Beyond the Palette: The Psychology of Personal Colour Preferences

Krgoswami
5 min readNov 18, 2023
Photo by Brian Lawson on Unsplash

“Colours, like features, follow the changes of emotions.”

- Pablo Picasso

There are individual differences with regard to the colours.

When I acquired my Hyundai i20 in a sleek metallic gray hue, a friend remarked, ‘What an unconventional colour choice! You could have opted for something else.’ Little did he realize the profound personal significance this colour held in my imagination. I must have envisioned my car a hundred times before the notion of purchasing it took root.

The perception of individuals is inherently diverse. Similar events or situations can elicit unique reactions from each person, akin to individual thumbprints. No two individuals are identical in this vast world.

You may have an affinity for the colour pink, while I might harbour a dislike for the same hue. Let us embrace the distinct preferences of one another and find joy in celebrating our differences

Let me tell you something about colour psychology.

The psychology of colours is a field of study that examines how different colours can impact human emotions, perceptions, and behaviours. It explores the psychological and emotional effects that colours have on individuals and how these effects can be used in various contexts, including marketing, design, branding, and even therapy.

Photo by XiaoXiao Sun on Unsplash

Here are some general associations between colours and emotions in the context of colour psychology:

Red:

Emotional Impact: Excitement, passion, love, energy

Use Cases: Often used to stimulate appetite (common in food industry logos), create a sense of urgency (sales signs), and convey strong emotions.

Blue:

Emotional Impact: Calmness, trust, serenity

Use Cases: Frequently used in corporate settings to convey professionalism and reliability. Lighter blues can create a sense of tranquillity.

Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

Yellow:

Emotional Impact: Happiness, warmth, positivity

Use Cases: Grabs attention and is often used to convey a sense of fun or energy. Commonly associated with happiness and sunshine.

Green:

Emotional Impact: Growth, harmony, nature

Use Cases: Often associated with health and eco-friendly products. Can convey a sense of balance and relaxation.

Purple:

Emotional Impact: Royalty, luxury, creativity

Use Cases: Often used to represent sophistication and elegance. Darker shades can evoke a sense of mystery.

Orange:

Emotional Impact: Enthusiasm, warmth, creativity

Use Cases: Grabs attention, often used in calls to action. Conveys a sense of energy and playfulness.

Pink:

Emotional Impact: Romance, sweetness, nurturing

Use Cases: Commonly associated with femininity and often used in products targeting a female audience.

Brown:

Emotional Impact: Earthiness, stability, reliability

Use Cases: Often used in the natural or organic product market. Conveys a sense of durability and simplicity.

Understanding the psychology of colours can help businesses, designers, and individuals make informed choices about colour usage based on the emotional responses they want to evoke in their audience. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences, cultural differences, and personal preferences can influence how people perceive and react to colours.

Colour symbolism can vary across cultures, but in many Western cultures, certain colours are commonly associated with emotions. Keep in mind that individual perceptions of colour can also differ, so it’s essential to consider your target audience. Here are some general associations:

Photo by Womanizer Toys on Unsplash

Red: Relationship

Red is often associated with passion, love, and strong emotions. It can convey warmth and intensity, making it a suitable choice for relationship themes.

Yellow: Happiness

Yellow is commonly associated with happiness, positivity, and energy. It can evoke feelings of joy and warmth. Using yellow in your eBook cover can give it a cheerful and uplifting vibe.

Blue: Sadness

Blue is often associated with calmness and tranquillity, but it can also be linked to sadness or melancholy. Darker shades of blue, in particular, might convey a more sombre mood.

Keep in mind that the specific shades and combinations of colours also play a role. Brighter, more vibrant tones can evoke different emotions than muted or darker shades. Experiment with different colour combinations to find the one that best represents the tone and content of your eBook. When I was designing my e-book cover I thought wise idea to share with you and consider incorporating imagery, typography, and other design elements to enhance the overall impact of your covers.

Let me summarize these colours differently at the end.

Red:

Emotions: Passion, love, intensity, excitement

Concepts: Energy, warmth, danger

Yellow:

Emotions: Happiness, joy, positivity

Concepts: Sunshine, energy, optimism

Blue:

Emotions: Calm, tranquillity, sadness (in darker shades)

Concepts: Serenity, trust, stability

Green:

Emotions: Growth, freshness, balance

Concepts: Nature, health, harmony

Purple:

Emotions: Royalty, luxury, mystery

Concepts: Creativity, spirituality, sophistication

Orange:

Emotions: Enthusiasm, warmth, creativity

Concepts: Vitality, fun, energy

Pink:

Emotions: Romance, sweetness, tenderness

Concepts: Love, femininity, playfulness

Brown:

Emotions: Earthiness, stability, warmth

Concepts: Reliability, simplicity, nature

Gray:

Emotions: Neutrality, sophistication, calmness

Concepts: Timelessness, balance, maturity

Black:

Emotions: Elegance, mystery, power

Concepts: Sophistication, formality, strength

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Takeaways

Let me share some quotes related to colours.

1. “Colours are the brushstrokes of our emotions, each shade revealing a chapter of our personal narrative.”

2. “Respect for differences is the canvas upon which the masterpiece of understanding is painted.”

3. “Life is a canvas; paint it with the colours that resonate with your soul, and let others do the same.”

4. “Just as no two sunsets are alike, neither are the colour preferences that colour our world.”

5. “Our choices of colour are whispers from our hearts, revealing the vibrant tapestry of our individuality.”

6. “Celebrating diversity is like admiring a garden of flowers — each bloom unique, yet collectively creating a breathtaking landscape.”

7. “Colours speak a language of their own; let’s appreciate the diverse dialects that paint our world.”

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Krgoswami

Former aircraft engineer IAF, Retired Branch Manager SBI, Psychologist, Best Selling Author & Defence Recruitment Trainer https://krgoswami.com