Appropriate use of colours

Colours_Post The use of colour on your business stationery is one of the elements that will set your business apart from others. Your logo and your business cards are often the first introduction a potential customer has to your business, so they should send the right hidden messages to inspire any potential customer to do business with you.

Colour & Culture

mnZAeCuDid you ever consider what impact your website colour choices could have on other cultures? With the worldwide influence of the Internet, cultural meanings of colour are no longer as important as western meanings are slowly becoming more accepted all over the world. Still, it would pay you to be aware of any cultural differences in meaning if you are selling to a particular country or ethnic group.

  • Red is the colour of good luck and celebration in China but a colour of mourning in South Africa
  • Yellow is sacred and auspicious in China and India, but the colour of mourning in Egypt
  • Green is associated with wealth and prestige in Saudi Arabia but traditionally a forbidden colour in Indonesia
  • Blue is the colour for baby girls, while pink is for baby boys in Belgium

Using Colours to Attract your Taget Markets

Your target market is the people or businesses you are aiming to sell your products or services to; it is therefore important that you understand the colours that will attract your specific market. Although the psychology of colour is not an exact science and there are no right or wrong colours, there are colours which may get a better response than others from your target market. Our colour preferences are ‘coloured’ by our gender, age, education, the culture we grew up in, preconceived color beliefs of the societies we live in, our childhood associations with certain colors, and our life experiences, whether those associations are negative or positive.

Climate Based Colour Preferences

  • dream-colours-cool-digital-art-favim-com-582559People tend to prefer colours that duplicate the colours relating to their climate.
  • People from warm tropical climates respond best to bright, warm colours, while people from colder climates tend to prefer cooler and more subdued colours.
  • In the Scandinavian countries, fresh and bright blues, yellows and whites are popular.
  • In Switzerland, more sophisticated colours such as dark reds and burgundies, grey and dark blue are common.
  • In South America the warm reds, oranges, yellows and bright pinks are popular.
  • Australian Aborigines respond well to the earthy reds, oranges, blues and greens that are seen in the outback regions of Australia.

Gender Based Color Preferences

Blue is a colour which is generally favoured by most people, independent of which culture, country, age, socio-economic bracket, or gender they are from, so it is the safest colour to use in all your target markets, although not always the best colour to use. Universally, pink tends to be favoured by females. Males: 

  • Prefer the colour blue to red, and orange to yellow.
  • Baby boys traditionally tend to be dressed in blue, except in Belgium where pink is used for baby boys.
  • In the western world many men are colour blind so you need to be aware of the red/green visual problems if this is your target market and choose other colours that are not as affected.


  • Prefer the colour red to blue, and yellow to orange.
  • Baby girls traditionally tend to be dressed in pink except in Belgium where blue is used for baby girls.
  • Tend to have a broader range of colour preferences to men and are more open to trying new colours.

Both Genders: 

  • Blue, turquoise, green, red, yellow, black, white, grey and silver are colours that are the most suitable for use in a business marketing to both males and females.
  • Pinks and purples are now becoming more acceptable to males, with pale pink business shirts and purple casual shirts commonly seen on men.

Age Based Colour Preferences

art-colours-drawing-face-girl-favim-com-128049The first step in making the best choices for your business colours is to establish who your target market is and then you can match the colours to that market to get the best response. Babies:

  • Cry more in a yellow room.
  • Respond best to high contrast visuals.

Pre-adolescent Children: 

  • Prefer brighter primary and secondary colours – red, yellow, blue, orange, green and purple.
  • Also prefer solid blocks of colours rather than patterns.


  • More open to experimenting with more sophisticated and complex colours due to their exposure to computer graphics programs such as Photoshop.
  • More influenced by cultural influences due to multiculturalism and greater access to world markets through the Internet.
  • Many younger teenager girls love varying shades of purple and pink.
  • As they reach their late teens they often show a preference for black – this relates to a psychological need for black during the transition stage from the innocence of childhood to the sophistication of adulthood – it signifies the ending of one part of their life and the beginning of another, allowing them to hide from the world while they discover their own unique identity.

Young Adults: 

  • Similar to teenagers.
  • Tastes begin to change around age 25 as they become more sure of themselves and find their direction in life.


  • Prefer more subdued colours.
  • Are less open to experimenting with colour, tending to stick with their favourites.

Mature 65+ Years Old: 

  • Yellow is the least favoured colour of this target market, unless it is a pale butter yellow.
  • Preference for clear colours such as fresh blues, pinks, greens.
  • Preference for cleaner colours such as blue-greens rather than olive greens.
  • Are generally more comfortable with the calming colours of blue, green, pink and purple, than the bright, stimulating colours of red, orange and yellow, although some will choose muted blue based reds and pale yellow.
  • Many females often choose colours in the purple range, varying from deep purple and violet, to mauve and lavender, and plum colours, as they grow older.

How do you choose your wedding colors?

My advice is to choose a color you really love for your wedding color – you can’t go wrong. Then choose a second color you love and find a way to make those colors work together. Choose a maximum of three colors and have them in unequal proportions – the main color (about 65 to 70%) plus a supporting color (about 25%) plus an accent color (about 5 to 10%) Your choice of wedding colours tends to be a subconscious reflection of your personality and an indication of how you imagine your future marriage will be. You may have decided on your colour, or colours, years and years before your wedding, but it will still reflect your personality traits, let me know what colours you would like to use for your wedding stationery … your wish is my command 🙂 Colours2

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