True or False? Colour Symbolism, Colour Association & Colour Psychology are the same.

Today I would like to clear something up as I have noticed that my clients often get this wrong too - which is perfectly normal and that is why I am here and you are reading this!


Colour Symbolism, Colour Association & Colour Psychology are all the same. 

All of the above are important and must be taken into account, but NO, they are not the same. I have read many books on this subject over the years and I have seen authors of several books confusing these 3 inter-related elements when we are talking about how colours affect us.

So what is the truth? What are the differences?

  • Colour Symbolism, or colours in culture as they are also known is the CONSCIOUS meaning of a colour within that culture. Black in England = Death and Mourning. Red in China = Good Luck, Good Fortune and Prosperity.
  • Colour Association, is the CONSCIOUS associations we have personally to a colour. This can be very specific down a particular shade and it is attached to an event which is in your memory. Colour association is changeable with time and new events overriding past memories of the colour.
  • Colour Psychology is the study of how colour resides at the UNCONSCIOUS level in our brains and how this influences how we feel, behave and interact with others. Colours can affect our mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing. This is the essence of applying these principles into your personal and business life, to understand the power of colour and when to use which colours. People buy from people and when creating your company, you need to help your customers actively seek the way to express their personality with your brand. As a business owner, you want to create an emotional connection between your brand and your customer. Using colour correctly is the best way to achieve this. Following applied colour psychology techniques which are backed by science is the only way this can truly be done.

There is established research in colour psychology and colour science that have rigorously tested theories relating to how each colour specifically influences the way we behave. Researchers have looked at the affects on all levels: mental, emotional and physical.

My purpose is to help you understand the benefits of these unconscious messages that are sent to our brain and start to use the power of the colours consciously to benefit all around you. Your business will blossom, your confidence will rise and your customers will be happier as they connect to you more. 

As you understand these difference between colour association, colour symbolism and colour psychology, you are well on your may to making informed colour decisions knowing that there is no such thing as an arbitrary or subjective colour decision.

Visibility + Connection = Clients

What will you be doing this week to make your brand more visible?

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Written by Susanna Reay
May 20, 2018


Susanna Reay is an online business specialist, and brings her 25+ years experience of working online into packaging high value offers and courses to achieve the success her introvert business owners dream of.

The Introvert Way is her unique framework that ensures that business growth doesn't equal business burnout. We have to align our business with our natural tendencies until you reach the stage where you build a team to support the many functions needed to go to the next level.

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