Facebook, what comes to your mind? How many of you thought blue?

Neuroscientist Bevil Conway has been studying the neural machinery behind colour for long, and he believes the science behind colour processing to be very influential but less explored. The human mind is highly receptive to visual stimuli, and colour is one of the major defining factors in that response. The use of colour brings multiple layers of meaning – from responses grounded in years of evolved instinct, to the associations we make based on learned assumptions. It has far-reaching implications on people’s emotions. In an appropriately titled study called Impact of Colour in Marketing (2006), researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on colour alone. Satyendra Singh determined that it takes a mere 90 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about a product. And, 62-90% of that interaction is determined by the colour of the product alone.

Colours are probably the most powerful non-verbal form of communication to be used by designers. The subliminal messages we get from colour shape our thoughts. On both a conscious and subconscious level, colours express meaning – not just in the natural world but also within the ploy of our culture. It has to be used in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose. By using colour psychology, one can send a positive or negative message, encourage sales, calm a crowd, or make an athlete pump iron harder.

The world seems to be getting smaller each day, all thanks to online communities and social networking.This “world-wide community” has created an international readership for a variety of websites. It thus becomes imperative that we understand how colour associations vary from culture to culture, and within different possible audiences. There are cultural differences in the way colours are interpreted. For example, while white is the colour of death and mourning among Hindus, in Christian societies the same colour is adorned by the bride during weddings.

Let’s have a look at some of the many, many colours known and what their possible interpretations could be:


Well, colour is ubiquitous and the internet is a colourful place. So, the bottom line is: use the right colours, and you shall win!

Bhavna Mehrotra

Image Source: The Viewspaper