Colour psychology and your Instagram feed.

Do you ever look at someones Instagram feed and think wow that makes me feel great, or wow that's a bit dark, or a colour they use might even prompt a childhood or current memory.

The primary colours include red, blue, yellow and green and these already relate to the body, mind, emotions and overall balance. There is great research into the varying impacts that colour can have on the body and the brain. So what impact does your Instagram feed have?

Like clothes shopping some clothes and colours work for us and our body types, others don’t. It’s exactly like that with your brand – some colours work and some don’t. What’s important to remember is that we want our feed looking aesthetically pleasing not just full of content because if our Instagram feed doesn't look nice or have a positive impact on people they aren't likely to stick around for the hard work and content we've put into our posts. It needs to be like a home – welcoming and inviting whilst also a pleasant experience.

Some questions you need to answer and reflect upon.

  1. How do you want people to feel when they are looking at your Instagram feed?

  2. What do you want them to remember?

  3. What is the biggest thing you want people to take away from your Instagram feed?

Here's some colour pscyhology information based on a select few colours.

Red – Physical colour . The colour generally denotes physical courage, strength, energy and warmth. It has the ability to show defiance/aggression. The colour red has the ability to raise the pulse rate which an get us anxious. What industry do you think this would work in? Does your business need to have this impact on people? I believe this is the reason Red Balloon is Red.

Blue is a colour that relates to intellect. Often blue is a very trusting colour, and indicates communication. It is a mentally calming colour which is no doubt why people are so relaxed at the beach because of the beautiful blue waves. A tourist destination advertisement campaign, or travel agent generally includes the colour blue as it's a relaxing colour that acts on your emotions with the hope you'll book a holiday.

Yellow is a very emotional colour. It has the ability to reflect confidence, optimism, self-esteem. Yellow is the strongest colour psychologically. Too much yellow however can cause our self esteem to plummet.

Green is a very harmonious colour. It’s similar to being in a rainforest and surrounded by beautiful tall trees that hang over you - how does this leave you feeling? Green is also linked with companies that offer an environmentally friendly product or service. The colour green has that association with nature.

Pink is a colour which represents warmth, femininity, love, nurture and survival of the species. This colour attracts us physically as it’s similar to red. Too much pink however can be draining so having a good balance is necessary. As the Pink colour chosen in Pink Cow Promotions is a light pink, we're ok with the psychology behind the colour in that it denotes warmth, love, nurture and survival.

Black is a very sophisticated, glamorous and strong colour. Often perfume brands, or prestigious companies will use this colour to show dominance. How do you feel when you see black? I know that I wear a lot of it, but is it too harsh on the eyes at times? Too much of this colour can be perceived as being cold and often heavy. Most feeds that feature black include elements of white or lighter colours. The colour black can be associated with darkness and for people that don’t like the dark it can be a difficult colour to feature in your Instagram feed. Would you like these attributes to be associated with your company and brand?

White is a very sterile, hygienic and clear colour. Too much white can be very sterile and cold and remind people of hospitals - this obviously works for some organisations. The idea of ‘sterile’ can often bring back unwanted memories to your followers or people trying to connect with you so be mindful of how much white you use. With flatlay photographs try and include some colour there to soften the at times harshness of the white.

“Within 90 seconds of viewing a brand, people will subconsciously judge a product, brand or environment. Colour accounts for 62-90% of the initial judgement”. 87% of consumers say color is the primary factor when deciding what to buy.

So this is where the decision becomes difficult especially if you’re a company that has been established for some time. I’m certainly not suggesting a branding change, but the above should help you with determining maybe how much of that colour is on your Instagram feed. For instance a company may have a logo that features the colour pink and white. I’m not suggesting a drastic transformation, in fact what I’m suggesting is that when you plan your campaigns or social media posts that you think about how much of that colour is required in your feed. There’s no reason why the background can’t be pink, or white or even alternate. The point of this post is to just get you thinking about how your brand makes people feel.

Below are some colours and brands that I'm sure most of us have heard of, seen or can at least identify with. Have a think about the words associated with the colours and whether this is useful to your company and it's branding.


In order to have an aesthetically pleasing feed, you need to be able to map it out and plan your images.

- Planoly is a great app which allows you to plan your Instagram Feed from both a content and image perspective. You can crop images and upload multiple images at once. It has been so useful in our social media planning.

- Plann also enables you to plan your feed and then shows your palette based on your last 12 images. We've just started experimenting with this but it has been fun to play around with and provides great insights.


Here are some useful websites to assist you with colour.

- Colourkuler is a great website that allows you to type in your Instagram handle and in return it will provide you with your colour palette.

- Designseeds - talks about varying colours and provides you with the hue reference to help you with your Instagram.

Resource derived from:

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