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    The Science of Colour: Understanding Colour Psychology for Effective Business Communication



    Did you know that invoices printed in red are paid up to 70% faster? Or that yellow cars have notoriously high accident rates? Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, colour psychology plays an important role in our everyday lives both here in the Middle East and around the world.


    Everything from the paint on your villa wall to the clothes that you wear have the ability to subconsciously affect mood and behaviour. Colour psychology goes beyond cosmetic appearance and actually plays a significant role in the business world. In fact, the colours you choose to use on your printed documents have the ability to affect the decisions of consumers from a business perspective and impress your customers for good or for ill.


    Research commissioned by OKI has found that human response to colour can be predicted and that it is indeed a powerful form of communication that is driven by our deepest instincts.  Regardless of nationality, culture and gender, we as human beings share common reactions to colour. These reactions can be predicted with startling accuracy when one has an understanding of the science behind colour.


    So, how can colour psychology help a business in the Middle East and Africa? On average, a customer takes 15 seconds to make a purchasing decision. This means that it is important to grab your customer’s attention before they even notice aspects such as typeface, copy, and layout.  The skilful use of colour and ensuring that the colours you use are related to the basic proposition of your product will help convey your key messages effectively.

    For instance, blue is an essentially soothing colour and when used correctly, can imply intelligence, trust, and serenity. This would be a good colour to use if you want your customers to trust you.  Then you have red, which has a physical effect. In contrast to blue, the colour red stimulates and activates a “fight or flight” reaction. Think about why red is so effective in stop signs and traffic lights.  Red could work if your company has anything to do with sport or physical activity or if your business needs to appeal more to the senses than to the mind, red will work well.

    Gaining a general understanding of the 11 basic colours that have fundamental and universal psychological properties can help you communicate more efficiently, depending on your line of business.

    Remember, nothing is as black and white as it may seem!


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