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Color psychology is all about the idea that specific colors trigger certain emotions and responses in your customers and that your color choice should be rooted in this philosophy to achieve brand success.

Woman painting wine glasses

So then what's the dirty little secret? Color Psychology is not the Holy Grail of Graphic Design and here's why:

The Universal Myth Buster Color psychology loves to play matchmaker, pairing emotions with specific colors in a finite kinda way.

But each person is unique and influenced by environment, upbringing, pop culture or even this morning's breakfast. So, that 'energizing' red might leave some feeling more 'exhausted' than exhilarated.

Context is Supreme Imagine you're in a cozy coffee shop, sipping a latte with soothing, earthy tones all around. Now, picture those same colors in a noisy, fluorescent-lit casino. Suddenly, those calming colors can feel anxious. Context matters, and colors are just chameleons adapting to their surroundings.

Subverting Expectations We're told blue means non-threatening, stable, reliable, trustworthy. So, naturally, a lot of banks have blue in their logo. Color psychology 101. But take a look at Simplii Financial, a Canada-based bank, whose rebrand is a bold pink and neon yellow. Paired with energetic photography, they are a "financial institution for folks that live in the moment." By subverting the standard bank branding expectations, they stand out and attract the exact audience they want.

The Design Symphony Color is definitely a superstar in the design world, but it shouldn't be expected to carry an entire performance. Think of your design as a symphony, with color as one of the players. Logo, typography, layout, imagery, tone and others are players, too. Neglecting the other components and banking solely on color psychology is like trying to win a Grammy with just a tambourine.

So, instead of relying on Color Psychology to dictate your brand path, focus on crafting a well-rounded, visually stunning masterpieces that resonate with your unique audience. Think of color as your trusty sidekick, not the hero of the story.

We do this in our brand strategy process at OXSAM, and we can do it for you, too. Let's create some design magic together!


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