The Psychology of Colour in Branding and Visual Merchandising: Get to Know the Basics


Take a moment to think about your favourite brands… what feelings or emotions spark to mind when you are thinking of that brand? Now think, what colours does that brand use to showcase their brand, either in their logo or throughout their store? Chances are how you feel towards a brand and the colours they use directly correlate, and that isn’t just some coincidence.

Colour psychology refers to how colour influences people’s emotions and state of mind. Have you ever wondered why fast food chains commonly include red? Whereas every health food store is sporting some shade of earthy green? That is because visual merchandisers and graphic designers have harnessed the power of colour psychology and you should too.

Before we continue please note that the following only addresses the psychological effects of colour in Western cultures.


Why does the psychology of colour matter to your business?

Harnessing the power of colour has so many advantages but let’s just focus on the psychological effects colour can have on people. The use of colour evokes emotion, it sets a tone for what the consumer can expect. Colours’ effects can be utilised throughout any and every aspect of your business and not just on your consumers, but on your employees too! Employing colour psychology techniques can seriously benefit your business, adding so much power towards swaying the feel or mood.

Colour psychology in branding…

Talking about colour psychology benefits is one thing, but here are some real world examples for you to relate to. At the start of this article, we briefly touched on some examples of where you might have seen colour working it’s magic but let’s look at that deeper…



The 🗝 to happiness? Thinking positive and enjoying your 🍟 #boxhalffull

A post shared by McDonald’s (@mcdonalds) on

What is McDonald’s?
A fast food company that is based around cheap prices, people’s hunger, fun, happiness and laughter (the latter three is particularly for their children target market).
What psychological responses do people have towards red and yellow?
The red elements of the McDonald’s’ brand encourages appetite and creates a sense of urgency = fast food.
Red also triggers people’s minds when they see sale prices or cheap prices.
As for the use of yellow in the branding, that is to encourage feelings of fun, happiness and laughter. McDonald’s embodies that with the Ronald McDonald charity, the children/family focused design of the restaurant and who could forget the Happy Meals!


Introducing Windows 10 S. It’s a familiar, productive Windows experience, streamlined for security and superior performance. #Windows10 #MicrosoftEDU

A post shared by Windows (@windows) on

What is Windows?
Windows (also known as Microsoft Windows) according to their company statement is, “the world leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses reach their full potential.”
What psychological responses do people have towards blue?
Blue is a colour associated with reliability, security, peace of mind and brand trust. It is also typically a colour used in offices and corporate spaces. Considering that Windows has positioned themselves as “the world leader in software” it should come as no surprise that they want to position themselves as reliable, secure and trustworthy.


What is Nickelodeon?
Nickelodeon is a children’s television broadcast network and is home to Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Rugrats, Kids Choice Awards (featuring an orange carpet and a whole lot of slime) and so much more. It is everything you could want in a kid’s TV network; fun, vibrant, age appropriate and a little silly.
What psychological responses do people have towards orange?
Orange is the colour of happiness and promotes energy, excitement and enthusiastic feelings. Orange is also known to be a stimulating colour which in turn promotes open communication and the desire to socialise. Sounds like Nickelodeon if you ask us!


What is InfoPOS?
InfoPOS is us! We are a point of sale solution that makes communication, systemisation, promotions, monetary transactions, orders, deliveries and so much more super simple which means more time and $$$ for your business!
What psychological responses do people have towards green?
Green represents growth, money and harmony which is the driving purpose and benefits of InfoPOS.


Take your visual displays to the next level with colour

Utilising colour psychology techniques in your visual merchandising efforts is just as important as utilising it in your branding. You want your customer to feel, experience and be drawn to your products, promotions and sales. Visual merchandising is about so much more than creating a pretty display. Visual merchandising is about strategically creating dynamic spaces to draw attention to and promote products or services and their benefits. The world is flooded with things to buy, which means the difference between your potential customer choosing you or the competitor could come down to emotional connection. This is where colour comes in.

Colour is by far the quickest, easiest and most effective tactic to employ to develop an emotional response from your customers. There has been a massive amount of studies conducted on consumer behaviour with results like “90% of snap judgements made” being based on colour alone. Imagine how many more consumers you could attract and keep if your displays included colour paired with the desired psychological response.

At InfoPOS, we are here to support retailers and restaurants to maximise their potential while minimising their day-to-day hassle. Want to learn more about our software solutions? Request a free demo now.