How to Use Colour Psychology in Copywriting

How to use colour psychology in copywriting

1. Copywriting and colour come from consumer psychology

Colour is about the psychology of your brand. The sheer scope and nature of colours make it impossible to discuss in full in this section. The primary question here is what difference will it make if I use blue over red, or green over purple, or any other colour or combination? The key to understanding colour is knowledge of four primary aspects that govern colour application and its impact. The design aspect of colour determines how your product or service will look when compared across screens – as digital art – and behind counters or supermarket shelves – as real, tangible items. Let’s learn how to use colour psychology in copywriting.

2. Colour technologies

Colour technology is still not developed enough to reproduce a perfect match from screen to print. In other words there will always be a discrepancy in the hues and shades between what you see on a monitor (RGB) and what you see on paper or other printed surfaces (CMYK). A skilled designer will be able to make these differences seem imperceptible but a solid understanding of colour theory is a definite prerequisite for such skill. Choose your designer carefully.

3. Physcial aspects of colour

The physical aspect of colour determines how people feel when they view your products or services. Certain colours have a soothing or organic effect while others are attributed as dynamic, synthetic and exciting. Below are some very basic attributes associated with more common colours. These attributes are by no means exhaustive.

Red: strong, passionate, hungry, violent, impulsive, powerful

Blue: serene, sad, dependable, safe, moderate

Yellow: warm, happy, clear, anxious, lively

Green: relaxing, natural, youthful, sickly, economical

Orange: fresh, warm, exotic, frivolous, healthy

Purple: royal, dreamy, magical, heavy, elusive, gothic, luxurious

Brown: earthly, rugged, basic, durable, timeless, organic

Gray: neutral, formal, authoritative, dull, technological

White: clean, pure, stately, weak, wholesome, light, inclusive

Black: formal, strong, death-like, stately, fearsome, dignified

4. Capturing colour attributes in copywriting

The attributes of each colour will vary depending on the properties defining that colour – hue, saturation, value, temperature. A deeper blue, for example, will be perceived quite differently to a lighter blue. Perceptions are also contingent on the use of colour in combination with other colours. Your brand personality must portray a colour or colour combinations that correspond to its desired attributes and characteristics.

5. Capturing cultures with colour

The cultural aspect of colour determines the association people make between your product or service and their individual cultural, religious, superstitious, social, and anthropological beliefs. Colours like red are considered lucky in some societies but are a symbol of violence in others. Your brand’s copywriting and visual elements must take into consideration the colour connotations held by the societies or communities in which it operates.

6. Cognitive aspects of colour and copywriting

The cognitive aspect of colour determines how people recognise and react to your brand. Since a brand is created in the mind, colour plays a strong part in determining the awareness and associations of that brand in the mind of the consumer. When a brand makes consistent use of a particular colour, the brand becomes associated with that colour. After some time, the brand (and its copywriting messages) becomes immediately and thoroughly recognisable simply by its colour, minus any other factors. Achieving this state can be highly beneficial for your brand’s dissemination since colour is a raw, natural factor that facilitates instantaneous associations and directly impacts viewer perceptions.

7. Copywriting and character through colours

The proper administration and management of colour in copywriting and design elements can greatly boost your brand’s recognition and awareness. It can also reinforce your brand’s personality, presence, and characteristics, causing your brand to distinctly stand out in a saturated, homogenous market landscape.

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